Monaghan 1-13 Cork 2-7
By DECLAN ROONEY
Monaghan denied Cork the five-in-a-row with an outstanding second-half display in the Bord Gáis Energy Division 1 Ladies Football final at Parnell Park yesterday (SUN). Claiming their first league title since 1999, Monaghan dominated Cork throughout the second period but were kept on the edge of their seats when Nollaig Cleary found the net for Cork with ten minutes remaining.The worry was doubled four minutes later when Valerie Mulcahy stroked home a penalty after a foul on Juliet Murphy to reduce the deficit to three points, but the superb Cathriona McConnell step up with the late point to seal the win.
Entering the tie as underdogs, Monaghan tore into the Leesiders from the first whistle with their high intensity play and tenacious tackling upsetting the Rebelettes. Making a switch from the off that saw Laura McEnaney start in the half-forward line brought immediate dividends for Monaghan as Niamh Kindlon slotted an early free that McEaney earned. That lead was soon two points when Cathriona McConnell pointed after a quick free unlocked the Cork defence nine minutes in.
The intensity that Monaghan was showing at the back was a feature of the early exchanges, but 11 minutes in Nollaig Cleary finally made the Cork breakthrough with a well-taken point. But that score proved a brief interlude as Monaghan pushed on with their best spell of the half that produced three points in five minutes. The first arrived from McEnaney – daughter of Meath manager Seamus – after the ball broke kindly off full-forward Kindlon in the 11th minute. Kindlon added two more in quick succession, including an excellent point from more than 30 metres after McConnell battled well to gain possession to push the lead out to four points.
However, slowly but surely Cork began to pull themselves back into the game and they could have pulled within one point, but Monaghan goalkeeper Linda Martin pulled off a splendid save to deny Rhona Ni Bhuchalla a certain goal. Juliet Murphy gained some consolation for Cork from the quickly-taken ensuing 45 and after McEnaney kicked her second point in reply for Monaghan, Cork took control. Orlagh Farmer started the good run for Cork with a point to cap a fine run from Ciara O’Sullivan and further scores from Cleary and Murphy ensured that Monaghan led by just 0-6 to 0-5 at half-time.
Kindlon carried on where she left off after the restart with a well worked score to push Monaghan two points clear, but the key score arrived in the 37th minute when Cathriona McConnell goaled for Monaghan. Cork keeper Elaine Harte did well to deny McConnell with her first effort, but after she regained possession, her rebound was deemed to have crossed the line after rattling the underside of the crossbar.
The goal swelled the Monaghan belief and a run of points from the outstanding McConnell pushed them into a 1-12 to 0-6 lead. But it was never going to be easy for Monaghan and when Cleary’s goal was quickly followed by Valerie Mulcahy’s penalty the lead was whittled down to three points. But McConnell stepped forward again and her fourth point of the day sealed Monaghan’s first division 1 title for 13 years.
Monaghan: C McConnell (1-4); N Kindlon (0-4, 1f); C Mohan (0-3); L McEnaney (0-2)
Cork: V Mulcahy (1-1, 1-0pen, 1f); N Cleary (1-2); J Murphy (0-3, 2fs); O Farmer (0-1)
Monaghan: L Martin; G McNally, S Courtney, C Reilly; T McNally, N Fahy, A McAnespie; A Casey, I Kierans; C McAnespie, L McEnaney, C Courtney; C McConnell, N Kindlon, C Mohan.
Subs: E McElroy for Kierans, h-t; E McCarron for McEnaney, 56; L Connolly for Fahy, 58.
Cork: E Harte; A.M. Walsh, D O’Reilly, R Buckley; B Corkery, B Stack, G O’Flynn; J Murphy, N Kelly; A Walsh, C O’Sullivan; G Kearney, N Cleary, R Buckley.
Subs: V Mulcahy for Kearney, 40; L McMahon for A Walsh, 40; D O’Sullivan for Farmer, 45; A Sheehan for AM Walsh, 58.
Referee: Gavin Corrigan (Down)
Cork, who have won six of the last seven All-Ireland titles, are going for a fifth consecutive league win, and Elaine Harte says that the desire for success remains as strong as ever.
