The cream of the crop of ladies footballers are recognised at the Rearden's All-Stars

The cream of the crop of ladies footballers are recognised at the Rearden's All-Stars
Mourneabbey's Ciara O'Sullivan battles West Cork's Sarah Hayes. Picture: Gavin Browne

LISA CROWLEY, Rory Noonan, and a number of coaches have compiled the 15 winners for the Rearden’s ladies’ football All-Star awards, which will be presented this Wednesday evening from 7pm in the venue on Washington Street.

Ten Cork senior stars have made the list. Those who came close to making the cut included St Val’s Mairead Corkery, West Cork’s Eimear Kiely, and Éire Óg’s Shauna Cronin.

Ladies football All-Stars:

1. Martina O’Brien (West Cork): The Cork number one was a leader in the West Cork set-up this season. The Clonakilty club woman brought organisation and solidity to the back and was pivotal in her side reaching their first-ever county final.

West Cork goalkeeper Martina O'Brien takes on Ciara O'Sullivan. Picture: Larry Cummins
West Cork goalkeeper Martina O'Brien takes on Ciara O'Sullivan. Picture: Larry Cummins

2. Eva Dunne (St Val’s): One of Val’s most consistent performers in 2018, the corner-back was excellent in this year’s club championship. A superb reader of the game, Dunne is also one of the best markers in the Cork club scene.

3. Melissa Duggan (West Cork): Dohenys star Duggan has enjoyed a stellar season for the Cork seniors and carried that form through to the club championship. Her performances in both the semi-final and county final were immense and she was a platform on which West Cork built their attack.

4. Sinead Cotter (St Val’s) Cotter’s season took off when she was switched from midfield to the half-back line. A former All-Ireland winning Cork U21 captain, Cotter also enjoyed a stint with the Cork seniors between 2015 and 2017. Tenacious in the tackle, Cotter was a standout performer in her side’s narrow defeat to Mourneabbey in the county semi-final.

St Val's Sinead Cotter breaks from Mourneabbey's Laura Fitzgerald. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
St Val's Sinead Cotter breaks from Mourneabbey's Laura Fitzgerald. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

5. Meabh Cahalane (Éire Óg): Having returned to the Cork senior football set-up earlier this year, Cahalane’s athleticism and ball-carrying were massive assets to the Éire Óg defence, while her work-rate in the county semi-final, against West Cork, set the tone for a strong Éire Óg performance.

6. Roisin O’Sullivan (Mourneabbey): The eldest O’Sullivan sister is the central figure in the Mourneabbey defence. Her experience and leadership set the tone for the Mourneabbey defence on the day they landed their fifth county championship.

7. Daire Kiely (West Cork): The Valley Rovers player enjoyed her first season as a Cork senior footballer this year and the training has clearly paid off. Kiely was one of West Cork’s key performers and, at half-back, she covered a huge amount of ground. Her darting runs were a nightmare for opponents. The first-year Mary I student has a big future for both club and county.

West Cork's Daire Kiely makes a catch against Mourneabbey. Picture: Gavin Browne
West Cork's Daire Kiely makes a catch against Mourneabbey. Picture: Gavin Browne

8. Maire O’Callaghan (Mourneabbey): It is easy to see why O’Callaghan received an All-Star nomination for her exploits in a Cork jersey this season. Her power and pace make her a key cog in the Mourneabbey wheel. Her ability to attack the ball and stop opponents in their tracks makes her one of the best midfielders in the modern club game.

9. Brid O’Sullivan (Mourneabbey): O’Sullivan was a joy to watch at mid-field for the county champions. She was the main link between their defence and attack, while her ability to guide past the opposition, with grace and power, was vital to Mourneabbey retaining their crown for a fifth season in a row.

10. Aine Terry O’Sullivan (West Cork): The Beara star has enjoyed her best season in a Cork jersey and was West Cork’s marquee forward throughout the championship. She has transformed her game this season and put in some fantastic shifts in the West Cork jersey, contributing 1-10 over the course of the two county finals.

West Cork's Aine O'Sullivan in action. Picture: Gavin Browne
West Cork's Aine O'Sullivan in action. Picture: Gavin Browne

11. Ciara O’Sullivan (Mourneabbey): The Cork captain was her usual, hardworking self. The amount of ground O’Sullivan covered in the county finals was astonishing. Her darting runs carved open a number of defences.

12. Doireann O’Sullivan (Mourneabbey): Somehow, O’Sullivan is only getting better. When the chips were down against West Cork, in the drawn county final, the Mourneabbey stalwart kept her team in touch flawlessly, contributing 1-8, followed by 1-6 in the replay. Her long-range shooting is a joy.

13. Rhona Ní Bhuacalla (St Val’s): Former Cork senior Ni Bhuacalla enjoyed her first year in a St Val’s jersey this season and settled into the club seamlessly. Having suffered a cruciate injury in 2017, Ni Bhuacalla returned to club football this summer and was in sensational form in front of goal and added a new dimension to the St Val’s attack.

Rhona Ní Bhuachalla has always been a goal machine. Picture: Ray McManus/SPORTSFILE
Rhona Ní Bhuachalla has always been a goal machine. Picture: Ray McManus/SPORTSFILE

14. Eimear Scally (Éire Óg): The Éire Óg sharpshooter was instrumental in her club reaching their second senior club championship semi-final ever. Her darting runs and intelligence on the ball are a joy to watch.

15. Laura O’Mahony (West Cork): Perhaps the biggest find of the 2018 season. A gifted ball carrier, her unbelievable work rate made O’Mahony one of West Cork’s most consistent performers in this year’s championship. The Skibbereen native is only a Leaving Cert student.

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