Cork 7-9 Cavan 2-6
A SUPERB performance from Cork secured their spot in the TG4 All-Ireland ladies football championship semi-final after their win over Cavan at Birr.
Having beaten Kerry the previous week Cork knew what they had to do and from the start they showed the determination needed to advance and were helped with a goal tally of seven as they were far too strong for their opponents.
From the start, Cork were the better side with the likes of Áine O'Sullivan and Saoirse Noonan in top form up front and defensively Roisín Phelan was rock solid as always.
Cork knew a win would secure their semi-final spot against Galway, a game that will take place on Sunday, December 6.
Inside 30 seconds Orla Finn had Cork in front with Áine O'Sullivan doubling their lead from the restart.
Cavan were awarded a penalty three minutes in when Geraldine Sheridan was fouled by Eimear Meaney, with Lauran McVeety giving Martina O'Brien no chance of saving.
Two minutes later and Cork were back in front when Áine O'Sullivan's shot was parried by the Cavan keeper and as Doireann O'Sullivan looked to pick up the rebound she was fouled and Cork were awarded a penalty.
Dual star, ladies football and soccer, Saoirse Noonan slotted home to make it 1-2 to 1-0.
Áine O'Sullivan was impressing early on for Cork and she got their second goal and with 10 minutes played she hit the back of the net again as the Rebels were dominating all over the pitch.
Aisling Gilsenan pulled a point back for Cavan with Doireann O'Sullivan responding to see Cork lead 3-3 to 1-1 at the water break.
After the break, Cavan were the better side and gained possession from the restart and a defensive mix-up let Geraldkne Sheridan in for their second goal.
Both sides missed a number of chances before Aisling Sheridan set up Gilsenan for a point for Cavan, with 24 minutes gone.
The only other score of the first-half came in the last minute when Finn pointed from a free as Cork led 3-4 to 2-2 at half-time.
Noonan increased Cork's lead, with Gilsenan replying from a free for Cavan. Doireann O'Sullivan increased Cork's lead, before two goals in two minutes put the game beyond doubt.
The first was an absolute rocket from Noonan from 20 yards out to the top corner which Cavan keeper, Elaine Walsh, hardly saw before it was in the back of the net. Two minutes later and Finn mis-hit a free but Walsh misjudged the flight of the ball and it dropped into the back of the net, to make it 5-6 to 2-3, with 40 minutes gone.
Donna English and Finn exchanged points before the water break to make it 5-7 to 2-4.
A superb Cork move, involving Ciara and Doireann O'Sullivan set up Áine O'Sullivan for her third and Cork's sixth goal, with Noonan adding a point from the restart.
Sub Sadhbh O'Leary got Cork's seventh goal with her first touch after coming on and with 54 minutes gone Doireann O'Sullivan made it 7-9 to 2-4.
Ciara Finnegan pulled a point back for Cavan and Gilsenan got the last score of the game but there were no more than consolation scores as Cork march on.
Scorers for Cork: Á O'Sullivan 3-1, S Noonan 2-2, O Finn 1-3 (1-2f), D O'Sullivan 0-3, S O'Leary 1-0.
Cavan: A Gilsenan 0-4 (0-2 f), L McVeety 1-0 pen, G Sheridan 1-0, D English, C Finnegan 0-1 each.
CORK: M O’Brien; A Hutchings, R Phelan, E Meaney; E O'Shea, M Duggan, M Cahalane; M O’Callaghan, H Looney; E Kiely, C O’Sullivan, O Finn; Á O’Sullivan, D O’Sullivan, S Noonan.
Subs: C O'Shea for A Hutchings, S Kelly for M Cahalane (both ht), B O'Sullivan for E Kiely, D Kiely for H Looney (both 45), S O'Leary for C O'Sullivan (52).
CAVAN: E Walsh; H Fitzsimons, J Moore, H Smith; M Sheridan, S Lynch, E Halton; N Keeneghan, C Dolan; L McVeety, D English, A Kiernan; G Sheridan, A Sheridan, A Gilsenan.
Subs: C Finnegan for H Smith (38), D McCaffrey for A Kiernan (45), M Smith for H Fitzsimons (46), T O'Reilly for N Keeneghan (49), E Corcoran for M Sheridan (55).
Referee: Seamus Mulvihill, Kerry.