Cork laid down a significant marker in league semi against archrivals Dublin

Cork laid down a significant marker in league semi against archrivals Dublin
Clare O'Shea of Cork in action against Siobhán Killeen and Niamh McEvoy of Dublin. Picture: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

TRYING to put Cork’s win over Dublin in the Lidl Division 1 ladies NFL semi-final at Nowlan Park into words wasn’t easy for either Cork captain on the day, Maire O’Callaghan or manager, Ephie Fitzgerald.

In an epic encounter on Easter Sunday it took extra-time to separate the sides, with Dublin scoring late on to take it to extra-time.

But the Rebels were deserving winners as they dethroned the league champions by 1-18 to 2-14 and now face Galway in the final in two weeks time.

“We’re very happy with that result, it was really tight and a bad day to go to extra-time when the sun was beating down on us,” said Maire.

“We were tired obviously going into extra-time, but we were still confident in our own ability and we felt we had more in the tank. I know we didn’t start well, but we had faith in ourselves and thankfully we came out on top. We will enjoy this win but then we will have to get back down to training for the final.

“Galway had a comprehensive win over Donegal and they are going to be tough to beat and we know what they are capable of as they beat us in the league already this season,” concluded Maire.

Maire O'Callaghan surges forward. Picture: Pat Moore
Maire O'Callaghan surges forward. Picture: Pat Moore

“That was some spectacle, we came up today looking to see how our younger girls would react in a cauldron like this up against what has been the best team in the country for the last couple of years and I am so proud of them,” said Ephie.

Dublin's Aoife Kane and Eimear Kiely of Cork. Picture: INPHO/Bryan Keane
Dublin's Aoife Kane and Eimear Kiely of Cork. Picture: INPHO/Bryan Keane

“We didn’t play particularly well in the first half, we were a little bit nervous and a bit sluggish. We have been training very hard, but I thought our performance in the second-half alone merited the win.

“We went three points up and then maybe that little bit of inexperience showed as we kicked a few ball short and let them back into it.

“Extra-time we didn’t start particularly well either, they got the first couple of points and normally in a 20-minute game that can be decisive. But again we battled away and we kept probing and in the finish we got our just rewards.

“The girls can enjoy that win over a seriously talented Dublin side, but we will turn our attention to Galway in the final and hopefully can put in another big performance there,” concluded Ephie.

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