“It’s never tough to motivate yourself for a league final,” the goalkeeper says, “especially against a team as good as Monaghan. There has never been much between the sides, including in last year’s All-Ireland.
“It looks like the hunger is still there, training is going well, we’re trying to up the ante now and this will be a great match for us to make sure that we’re still there or thereabouts.”
Based in north Tipperary, Harte faces a journey for every match and training session, but does not find it too taxing.
“It’s not too bad, an hour and 20 minutes or whatever. Geraldine O’Flynn comes from Portlaoise so we meet up and go down together. You wouldn’t call it a struggle.”
Aiming to deny Cork are the Farney County, whose only league loss was to the Rebels, but their captain Sharon Courtney maintains that revenge for that defeat or the All-Ireland is not an issue.
“I don’t think it is,” she says. “Yeah, grand, Cork beat us last year, but we’ve put in work this year and done well and the final is the reward, the focus is all on this year.
“We’re still in the league and you don’t get properly ticking over until the championship, but girls are either playing the same as they are last year or better. We’re definitely not playing well.”
Bord Gáis Energy Division 1 National League Final
4.45pm, Saturday 12th May. Parnell Park
DESPITE scoring 1-8 against Laois in last year’s decider, Cork forward Valerie Mulcahy must be content with a place on the bench for Saturday’s Bord Gáis Energy Division 1 final showdown with Monaghan.
Mulcahy is expected to feature at some point at Parnell Park, however, having come off the bench to score Cork’s third goal in their semi-final victory over Meath.
Cork have made one change in personnel from the team that started against the Royal County, with Annie Walsh replacing Laura McMahon at wing-forward.
Monaghan, appearing in a first Division 1 final since 2001, are unchanged from the team that beat Dublin in their semi-final.
Cork are chasing a seventh Division 1 title in eight seasons and if they win, the All-Ireland champions will become the first team since Kerry (1987-91) to complete five-in-a-row Division 1 crowns.
Monaghan would dearly love to stop them in their tracks in what is a repeat of last year’s TG4 All-Ireland senior final, won by Cork at Croke Park.
Cork’s starting line-up features ten survivors from the team that started last October, with Monaghan going three better.
Cork will start as favourites but can expect stiff opposition from free-scoring Monaghan, who were impressive 2-9 to 0-7 winners against Dublin in the last four.
Monaghan’s starting full-forward line – Catriona McConnell, Niamh Kindlon and Caoimhe Mohan – scored all but one point of that semi-final tally, with McConnell and Mohan bagging 1-3 apiece.
CORK: E Harte; A.M. Walsh, D O’Reilly, R Buckley; B Corkery, B Stack, G O’Flynn; J Murphy, N Kelly; A Walsh, C O’Sullivan; G Kearney, N Cleary, R Buckley.
MONAGHAN: L Martin; G McNally, S Courtney, C Reilly; L McEnaney, N Fahy, A McAnespie; A Casey, I Kierans; T McNally, C Courtney, C McAnespie; C McConnell, N Kindlon, C Mohan.
Meyler quits post as Kerry hurling boss
By Murt Murphy and Daragh Ó Conchúir for the Irish Examiner newspaper
Kerry manager John Meyler sensationally resigned his post after the Christy Ring champions crashed out of the competition with defeat to Kildare in Newbridge on Saturday (2-21 to 1-16). Meyler, in his third spell as Kingdom boss, said he had given the role “100%” but admitted: “What I wanted and what I got is not enough for me.” Kerry struggled to match their 2011 form and were fortunate to maintain their Allianz League Division 2A status after losing their first two games. Saturday’s defeat, in the wake of an away loss to Wicklow, ended their Christy Ring title defence and Meyler’s time at the helm.
Meyler said: “I felt we were flat. That’s our eighth away Christy Ring Cup game in ten that I have been involved in. So it’s too long and too hard and that’s not making excuses. Perhaps the hunger was not there. ”I don’t know. I have to accept responsibility for that and I am doing that. I have given the best part of three years to it and that’s it. I have given it 100% and have no more to give. I have done my time – I can’t get anymore out of them.” He added: “What I want and what I got is not enough for me.”
