Mourneabbey 0-16 West Cork 2-10
MOURNEABBEY and West Cork drew in the opening round of the Cork ladies senior football in a thrilling game at Mourneabbey last night.
In the first of their round-robin games, both sides showed they are going to be the leading contenders again this year as Aine Terry O’Sullivan kicked the equalising point in the final minute for West Cork.
These two have enjoyed their fair share of battles in recent years, with both having reached the final for the last two years.
Two years ago it took a replay to separate them but last year a great start ensured Mourneabbey ran out winners.
West Cork will be the more disappointed of the two as they had a number of chances to win, with Libby Coppinger hitting wide late on with the goal at her mercy and Aine Terry missing an injury-time free to win it.
Both sides have seen a number of changes since last season, with Noelle Healy returning to Dublin and Sile O’Callaghan hanging up her boots.
For West Cork Niamh Cotter has transferred to Dublin and a midfielder of that standard would be missed by any side.
Doireann O’Sullivan opened the scoring with Daire Kiely involved as Libby Coppinger got West Cork’s opening goal, with two minutes gone.
Mourneabbey hit back with two from Ciara O’Sullivan to level it, before Coppinger and Kiely pointed to put West Cork ahead, 1-2 to 0-3.
Doireann responded before Mourneabbey had keeper, Meabh O’Sullivan to thank, as she pulled off two point blank saves. The first was from Fiona Keating and that was quickly followed by a second from Rachel Murphy.
This shook the champions into action, with Ellie Jack and Ciara O’Callaghan pointing to help them into a one- point lead.
Two more from Doireann, followed by a point from Ciara Harrington made it 0-9 to 1-2, with 24 minutes gone.
A lucky goal brought West Cork back into it, when Aine Terry O’Sullivan’s shot was going wide, but it deflected off Aisling O’Sullivan into the back of the net.
Jack and Doireann pointed with Coppinger on target for West Cork to see the champions 0-11 to 2-3 in front at half-time.
Ciara increased their lead, before West Cork hit a purple patch to take control.
Coppinger pointed, followed by four in-a-row from Aine Terry, to make it 2-8 to 0-12, with 42 minutes gone.
Coppinger was on target again, before Mourneabbey hit back.
Ellie Jack, Brid O’Sullivan and Doireann all pointed to leve it, with five minutes to go. Then Coppinger missed an open goal that would have won it for her side, before Ciara put Mourneabbey in front for what looked like the winning score.
But Aine Terry kept a cool head to level in it in the last minute to see the spoils shared.
Scorers for Mounreabbey: D O’Sullivan 0-6 (0-1 f), C O’Sullivan 0-4, E Jack 0-3 (0-2 f), C O’Callaghan, C Harrington, B O’Sullivan 0-1 each.
AT O'Sullivan 1-5 (0-3 f), L Coppinger 1-3, D Kiely, R Murphy 0-1 each.
MOURNEABBEY: M O’Sullivan; K Coakley, A O’Sullivan, A Walsh; A Cronin, E Meaney, K O’Brien; N O’Sullivan, B O’Sullivan; C Harrington, C O’Sullivan, E Jack; C O’Callaghan, D O’Sullivan, R O’Sullivan.
Subs: A Ryan for K O’Brien, M O’Callaghan for C Harrington (both ht).
WEST CORK: M O’Brien (Clon); M Coppinger (St Colum’s), S Hayes (Rosscarbery), C O’Sullivan (Beara); E Spillane (Bantry), C O’Shea (Beara), M Duggan (Dohenys); E Murphy (Bantry), S Courtney (Castlehaven); Aine Terry O’Sullivan (Beara), R Murphy (Bantry), L Harte (O’Donovan Rossa); F Keating (Courcey Rovers), L Coppinger (St Colum’s), D Kiely (Valley Rovers).
Subs: E Kiely (Valley Rovers) for M Coppinger, M Barrett (Clon) for L Harte (both ht).
Referee: Justin Murphy, Castletownroche.