O'Sullivan played through the pain barrier to lift trophy for Cork ladies footballers

O'Sullivan played through the pain barrier to lift trophy for Cork ladies footballers
Cork’s Doireann O'Sullivan lifts the league trophy. Picture: INPHO/Tom Beary

Mary White

Ladies Football

CORK'S Doireann O'Sullivan played through the pain on Sunday to lift the Division 1 National League trophy in the absence of her sister, Ciara.

O'Sullivan was a doubt before the game having suffered a knee injury, however having been named captain last week in the absence of her sister, who is presently travelling in South America, she lifted the trophy in Parnell Park as Cork dispatched Donegal 2-15 to 2-14.

In doing so, the Northerners became the seventh county to suffer at the hands of Cork in a league final since the Rebels won their very first in 2004.

Although O'Sullivan didn't made the scoresheet herself, she set up a number of goals, including the assist for Cork's second goal, to see Ephie Fitzgerald's side lead 2-8 to 1-9 at half-time.

Fitzgerald praised O'Sullivan's mental strength in the aftermath of the game, having decided to play, as 2016 Players' Player of the Year Bríd Stack was ruled out in the warm-up having suffered a hamstring injury in training last week.

"Doireann probably shouldn't have even played the game because of the injury, but she did, and she did great, but that just goes to show her quality and how much she gives to the game," said Fitzgerald, who was thrilled to win his second successive National League title, since coming on board in January 2016.

To-date, Fitzgerald has won all four finals he's been involved in, but this one seemed to be up there with the 2016 All-Ireland final.

“For the new girls they did great because the intensity was mighty. 

"They’re phenomenal girls, small in stature, but they have massive hearts.

“What can I say? 

"People were writing us off at the start of the year, now I know it’s only league, but it’s very important for us in light of having seven girls who’ve never played in a game of this magnitude before, it’s absolutely brilliant and I’m thrilled for each and every one of them."

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