ILEN Rovers’ Kate Carey and O’Donovan Rossa’s Éabha O’Donovan were amongst a host of West Cork players who celebrated Munster LGFA U16 A and B championship final victories in Mallow last weekend.
From Cork’s point of view, John Callaghan and Kenneth Burns’ U16Bs faced off against Limerick in a Munster LGFA Sharon O’Keefe U16B A decider on Saturday afternoon.
The Shannonsiders proved more than a match for their opponents throughout an engaging final. Aoibhinn O’Connor (two), Gemma Leahy and Caitlin Moriarty points made it 0-4 to 0-1 to Limerick with Valley Rovers’ Shóna Cronin (free) on target for Cork.
A second quarter rally saw Cronin and Lauren Finnegan added white flags prior to Clodagh O’Flaherty firing low into the net. Cork had a barely deserved 1-3 to 0-4 interval lead.
Shóna Cronin and two Aoibhinn O’Connor efforts kept the scoreboard ticking over. Theresa Dorgan burst through before substitutes Saoirse Moynihan and Cassandra Fitzgerald scores plus a Laura Scannell effort edged Cork 1-8 to 0-6 in front.
A terrific finale saw another Shóna Cronin free precede a superb Aoibhinn O’Connor goal at the opposite end. Level 1-10 to 2-7, Cork dug deep with substitute Cliodna McNamara finding the net with three minutes left. Anna Coughlan replied with a Limerick point before a late Cassandra Fitzgerald free put the seal on a 2-11 to 2-8 Cork victory.
In total, West Cork’s Ella Hayes, Holly Brickley (both O’Donovan Rossa), Shóna Cronin (Valley Rovers), Ellen Connolly (Castlehaven) and Maeve O’Sullivan celebrated winning Munster LGFA U16 medals.
The Cork U16As emulated their U16B counterparts with a terrific Munster LGFA U16A Munster final win over Tipperary the following day. Mallow was once again the venue for a provincial decider in which Cork were 1-3 to 0-5 behind at the break.
Improving steadily as the second half progressed, Cork fought back to register a 2-12 to 1-6 win and have an All-Ireland U16A semi-final against this year’s Leinster champions to look forward to on Wednesday, July 5th.
Kate Carey made her presence felt in an evenly-fought provincial match-up. The rising Ilen Rovers star arrowed two sublime goals to the back of Tipperary’s net to turn the game in Cork’s favour. O’Donovan Rossa’s Éabha O’Donovan continued her excellent individual season with 0-4.
West Cork was represented by O’Donovan, Allie Tobin, Aoife O’Driscoll (all O’Donovan Rossa), Maisie O’Callaghan, Caoimhe Horgan, Catherine Murphy (all Kinsale), Kate McEntee (Valley Rovers) and Carey (Ilen Rovers) on Cork’s victorious Munster U16 A winning panel.
‘I’m delighted with the win for this group of girls, and we are looking forward to the All-Ireland semi-final,’ Cork U16A manager Kieran O’Shea commented.
‘I asked the girls to put in a performance today and to have no regrets coming off the field. They did that in the second half. Going forward, we will need to improve on this if we have any chance of competing in the All-Ireland semi-final.
‘We have a few challenge matches coming up and the girls will also be starting a block of strength and conditioning over the next eight weeks to prepare for their All-Ireland semi-final.’