Meyler felt Kerry needed a new challenge to bring them up another rung on the hurling ladder. He explained: “I was hoping to drive it on but it was not to be. I felt we needed a new impetus. At the end of last year I felt that we should have gone into the Munster Championship. It would have given us a new impetus – it would have given us a lift. I always wanted to play in Munster Championship and win a Munster Championship match and that is no disrespect to anyone.”
An emotional Meyler called for a review of hurling in Kingdom: “The structure is not there and it’s difficult geographically. Clubs are playing in other counties like in Leinster and there is a buzz about. That is not there in Kerry and it bothers me. On the field, Mark Moloney scored 2-3 from midfield for the hosts while Martin Fitzgerald contributed six points just a day after his grandfather’s funeral.
Former Tipperary hurler Johnny Enright also played an influential role when withdrawn to a deeper role in the second-half. Ex-Kilkenny player, Willie O’Dwyer led the Kerry charge with four points from play and Shane Brick was unerring from placed balls, racking up 1-8. But there was no denying Kildare, who will now play Meath in the quarter-final in a repeat of the Allianz Hurling League Division 2B final, which Kildare won.
Scorers for Kildare: M Moloney 2-3; M Fitzgerald 0-6; P Divilly 0-5(3fs); C Kenny 0-2; D Butler, T Murphy, G Keegan, D Harney, J Enright (f) 0-1 each.
Scorers for Kerry: S Brick 1-8(0-7fs, 1-0pe); W O’Dwyer 0-4; M Boyle 0-2(1f); D Dineen, D O’Connell (f) 0-1 each
KILDARE: P Dermody; P Reidy, , F Ó Muineacháin, J Doran; P Curtin, R Hoban, N Ó Muineacháin; M Moloney, D Butler; C Kenny, P Divilly, D Harney; J Enright, T Murphy, M Fitzgerald.
Subs: G Keegan for Harney (65); L Quinn for Fitzgerald (70).
KERRY: B Rochford; J Godley, P Costello, R Horgan; A O’Connor, J Casey, T Murnane; D Dineen, L Boyle; W O’Dwyer, M Boyle, D O’Connell; S Brick, A Boyle, S Nolan.
Subs: J Griffin for Costello (31-35); Griffin for Casey (49); P Boyle for O’Connor (56); J Fitzgerald for Godley (62); J Flaherty for Dineen (62); G O’Brien for Nolan (70).
Referee: T Carroll (Offaly)
Kerry Senior Hurling Team
Senior Team Vs Kildare Christy Ring Cup Second Round,
Newbridge, Saturday 12th of May 2012 @ 2.30pm
1 Bernard Rochford Killeagh, Co Cork
2 James Godley Kilmoyley
3 Paud Costelloe Ballyduff
4 Rory Horgan St Brendans
5 Ally O Connor Ballyduff
6 Liam Boyle, Captain Ballyduff
7 Tom Murnane Kilmoyley
8 Darren Dinneen St Brendans
9 Willie O Dwyer Mullinavat, Kilkenny
10 Michael Boyle Ballyduff
11 Mike Lynch Crotta O’Neills
12 Darragh O Connell Abbeydorney
13 Shane Brick Kilmoyley
14 Aidan Boyle Ballyduff
15 Shane Nolan Crotta O’Neills
16 PJ Gorman Ballyduff
17 John Fitzgerald Causeway
18 James O Connor Abbeydorney
19 Anthony Fealy Causeway
20 Thomas Maloney St Brendans
21 James Flaherty Lixnaw
22 John Griffin Lixnaw
23 Gary O Brien Ballyduff
24 Pa Joe Connolly Ballyduff
25 Jason Casey Ballyheigue
26 Diarmuid Walsh Ballyheigue
27 Darren Wallace St Brendans
28 Eoin Kelly Duagh
29 Padraigh Boyle Ballyduff
30 Colin Harris Ballincollig, Co Cork
Bainisteoir John Meyler
Coach Eddie Murphy
Selector John Hennessey
Selector Christy Walsh
Physiotherapist Paudie Whelan
Logistics Seamus Regan
Statistics Liam Bergin