Stack is back as ladies footballers aim to reach seventh All-Ireland final in a row

Stack is back as ladies footballers aim to reach seventh All-Ireland final in a row
Bríd Stack returns to the starting 15 against Mayo. Picture: Pat Moore.

VETERAN defender Bríd Stack has been selected to face Mayo in Saturday’s All-Ireland semi-final, at 4.45pm, live on TG4.

Last season’s Player of the Year missed the 24-point demolition of Galway two weeks ago due to a hamstring injury but has been deemed fit enough to return. Stack has a history of excelling against Mayo, famously shutting down brilliant forward Cora Staunton in the 2007 All-Ireland.

She’s the only ladies footballer still on board 10 years on from what was at the time a three-in-row success. The Rebels are currently in pursuit of their seventh successive title and a 12th in 13 years.

Ephie Fitzgerald’s charges struggled in this summer’s Munster championship but have been reborn in the qualifiers with Dublin waiting for the winners in the All-Ireland at the end of the month. Eimear Scally and Orla Finn will lead the line again, with the O’Sullivans, Ciara and Doireann, and Melissa Duggan, the other form players in recent weeks.

Cork have plenty of talented options in reserve. Niamh Cotter is named on the bench despite burying a great goal in the quarter-final, while Bríd O’Sullivan was introduced against the Tribe and raised two green flags.

Corner-back Marie Ambrose is back to fitness and dual ace Libby Coppinger is also available having been tied up the last day with the All-Ireland camogie semi-final against Galway due to a fixture clash. All-Ireland minor winner Laura Cleary, daughter of former Cork attacker John, is number 30 on the panel.

CORK (v Mayo): Martina O'Brien (Clonakilty); Emma Spillane (Bantry Blues), Bríd Stack (St Mary's), Roisin Phelan (Aghada); Aishling Hutchings (Fermoy), Eimear Meaney (Mourneabbey), Shauna Kelly (Araglen Desmonds Buí); Annie Walsh (Inch Rovers), Melissa Duggan (Dohenys); Ciara O'Sullivan (Mourneabbey), Doireann O'Sullivan (Mourneabbey), Orlagh Farmer (Midleton); Aine O'Sullivan (Beara), Eimear Scally (Éire Óg), Orla Finn (Kinsale).

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