'We're winning games but the league is all about building a stronger squad'

'We're winning games but the league is all about building a stronger squad'
Melissa Duggan of Cork in action against Maria Reilly of Mayo during the Lidl Ladies National Football League at Mallow. Picture: Seb Daly/Sportsfile

CORK ladies footballers continued their good run in the Lidl NFL with a win over Mayo at Mallow on Sunday.

This makes it four out of four for the title holders as they move a step closer to retaining their crown.

This year there are no semi-finals so it is the top two who will automatically qualify, which has helped concentrate the minds a bit more of players and management alike for all counties.

With that in mind Cork have set about their first four games in a determined manner and now have wins over Westmeath, Tipperary, Dublin and Mayo with games against Donegal, Galway and Waterford to come.

A win next weekend away to Donegal would virtually guarantee Cork a place in the final, but manager Ephie Fitzgerald will know their first-half showing against Mayo won’t do next weekend.

However a much-improved second-half performance saw them win by 1-12 to 1-4 in the end, restricting Mayo to just one point after the break.

“We weren’t happy with our first-half performance, but in fairness the girls knew that themselves,” said Fitzgerald.

“Credit to Mayo, they were much better that us in that half, they played some great football and deserved to be in front at half-time.

“But after the break, once we got the goal, I felt we were always going to win.

“The wind was a factor as well and with it in the second-half I felt we controlled the game and put them under far more pressure.

“The win puts us in a good position with three games to go and a win over Donegal should be enough to see us into the final.

“We took the chance to give a few more players game time against Mayo and I thought they did well and it’s all about building a strong squad ahead of the latter stages of the league and the championship.

“For now we will focus on the Donegal game and hopefully keep our run going,” concluded Ephie.

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