Cork 1-12 Mayo 1-4
A MUCH improved second-half saw Cork made it four wins out of four in the Lidl Ladies NFL at Mallow.
Cork had six changes from the side named during the week, but it mattered little as they went back top of the table and are on course to reach the final as they bid to retain their title.
It was their second-half showing that saw them emerge as winners, with the likes of Orla Finn, Melissa Duggan and Bríd O'Sullivan leading by example. The key score came six minutes into the second-half when Libby Coppinger's goal put them in front and they never looked back from there.
Despite playing against the slight wind Cork got off to the better start with Orla opening the scoring in the second minute and she doubled Cork's advantage, from a free, with seven minutes played.
But from the re-start Mayo took the lead when a sweeping move up the field, saw Mary McHale in particular, take on the Cork defence before setting up Lisa Cafferky for a goal.
Aine O'Sullivan had Cork back on level terms, but at this stage Mayo were dominating and McHale had them team in front, with 17 minutes gone, with a great long distance point.
Finn had the sides level again, but with 23 minutes gone a blow for Mayo when Roisin Durkin had to go off with a leg injury.
Credit to them they didn't let it bother them, with Lisa Cafferky putting them back in front, 1-2 to 0-4.
Cork were unlucky not to get a goal of their own when Melissa Duggan made a great run but Mayo keeper, Aishling Tarpey, got a touch to her shot to see it go out for a 45.
Sinead Cafferky got the last score of the half to increase Mayo's lead, but there was still time for some drama.
First Aine O'Sullivan was sent to the sin bin for Cork and she was soon followed by Maria Reilly for Mayo as both sides finished the half with 14 players.
Some harsh words in the Cork dressing-room at half-time saw a much improved performance from them after the break and now playing with the slight wind they started to dominate.
They visibly upped their game and four minutes in Aisling Hutchings had the Mayo lead down to one. With 36 minutes gone Cork were in front when a brilliant one-two between Libby Coppinger and Sadhbh O'Leary, saw the former find the back of the net, to make it 1-5 to 1-3.
Finn added two from frees, before Lisa Cafferky pointed from a free for Mayo, their only score of the half.
Cork continued to dominate, with Saoirse Noonan increasing their lead and two more frees from Finn had them 1-10 to 1-4 up, with four minutes left to play.
Two late scores from Aine O'Sullivan rounded off the scoring as Cork ran out deserving winners and move back to the top of the table.
Scorers for Cork: O Finn 0-7 (0-5 f), L Coppinger 1-0, A O'Sullivan 0-3, A Hutchings, S Noonan 0-1 each.
Mayo: L Cafferky 1-2 (0-1 f), M McHale, S Cafferky (f) 0-1 each.
CORK:L Crowley; M Ambrose, S Kelly, A Kelleher; L O’Mahony, M Duggan, A Hutchings; M O’Callaghan, A O'Sullivan; O Farmer, B O’Sullivan, C McCarthy; L Coppinger, K Quirke, O Finn.
Subs: S O'Leary for C McCarthy (ht), S Noonan for K Quirke (39m), L Cleary for O Farmer (42m), A O'Mahony for B O'Sullivan (52m).
MAYO:A Tarpey; N O’Malley, N Moran, S Lally; É Ronayne, Ciara McManamon, Clodagh McManamon; R Durkin, S Cafferky; M Cannon, L Cafferky, M Reilly; E Brennan, N Gaughan, M McHale.
Subs: N Casey for R Durkin, (23m inj), A Halligan for N Casey (39m), S Golden for M Cannon (43m), G O'Neill for N Gaughan (46m), L Reid for E Brennan (51m), J Cawley for M McHale (52m), N Ansbro for C McManamon (58m), N Casey for S Lally (59m).
Referee: Jonathan Murphy, Carlow.