Cork 3-15 Tipperary 2-6
CORK got their Lidl National Football League campaign off to a winning start at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
Goals from Libby Coppinger and Katie Quirke in the second half were crucial as the Rebels shook off a dogged Premier challenge. It was a tough, hard-hitting game, facilitated by referee Eamonn Moran, who let the game flow and avoided blowing for any soft frees.
The first half was a tight affair, a goal from TG4 Player of the Match Sadhbh O'Leary and some super points from Orla Finn, ensured Cork led 1-9 to 2-4 at the break, with Róisín Phelan impressing in the Rebel defence, despite Tipp's two goals. Erika O'Shea offered her typical driving runs and all of the 3-15 came from play.
Playing with the strong wind Cork opened the scoring after just 30 seconds through Ciara O'Sullivan, with Aisling Moloney equalising from a free. A third Moloney free from Moloney put Tipp in front with 10 minutes gone, before O'Shea levelled and then Sadhbh O'Leary nudged Cork back in front.
Then came the first green flag, as Moloney set up Marie Creedon for the opening goal. Cork came close to replying from the restart, but Brid O'Sullivan's effort went narrowly wide.
Finn reduced the deficit before Cork went back in front when Brid O'Sullivan played O'Leary in to make it 1-5 to 1-3.
Finn and Emma Cleary increased Cork's lead before Emma Morrisey slipped the ball to Roisin Daly for Tipperary's second goal.
It was 1-9 to 2-4 at half-time, with Cork bringing in three subs, Coppinger, Meabh Cahalane and Orlagh Farmer. The second half was initially cagey, before O'Leary increased Cork's lead. Then with 40 minutes came the crucial score. Daire Kiely, just on the pitch, played a long ball to Coppinger who turned and found the back of the net, 2-10 to 2-4.
Coppinger and Katie Quirke combined and at 3-14 to 2-5 it was game over. Coppinger regained possession from the kick-out to point.
Kiely increased Cork's lead before Aine Delaney was sin-binned for a foul on Shauna Kelly, which saw the latter having to leave the pitch injured.
With five minutes to go Ciara O'Sullivan got her third, which proved to be the last score.
S O'Leary 1-3, L Coppinger 1-1, K Quirke 1-0 each, C O'Sullivan, O Finn 0-3 each, E O'Shea, D Kiely 0-2 each, E Cleary 0-1.
M Creedon, R Daly 1-0 each, A Moloney 0-3 (3f), E Morrissey 0-2, E Carroll 0-1.
M O'Brien; S Kelly, R Phelan, E Spillane; E O'Shea, A Kelleher, M Duggan; M O'Callaghan, S Hayes; O Finn, C O'Sullivan, H Looney; S O'Leary, B O'Sullivan and E Cleary.
M Cahalane for A Kelleher, L Coppinger for B O'Sullivan, O Farmer for S Hayes, (all ht), D Kiely for E Cleary (40), K Quirke for O Finn (47), C Collins for E Spillane (50), E Meaney for S Kelly (53 inj), E Murphy for C O'Sullivan (56), A O'Mahony for S O'Leary (57),
L Fitzpatrick; L Spillane, M Curley, E Cronin; R Daly, C Kennedy, E Kelly; A R Kennedy, E Fitzpatrick; E Carroll, E Morrissey, A Moloney; C O'Dwyer, A Delaney, M Creedon.
A Fennessy for E Carroll (35), R Howard for M Creedon (40), L Dennehy for C Dwyer (47), N Hayes for E Fitzpatrick (54),
Eamonn Moran (Kerry).