Mighty Mourneabbey make it six in a row with goal blast against West Cork

Mighty Mourneabbey make it six in a row with goal blast against West Cork
The Mourneabbey players celebrate after defeating West Cork in the Cork ladies football senior A championship final at CIT. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Mourneabbey 4-9 West Cork 1-9

WHAT an occasion for Mourneabbey on Saturday as they were crowned Cork senior ladies football champions for the sixth year in-a-row.

In incredible achievement for the club and considering the opposition it was all the better. West Cork had 10 Cork players in their starting line-up and on paper looked like they had the players to stop the Mourneabbey side.

But they were blown away by their opponents, particularly in the first-half, where they didn't know what hit them.

They aren't the current All-Ireland club champions for nothing and when you have the likes of the O'Sullivan sisters (Doireann, Ciara, Roisin and Meabh), along with Eimear Meaney, Maire O'Callaghan and Brid O'Sullivan you have plenty of experience and talent to call on. Add in their new signing, Noelle Healy, and it's going to take a very good side to stop them from going all the way again this year.

Mourneabbey's Aisling O'Sullivan on the ball. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Mourneabbey's Aisling O'Sullivan on the ball. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Their attack, led by Doireann, Ciara and Noelle had West Cork in all sorts of bother and at the other end Roisin and Meaney were keeping them at bay.

They got off to the perfect start when Ciara set up Doireann for their first goal, with just two minutes gone.

West Cork hit back with a free from Aine O'Sullivan, with Mourneabbey unlucky not to get a second goal minutes later.

Healy took on the West Cork defence and set up Ciara, but her effort was saved and put behind for a 45.

Doireann added a point from a free, with with 12 minutes gone the signs weren't looking good for West Cork.

This time Doireann turned provider as she set up Healy for their second goal, with the latter involved in the build-up with a superb run that split the West Cork defence.

Eimear Kiely pulled a point back for West Cork, but their opponents responded with their third goal, this time Healy and Doireann combing to put Brid in.

O'Sullivan pulled a point back for West Cork, with Healy pointing at the other end. With 23 minutes gone Doireann got their fourth goal and West Cork were starting to look at damage limitation at this point.

But to their credit they finished the half strongly, with O'Sullivan, Libby Coppinger and Daire Kiely all scoring to make it 0-6 to 4-2 at half-time.

Any hope of a comeback were killed off early in the second-half, with two early frees from Doireann, followed by a point from Laura Fitzgerald. Doireann got her third of the second-half, to make it 4-6 to 0-6, with 35 minutes gone.

It was only after this that West Cork started to play the type of football they are capable of, with O'Sullivan going close for a goal from a free, which was saved superbly by Meabh.

The rebound fell to Niamh Cotter, with her effort blocked by Kathryn Coakley to deny West Cork on the double.

Eimear Kiely and Melissa Duggan pulled points back for West Cork and with 48 minutes gone they were thrown a lifeline.

Duggan was taken down and they were awarded a penalty, with Ciara also receiving a yellow card for the tackle. O'Sullivan made no mistake from the spot, to make it 1-8 to 4-6 and they were now a player up as well.

But Mourneabbey showed all the experience they have, with Doireann getting the next two scores to keep them nine points clear.

O'Sullivan pointed for West Cork, but fittingly Doireann got the last score of the game as they made it six-in-a-row of titles.

Mourneabbey's Síle O'Callaghan breaks from West Cork's Libby Coppinger. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Mourneabbey's Síle O'Callaghan breaks from West Cork's Libby Coppinger. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Scorers for Mourneabbey: D O'Sullivan 2-7 (0-6 f), N Healy 1-1, B O'Sullivan 1-0, L Fitzgerald 0-1.

West Cork: A O'Sullivan 1-4 (1-0 pen, 0-3 f), E Kiely 0-2, L Coppinger, D Kiely, M Duggan 0-1 each.

MOURNEABBEY: M O'Sullivan; A O'Sullivan, E Meaney, S Conroy; K Coakley, R O'Sullivan, A Ryan; M O'Callaghan, N O'Sullivan; C O'Sullivan, B O'Sullivan; S O'Callaghan; E Jack, D O'Sullivan, N Healy.

Subs: L Fitzgerald for N O'Sullivan (h-t), A Cronin for B O'Sullivan (42), E Harrington for S O'Callaghan (51).

WEST CORK: M O'Brien (Clonakilty); S Courtney (Castlehaven), S Hayes (Rosscarbery), C O'Shea (Beara); E Kiely (Valley Rovers), E Spillane (Bantry Blues), C Maguire (Roscarbery); N Cotter (Beara), M Duggan (Dohenys); L O'Mahony (O'Donovan Rossa), C O'Leary (Clonakilty), D Kiely (Valley Rovers); L Coppinger (St Colum's), A O'Sullivan (Beara), F Keating (Courcey Rovers).

Subs: C O'Sullivan (Beara) for S Hayes (22 inj), E Murphy (Bantry Blues) for E Kiely, R Murphy (Bantry Blues) for F Keating (both 42), M O'Regan (Valley Rovers) for D Kiely (60).

Referee: Maurice Mulcahy, Lisgoold.

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