Cork U14 ladies footballers pick up Rebel Óg award for All-Ireland victory

Cork U14 ladies footballers pick up Rebel Óg award for All-Ireland victory
All-Ireland champs Jane Devlin, Jane Savage, Lia Heffernan, Grace Cooney, Ali O'Keeffe, Nora Falvey, Caoimhe McEvoy and Sophie Collins. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

THE Cork Ladies U14 football team are the July winners of the Rebel Óg Monthly awards, sponsored by the Clayton Hotel Silver Springs and Cummins Sports, (award sponsors), in association with The Echo and RedFM, (media partners).

They started their Munster Campaign In February at the University of Limerick campus. On the day Cork played four matches in a blitz format of 40 minutes apiece, winning three games against Clare, Waterford, Limerick and drawing with Tipperary.

The second round was again run on a blitz format. This time Cork were the hosts at the Mallow GAA complex.

On this occasion, Cork played five games of 30 minutes in duration and won all five quite convincingly against Limerick, Waterford, Tipperary, Clare and Kerry.

After that day’s activities Cork had qualified for the Munster U14 A final against old rivals Kerry.

Played in poor weather conditions, Cork overcame Kerry and were crowned Munster Champions ending a five-year wait to win the title.

Cork moved on to the first round of the All-Ireland series. This year saw a new format where multiple games would be played over two fast blitz formats of 30 minutes per game. Cork were drawn in a group comprising of Carlow, Armagh and Fermanagh.

Cork won all games quite well and topped their group thus qualifying for the second stage against three other group winners - namely Galway, Kildare and Antrim.

Once again on the day Cork played all three teams and beat all three, moving on to play Sligo in the quarter-final. All games from this stage on reverted to the normal 60-minute matches, but unlimited subs were allowed. In the end they ran out convincing winners 7-9 to 3-11.

They marched onto the semi-final against Kildare and a huge test was anticipated against a very strong Kildare team, but the girls played their best football to date and always looked likely winners, winning 5-14 to 3-5.

Onwards Cork marched to the final against Galway who were looking for revenge having lost earlier in the year. However, Cork simply were unstoppable on the day leading 1-06 to 0-1 after nine minutes and they never looked back.

With the scoreline as it was the management team were in a position to empty the bench and all 30 players played in the winning All-Ireland final, a first in ladies football. The final scoreline showed Cork’s total dominance on the day Cork 7-15 Galway 2-04. The performance crowned a great year’s work put in by the players and huge commitment by their families.

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