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TG4 All-Ireland Ladies Football Senior Championship Quarter Final – Cork 1-15 Mayo 0-9
Cork defeated Mayo by 1-15 to 0-9 in the TG4 All-Ireland Ladies Football Senior Championship Quarter Final on Saturday August 16th at O’Connor Park Tullamore.
TG4 All-Ireland Ladies SFC quarter-final
Cork 1-15 Mayo 0-9
By Jackie Cahill at O’Connor Park, Tullamore
EAMONN Ryan’s champions Cork have waltzed into the semi-finals of the TG4 All-Ireland Ladies senior football championship with a comfortable nine-point victory over Mayo in this evening’s quarter-final in Tullamore. The Rebelettes finished with a flourish to book their place in the last four once again and with hopes of a ninth All-Ireland crown in ten seasons still very much in their sights.
Eimear Scally came off the bench to palm home Cork’s only goal of the game eight minutes from time and Mayo finished the game with 14 players when midfielder Claire Egan was sin-binned. Cork never hit the high notes but still had more than enough class and experience to take care of Mayo.
The Westerners stuttered past Westmeath by just a single point last weekend and Cork were simply a bridge too far. Mayo were just a point behind early in the second half when leading scorer Cora Staunton kicked two early scores in the second half but that was the cue for Cork to open up with four points without reply, three of them from prolific inside forward Valerie Mulcahy.
Player of the match Rena Buckley was also on target for the Leesiders and while Mayo responded with two further points, to cut the deficit back to three, Cork stepped on the gas once again to get the job done. At the end of a disappointing first half, Cork led by 0-7 to 0-4, having battled into the wind in the first half.
The match-up between these two heavyweights developed into a real war of attrition and it was Cork who coped best as rain began to sheet across the pitch before half-time. Cork seemed intent on scoring a first half goal but Mayo, to their credit, defended in numbers.
Goalkeeper Yvonne Byrne’s kickouts provided some difficulty for her teammates but after one loose delivery, Cork failed to capitalise in the fourth minute as Helena Lohan managed to scramble Grace Kearney’s effort off the line. Mulcahy had kicked the opening score of the game and by half-time, the Rockbán star had four points to her credit, including two frees.
At the other end, it was star forward Staunton, locked in a battle royale with Angela Walsh, who was causing Cork most problems. Staunton scored three first half points from play, including one sensational effort off the outside of her right boot. That score tied the game at 0-4 apiece but Cork finished the first half well, as Walsh stormed forward to fist a superb 23rd minute point, before Mulcahy converted two close-range frees.
Scorers for Cork: V Mulcahy 0-7 (5f), E Scally 1-0, O Farmer 0-2, Angela Walsh, G O’Flynn (f), R Buckley, C O’Sullivan, E Farmer & N Cleary 0-1 each.
Scorers for Mayo: C Staunton 0-7 (3f), G Kelly 0-2.
CORK: M O’Brien; R Phelan, Angela Walsh, B Stack; V Foley, D O’Reilly, G O’Flynn; R Buckley, B Corkery; Annie Walsh, C O’Sullivan, O Farmer; V Mulcahy, G Kearney, E Farmer.
Subs: O Finn for E Farmer (40), A Barrett for Foley (44), E Scally for Kearney (48), N Cleary for Mulcahy (52), A.M. Walsh for O Farmer (54).
MAYO: Y Byrne; M Corbett, H Lohan, A Bell; C Connelly, S Tierney, M Carter; C Egan, K Sullivan; G Kelly, F McHale, N Kelly; P Coyle, C Staunton, S Rowe.
Subs: F Doherty for N Kelly (26), A Herbert for Coyle (38), A Touhy for F Doherty (49), D Doherty for G Kelly (50).
Referee: G Corrigan (Down).
Cork v Mayo
O’Connor Park, Tullamore, 18:00 (G. Corrigan)
Saturday marks the anxiously awaited return to action for the defending champions and current TESCO Homegrown National Football League Champions, Cork who haven’t been seen since easily defeating Kerry in the Munster Final. Cork won’t need any warnings about how dangerous this stage of the championship can be having struggled against Armagh and Dublin last year. There is an abundance of talent in this squad that gives this Cork team the looks of an even stronger outfit than in previous years. However, it will be the usual suspects that you will look to on the Cork 15. Brid Stack and Angela Walsh have both been in fine form as is current Player’s Player of the Year, Geraldine O’Flynn alongside Deirdre O’Reilly. Rena Buckley and Briege Corkery will contest the midfield battle with Annie Walsh and Ciara O’Sullivan operating in the half forward line, Cork will again look to Valerie Mulcahy for the majority of their scores but watch out for rising stars Emma Farmer and Emer Scally being introduced.
Mayo lost to Galway in Connacht for the third time in a row and followed that up with a real struggle to overcome Westmeath in the last round. They have yet to hit the heights expected of them but there is no better motivation than seeing the Rebellettes at the opposite end of the pitch. Midfield will be hugely important in this match and in Claire Egan and Fiona McHale the Connacht side have a duo well capable of winning that dual. Sarah Rowe returned from international soccer duty to be player of the match for Mayo in the last round and she will need to be at her best again to take the pressure of the great Cora Staunton in the full forward position. Cora scored 2-06 out of 3-08 against Westmeath, there can be no doubt where the threat to Cork will come from.