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2023 Munster Ladies Football Championship Final – Cork 5-14 Kerry 2-17
Cork defeated Kerry by 5-14 to 2-17 in the Munster Ladies Football Championship Final on Sunday May 28th at Mallow.
TG4 MUNSTER SENIOR CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL
Cork 5-14 Kerry 2-17
Report By Anthony Newman
A four goal first half blitz saw Cork retain their TG4 Munster Senior Championship title at Mallow.
Two green flags from Libby Coppinger, along with efforts from Kaire Quirke and Ciara O’Sullivan, saw Cork in a commanding lead at half time and they needed it all after a brilliant fightback by Kerry in in the second half.
The Kingdom will also rue two missed penalties in the second half which cost them dearly in the end.
Doireann O’Sullivan opened the scoring for Cork in the first minute and she added a second from a free a minute later.
Kerry had the chance to take the lead when Louise Ní Mhuircheartaigh played a superb ball to Hannah O’Donoghue but Meabh O’Sullivan saved superbly to deny her a goal.
Eimear Kiely increased Cork’s lead before they got the first goal of the final. Orlaith Cahalane played in Coppinger to give Ciara Butler no chance of saving. O’Sullivan raised another white flag, before Anna Galvin got Kerry off the mark, to make it 1-4 to 0-1 after seven minutes.
O’Sullivan added another from a free before Cork got their second goal. Cahalane and O’Sullivan were involved again for Coppinger to make it 2-5 to 0-1.
Aishling O’Connell got Kerry’s second point and Niamh Ní Chonchúir added another for them as they started to settle and come more into the game.
Ciara O’Sullivan and Lorraine Scanlon exchanged points to make it 2-6 to 0-4 after 20 minutes. Some last ditch defending by Kerry denied Cork another goal, before Cahalane raised a white flag to extend her side’s lead.
Ní Mhuircheartaigh scored from before Cork scored their third goal of the first half. Katie Quirke picked up the ball and found Ciara O’Sullivan to find the back of the net to see Cork lead 3-8 to 0-6.
Ní Mhuircheartaigh and Doireann O’Sullivan both raised white flags, but Cork weren’t letting up and just before half-time Quirke got their fourth goal to see the Rebels lead by 4-10 to 0-7 at the break.
Ní Mhuircheartaigh opened the scoring on the re-start before Kerry were awarded a penalty for a tackle on Anna Galvin. But Ní Mhuircheartaigh put it wide, having sent the keeper the wrong way.
Credit to Ní Mhuircheartaigh she didn’t let it upset her as she slotted over the next two points as the Kingdom were now dominating.
They got the goal they deserved in the 39th minute when O’Donoghue scored to make it 1-11 to 4-10.
Cork got a much-needed score when a long ball in was caught by Cahalane and she raised her side’s fifth green flag to increase their lead to 5-10 to 1-13.
With 51 minutes gone Kerry were awarded another penalty, for a tackle on O’Leary but O’Sullivan denied Ní Mhuircheartaigh with a superb save.
Fiadhna Tagney got a late goal for Kerry but by then the game was beyond them as Cork ran out deserving winners by 5-14 to 2-16.
Scorers – Cork: D O’Sullivan 0-11 (6f), L Coppinger 2-0, O Cahalane, C O’Sullivan 1-1 each, K Quirke 1-0, E Kiely 0-1.
Kerry: L Ní Mhuircheartaigh 0-6 (4f), H O’Donoghue 1-2, F Tangney 1-0, D O’Leary 0-3, A O’Connell 0-2, A Galvin, L Scanlon, N Ní Chonchúir, L Galvin 0-1 each.
CORK: M O’Sullivan; A Ryan, E Meaney, R Phelan; M Duggan, S Kelly, S Leahy; A Healy, H Looney; L Coppinger, D O’Sullivan, E Kiely; O Cahalane, K Quirke, C O’Sullivan.
Subs: L O’Mahony for S Leahy, E Cleary for A Ryan (both 48), L Fitzgerald for L Coppinger (54), D Kiely for O Cahalane (56), D Kiniry for R Phelan (59).
KERRY: C Butler; E Lynch, K Cronin, A Dillane; A O’Connell, E Costello, C Murphy; L Scanlon, C Lynch; N Carmody, N Ní Chonchúir, A Galvin; H O’Donoghue, D O’Leary, L Ní Mhuircheartaigh.
Subs: L Galvin for A Dillane (20), A Harrington for N Carmody (48), S O’Shea for N Ní Mhuircheartaigh (54), N Broderick for A O’Connell (57).
Referee: Shane Curley (Galway).
TG4 Senior (A) Final
Cork v Kerry; Mallow, 3.30pm
Cork are the reigning TG4 Munster Senior A champions – as Kerry aim for a first provincial title at this level since 2017.
The sides have already met twice this season in competitive fare – with Cork winning in Division 1 of the Lidl National League, before the Rebels came from behind to snatch a 2-14 to 2-14 draw in the round-robin stages of the Munster Championship.
Indeed, Cork were the only county to inflict a defeat on champions Kerry in the Lidl National League – and they’re unbeaten in those two outings against the Kingdom.
Both counties will fancy their chances of making real progress in the TG4 All-Ireland Senior Championship – and the nature of the rivalry between them will ensure that there’s no backward step taken in Mallow.
There’s the chance to strike a real psychological blow and Cork have opted for an unchanged team after getting past Waterford to book their place in the Final.
Kerry worked hard for victory over Tipperary to secure their Final place – and joint-managers Declan Quill and Darragh Long have made three changes in personnel.
Eilís Lynch, Aoife Dillane and Aishling O’Connell return to the starting line-up, with Ciara O’Brien, Mary O’Connell and Louise Galvin dropping out.
Cork, managed by Shane Ronayne, won last year’s Munster Final by 2-11 to 1-9 against Kerry in Killarney.
Cork: M O’Sullivan; A Ryan, E Meaney, R Phelan; M Duggan, S Kelly, S Leahy; A Healy, H Looney; L Coppinger, D O’Sullivan, E Kiely; O Cahalane, K Quirke, C O’Sullivan.
Kerry: C Butler; E Lynch, K Cronin, A Dillane; A O’Connell, E Costello, C Murphy; L Scanlon, C Lynch; N Carmody, N Ní Chonchúir, A Galvin; H O’Donoghue, D O’Leary, L Ní Mhuircheartaigh.