Ladies football champs Mourneabbey have to quell Val’s hunger

Ladies football champs Mourneabbey have to quell Val’s hunger

St Val’s Nicola Dennehey and Mourneabbey’s Maire O’Callaghan keep their eye on the ball as the score remains close in the first half of last year’s final, before Mourneabbey came back to win three in a row. Picture: Gavin Browne

SATURDAY Cork SFC final: St Val's v Mourneabbey, CIT, 5pm. 

SHANE Ronayne's Mourneabbey will bid to win the Cork Senior Club Championship for the fourth season in-a-row when they take on St Val's this CIT this evening.

Ronayne has had recent success having guided Tipperary to the Intermediate All-Ireland title last month, however, his focus has since shifted to ensuring the Clyda side lift the John Hurley Cup once more.

The reigning Munster champions will go into this one as favourites given they have contested the All-Ireland final in 2014 and 2015, while last year they were defeated in the semi-final by the eventual winners Donaghamoyne of Monaghan.favourites given they have contested the All-Ireland final in 2014 and 2015, while last year they were defeated in the semi-final by the eventual winners Donaghamoyne of Monaghan.

For their opponents St Val's, it will be their fifth successive appearance in the final, having first won it in 2013, but since, Conor Condon's side have not managed to get over Mourneabbey's depth.have not managed to get over Mourneabbey's depth.

The addition of Brid Stack to the side this season however - along with her younger sister Muireann, after their club St Mary's folded - has been a big boost to their hopes.folded - has been a big boost to their hopes.season however - along with her younger sister Muireann, after their club St Mary's folded - has been a big boost to their hopes.

For Stack, the 2016 LGFA Players' Player of the Year, she will be looking to lift the John Hurley Cup for the first time in her illustrious career.

"It's about time we won it again," said Condon, whose management team consists of Simon Foley - the brother of Cork star Vera - Cork senior selector Pa O'Leary, Mickey Ring and Martha Buckley.

"I suppose I've stayed on because I know the players have the will to try win another one, and that's everyone. We've put a lot of work in.

"Mourneabbey are a great team, and we'll certainly have to be at our best to beat them, but we're going to give it a go."

Condon has a full squad to choose from, bar the unavailability of former Cork star Briege Corkery, but he has the likes of captain Louise Coholan and minor All-Ireland-winning players Ciara McCarthy and Ciara Hughes to throw in the mix.

Joining Stack in the rearguard will be former All-Star winners Vera Foley and Marie Ambrose, while upfront they will be without the services of the retired Caoimhe Creedon.

On route to the final, St Val's defeated Éire Óg in the quarter-final before dispatching a hugely impressive West Cork divisional side in the semi-final in Macroom a number of weeks back.

Mourneabbey, on the other hand, defeated Inch Rovers in their semi-final - a solid team who boasted the likes of former All-Ireland-winning Cork captain and All-Star Angela Walsh - and captain Bríd O'Sullivan believes they'll have to be at their best to surpass St Val's hunger.

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