Ruthless Rebels rip the Déise apart to lay down an early marker

Ruthless Rebels rip the Déise apart to lay down an early marker
Niamh Cotter hits the net. Picture: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Cork 3-22 Waterford 0-7

CORK started their Munster Senior Ladies Football Championship with a win as they comfortably defeated Waterford 3-22 to 0-7 at CIT on Sunday evening.

A win against Kerry next weekend will ensure the reigning Munster Champions will again progress to the final where they would again meet Waterford in a couple of weeks time.

Cork absolutely flew out of the traps and they were rewarded for their positive start inside three minutes when Daire Kiely grabbed an early goal.

Maire O’Callaghan’s clever hand pass inside sent Kiely through one on one with the keeper and she made no mistake, coolly slotting the ball into the far bottom right corner.

And just a couple of moments later, the Rebellettes doubled their lead as they raised another green flag following a sensational attacking move.

Neat play in the build up involving Orla Finn and Ciara O’Sullivan created the opportunity for Marie O’Callaghan and the midfielder drilled her shot past the keeper from close range.

O’Sullivan scored her and her side’s first point of the match in the sixth minute before four quick scores - three of which were from frees- by Orla Finn saw the home side lead by 2-5 to no score midway through the first half.

It almost got even better for the Red and Whites as Libby Coppinger was sent bearing down on the target but the full forward fired her effort wide much to the relief of Waterford.

The visitors, who recently claimed the Lidl National League Division two title, finally opened their account with 16 minutes on the clock thanks to an excellently converted free kick from Maria Delahunty against the wind.

Aishling Hutchings holds off Eimear Fennell of Waterford. Picture: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Aishling Hutchings holds off Eimear Fennell of Waterford. Picture: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

It was signal the start of a period of play where the two sides would swap scores with Delahunty and Eimear Farrell adding points for the Déise in between scores from Coppinger, Finn and O’Sullivan to leave the scoreboard reading 2-9 to 0-3 by the 24 minute.

Cork, who landed their 12th Lidl National League Division one title recently, finished the first period of play strongly.

Mourneabbey star Ciara O’Sullivan added another couple of points to her tally either side of Midleton’s Orla Finn striking over the bar to give their county a 2-11 to 0-3 lead at the half time break.

There was to be no let up from Ephie Fitzgerald’s side in the second half as they continued to charge forward as soon as the referee blew the whistle to restart the game.

Orlagh Farmer split the uprights for Cork’s first score of the second period before O’Sullivan and Orla Finn (3) handed them a 2-16 to 0-3 advantage.

And they would soon stretch their lead even further as Niamh Cotter added her name to the list of goal scorers when she expertly slotted the ball home from close range.

Finn, as well as substitutes Eimear Scally and Saoirse Noonan rose white flags for Cork to give them an incredible score of 3-19 to 0-3 with the game ticking into the final quarter.

And Waterford, to their credit, continued to battle and they would outscore their Munster rivals in the closing stages four points to three.

But the damage had long since been done as Cork finished with a 24 point winning margin to lay down a marker to the rest of the country.

Picture: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Picture: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Scorers for Cork: O Finn 0-11 (0-4 f), C O’Sullivan 0-5, N Cotter, D Kelly, M O’Callaghan 1-0 each, O Farmer 0-3, L Coppinger, S Noonan and E Scally 0-1 each.

Waterford: M Delahunty 0-4 (0-3 f), M Ryan, L Devine, E Farrell 0-1 each.

CORK: M O’Brien; C O’Shea, E Meaney, M Duggan; S Kelly, A Hutchings, E Kiely; O Farmer, M O’Callaghan; C O’Sullivan, N Cotter, D Kiely; S O’Leary, L Coppinger, O Finn.

Subs: S Noonan for L Coppinger (ht), E Spillane for S O’Leary (37), R Ni Bhuachalla for D Kiely (41), L Crowley for M O’Brien (46), M Cahalane for M Duggan (46).

WATERFORD: R Landers; A Mullaney, C McGrath, R Casey; C Murphy, K McGrath, R Tobin; E Murray, K Murray; S Dunphy; C Fennell, M Delahunty; E Farrell, M Ryan, A Wall.

Subs: C Murray for A Mullaney (39), L Devine for S Dunphy (42), E Gildea for R Casey (56), K Hayes for C Murphy (56) Referee: Eamonn Moran (Kerry).

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