Cork ladies football: Semi-final spots up for grabs at senior and intermediate

Cork ladies football: Semi-final spots up for grabs at senior and intermediate
Kinsale's Orla Finn jumping for the ball with Bride Rovers' Chloe Murphy and Jen Barry. Picture: Denis Boyle

TOMORROW

Senior quarter-finals: Aghada v Kinsale; St Val’s v Éire Óg, both at 7pm.

Intermediate semi-finals: Glanmire v Donoughmore, 12.30pm; Rosscarbery v Clonakilty.

Senior B quarter-final: Bride Rovers v Fermoy, 7pm.

PLACES in the senior semi-finals and intermediate final are at stake tomorrow in the Cork ladies’ football championship.

In the senior competition, Aghada host Kinsale and St Val’s take on Éire Óg in the quarter-finals, with the former then facing West Cork in the semi-final.

The winners of Val’s and Éire Óg will be up against the defending champions, Mourneabbey, in their semi-final.

In the intermediate competition, Glanmire host Donoughmore in one semi-final and Rosscarbery are at home to Clonakilty in the other.

Hot favourites to reach the final are the champions and West Cork, but you can bet the winners of the two quarter-finals will give both a run for their money.

Aghada have been outstanding and showed they are a serious threat with a 5-10 to 1-10 victory over Fermoy, followed by a 2-14 to 2-11 win over Inch Rovers.

Neither of these sides are easy to beat, so anyone who would have taken the threat of Aghada lightly (there wouldn’t have been many) would have started to take notice after those wins.

With home advantage, they will fancy their chances against Kinsale, especially with players like Hannah Looney and Emma Farmer.

Looney is one of the stars of both Cork ladies’ football and camogie sides, but despite her busy schedule, she has always given it everything when she puts on the Aghada jersey.

No surprise there, as she is a whole-hearted player and is so skilful and versatile you could confidently play her anywhere and know she will be outstanding.

But Aghada are far from a one-player team and Emma Farmer is another that Kinsale will have to watch carefully.

Farmer has been in scintillating form and in their two outings has amassed 3-12.

The former Cork star would be a welcome addition back to the inter-county side, but she has opted not to play at that level for the last number of years.

Add in Rachel Leahy and Kinsale are going to have to be at their best to win.

Kinsale will look to Orla Finn to lead their attack and, like Looney, she is one of the stars of the Cork team. Her accuracy from frees will have to be watched and give Finn half a chance and she will score.

Others they will look to include Cork senior squad members, Sadhbh O’Leary and Caoimhe O’Callaghan, a threat that Aghada will be well aware of.

A difficult game to call, and it could go either way, but home advantage could be a telling factor, as Aghada should progress to take on West Cork in the semi-final.

Even though they lost out to Mourneabbey and West Cork in the group stages, Éire Óg are going to take some stopping tomorrow.

They were unlucky to be drawn in the same group as the top two and had they been in another one, they would have been in a better position than this.

In their first outing, they gave Mourneabbey a run for their money and it was only late-on that the defending champions pulled away to win. The same could be said of their clash with West Cork.

They were very competitive for a long time, but then faded in the second-half. This will be something they will have looked at and expect them to finish stronger tomorrow and take the game to St Val’s.

In Laura and Emma Cleary, they have two of the top young forwards in the county and you can add Orlaith Cahalane and Ruth Murphy to that mix, as well.

Defensively, they will probably be anchored by Meabh Cahalane, Breda Feeney, and Aisling O’Connell. Behind them is Cork ’keeper, Lisa Crowley.

They, like Val’s, have been close in recent years, with both losing out at semi-final stage last year and, no doubt, both would love another crack off it.

St Val’s will look to the likes of Ciara McCarthy, Laura Buttimer, and Aoife Barry-Murphy for the winning scores, but Éire Óg might just be that bit too strong this time out.

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