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Picture: INPHO/Bryan Keane
Picture: INPHO/Bryan Keane

Rebels keep lifting ladies football trophies because of the underage production line

CORK manager Ephie Fitzgerald was delighted to see his side win their 12th league title and felt they were deserving winners.

A Saoirse Noonan second-half goal and a penalty save from Martina O'Brien were two major moments in the Rebels' victory.

Saoirse Noonan scores a goal. Picture: INPHO/Bryan Keane
Saoirse Noonan scores a goal. Picture: INPHO/Bryan Keane

“It was some battle but we got there and I thought we deserved it. It’s very hard to break down that type of defence.

“But I thought we were comfortable enough for most of the second half and we had another couple of goal chances that we didn’t take. Then they got back into it and the yellow cards obviously had a big impact on the last 10 minutes or so.

“I’m not too sure about the sin-binning rule, but look it’s good to win and it’s a big lift for our younger girls and for Cork in general.

“People thought that when the older crew went there might be a changing of the guard, but all credit to them for their efforts all through the league.

“It’s only the league, but it’s a national title and you are always thrilled to win a title like this.

“Since I have come in only nine of those girls out of the 30 were involved, so it has been a massive turnover of players and that’s testament to the work being done underage in Cork to see that many players coming through.

“It was a real, hard, physical battle, but I thought once we gained our composure we were ok.

“We were snatching at things early on and gave away a bit of possession, but once we settled I was happy with the way we were playing.

Clare O'Shea on the ball. Picture: INPHO/Bryan Keane
Clare O'Shea on the ball. Picture: INPHO/Bryan Keane

“We were a lot better than our league game with them and to be fair to Galway we knew it wasn’t going to be easy. They were going for their first national league title so they weren’t going to go away easily.

“There is very little between the top sides and you can add in the likes of Dublin and Donegal and come the championship you can be guaranteed they will be a lot better than the league.

“But the one thing you can never question about our girls is their character and they showed it again today.

“We can play better, but I thought we controlled the game for most of the second half and deserved the win."