Flashback: Cork ladies footballers battled back to lift the 2010 league
Cork 2-10 Galway 1-9
RHONA Ní Bhuachalla came off the bench to score 1-1 as Cork clinched a third successive Bord Gáis Energy Ladies NFL Division 1 crown at Parnell Park in 2010.
It was the Leesiders’ fifth league title in the last six seasons and their thoughts immediately turned to beginning another All-Ireland campaign, chasing six-in-a-row.
Yet, on the evidence supplied in a free-ridden contest, Galway would have a major say in the championship because with 14 minutes left on the clock, they led by 1-6 to 1-5. That was before Buckley, who had only been on the pitch a matter of minutes, blasted home the decisive goal, which turned the tie Cork’s way.
And Cork’s greater experience and ability to close out tight games again came to the fore as Eamon Ryan’s charges secured more silverware.
Referee Kevin Tighe from Dublin didn’t endear himself to either camp by blowing for over 60 frees in a stop-start game, which wasn’t easy on the eye at times.
Cork led by 1-4 to 1-3 at half-time though it needed heroic defending by Deirdre O’Reilly to deny Sinead Burke with a magnificent block in stoppage time to keep them in front.
Midway through the opening half, top scorer Valerie Mulcahy scored a superb goal after playing a neat one-two with Nollaig Cleary.
Galway, however, weren’t going away and with 26 minutes on the clock, the Connacht champions were right back in contention.
Edel Concannon’s long-range effort drifted over the head of former All-Star keeper Elaine Harte in a rare misjudgement.
She made amends, though, with a good save from Mairead Coyne, but Galway had momentum and restored parity at 1-5 apiece following the introduction of All-Star Una Carroll, who was struggling with injury.
Dogged Galway then moved into a hard-fought lead but Cork hit back in style, when Ní Bhuachalla grabbed the final goal.
Cork boss, Ryan, admitted his side didn’t play well when discussing the game afterwards. “Deirdre’s block before half-time was an important moment. I wasn’t too happy with our attacking play but Galway deserve credit.
“Rhona’s goal was crucial. She was injured recently, but scored a great goal, when she came on.
“I’m satisfied because it’s difficult to win these games,” he said.
Despite finishing on the losing side, Galway corner-back Catriona Cormican was the deserving winner of the player-of-the match award, even sweeping forward to land one of their nine points.
“When we went a point up midway through the second-half, I thought we had them.
“But, that’s why Cork have won the last five All-Irelands, they just never give up. Maybe our lack of experience showed at the end,” she commented.
In other finals, Donegal took the Division 2 title by overcoming Kildare by 5-15 to 2-14 while Waterford’s attempts to lift the Division 3 title came up short against Cavan, who won by 4-13 to 1-10.
Scorers for Cork: V Mulcahy 1-6 (0-2 f), R Ní Bhuachalla 1-1, J Murphy (f), G O’Flynn and M O’Connor 0-1 each.
Scorers for Galway: N Duggan 0-4 (0-2 f), E Concannon 1-0, A Daly, D Gorman, U Carroll, L Joyce and C Cormican 0-1 each
CORK: E Harte; Rena Buckley (c), A Walsh, L Barrett; D O’Reilly, B Stack, G O’Flynn; J Murphy, N Kelly; N Cleary, C O’Sullivan, AM Walsh; M O’Connor, V Mulcahy, M Kelly.
Subs: O Farmer for AM Walsh, Rhona Ní Bhuachalla for C O’Sullivan and C Creedon for M Kelly.
GALWAY: J Connolly; S Noone, A Gilmore, C Cormican; R McPhilbin, E Flaherty (c), G Connolly; D Lawless, A Daly; L Joyce, E Concannon, S Burke; S Murphy, M Coyne, N Duggan.
Referee: K Tighe (Dublin)