Mourneabbey 11-12 Éire Óg 0-5
RUTHLESS and relentless probably best sum up Mourneabbey's display in the Cork ladies senior football championship semi-final at Whitechurch on Saturday.
The defending champions were outstanding from start to finish as they made short shift of quality opponents.
Yes, the difference in the scoreline is massive but Éire Óg are far from a bad side and have plenty of quality players in the likes of Meabh Cahalane and Emma Cleary and in truth, there wasn't a lot their keeper, Lisa Crowley, could have done about the goals.
However, this was the first time that Mourneabbey manager, Shane Ronayne, had a full squad to pick from this season and the returning players showed they are hungry for more success.
Laura Fitzgerald was one returning and to hit 5-3 on your comeback shows how vital a player she is for them. Add in Doireann O'Sullivan and Maire O'Callaghan, all recovered from injuries, and they have shown they are going to take some stopping again this year.
By half-time this game was well and truly over as a contest as they led by 6-3 to 0-2, having played against the strong wind.
Cahalane opened the scoring for Éire Óg with Doireann equalising. But three goals in five minutes put the champions in control. Fitzgerald got the first, with Ciara O'Sullivan and Brid O'Sullivan adding the others, to make it 3-1 to 0-1 after 13 minutes.
A great ball from Doireann set up Fitzgerald for her second goal before Cleary got Éire Óg's second point.
A foul on Ellie Jack saw Fitzgerald get Mourneabbey's fifth goal from a penalty before she added their sixth as they led 6-3 to 0-2 at half-time.
Cleary pulled a point back at the start of the second half, but with the wind, Mourneabbey continued to dominate.
Points from Doireann and Jack increased their lead, before the former got their seventh goal, to make it 7-5 to 0-3 with 35 minutes played.
Fitzgerald added a point before Ciara O'Sullivan slotted home their eighth goal.
Fitzgerald pointed again before Doireann got her second, and Mourneabbey's ninth goal as they kept piling forward in search of scores.
Brid and Doireann O'Sullivan combined to set up Jack for their tenth goal and from the restart, Fitzgerald got their eleventh.
Ruth Murphy pointed for Éire Óg but Mourneabbey were in no mood for slowing down. Bríd O'Sullivan, Fitzgerald and Jack all pointed before Cleary got Éire Óg's last score of the game. Jack scored again as the champions move on to the final where they will face West Cork in a repeat of last year's decider.
Scorers for Mourneabbey: L Fitzgerald 5-3 (1-0 pen, 0-1 f), D O'Sullivan 2-3 (0-1 f), C O'Sullivan 2-0, E Jack 1-4 (2f), B O'Sullivan 1-1, R O'Sullivan 0-1.
Éire Óg: E Cleary 0-3 (0-2 f), M Cahalane, R Murphy 0-1 each.
MOURNEABBEY: M O'Sullivan; A O'Sullivan, E Meaney, A Walsh; E Coakley, K Coakley, A Ryan; M O'Callaghan, R O'Sullivan; C O'Sullivan, E Jack, N O'Sullivan; B O'Sullivan, D O'Sullivan, L Fitzgerald.
Subs: A Cronin for K Coakley, K O'Brien for E Coakley (both 37), C O'Callaghan for D O'Sullivan, C Harrington for R O'Sullivan, S Conroy for A O'Sullivan (all 47).
ÉIRE ÓG: L Crowley; Aobha Hickey, A O'Connell, Alannah Hickey; A Nic A Bhaird, M Cahalane, S McGoldrick; I Sheehan, B Feeney; E Crowley, L Cleary, C O'Connor; O Cahalane, E Cleary, S Cronin.
Subs: R Sheehan for S McGoldrick, R Murphy for Aobha Hickey (both h-t), G O'Shea for A Nic A Bhaird, A Cronin for O Cahalane, B Wiseman for Alannah Hickey (all 55).
Referee: Peter O'Leary, Inch Rovers.