Experience of Cork sees them through against Waterford, but they will have to improve if they are to beat Donegal

By the water break they were 2-11 to 0-6 up, but they will be disappointed with their final 15 minutes. 
Experience of Cork sees them through against Waterford, but they will have to improve if they are to beat Donegal

Cork's Eimear Scally goes past Waterford's Laura Mulcahy during the Lidl NFL division 1B, round 3 at Fraher field, Dungarvan

A WIN over Waterford on Sunday in their final group game secured Cork's place in the semi-final of the Lidl Ladies NFL.

Having lost to Dublin the previous Saturday, and with Waterford defeating Tipperary the same weekend, it was a winners takes all game at the Fraher Field in Dungarvan.

And credit to Waterford they gave it everything and their display would have won many a game for them. 

In the likes of Laura Mulcahy, Maria Delahunty, Kate McGrath and Aileen Wall they have talented players all through the lines.

But in the end it was the experience of Cork, led by the likes of Ciara O'Sullivan and Orla Finn, that saw off the challenge of Waterford.

The Rebels were far from their best and will have to improve by some margin in their semi-final clash with Donegal next Saturday.

Cork led by 1-5 to 0-5 at half-time, thanks to a Brid O'Sullivan goal and like their first two group games upped their performance in the second-half.

By the water break they were 2-11 to 0-6 up, but they will be disappointed with their final 15 minutes. 

Cork's Sadhbh O'Leary breaks from Waterford's Megan Dunford during the Lidl NFL division 1B, round 3 at Fraher field, Dungarvan
Cork's Sadhbh O'Leary breaks from Waterford's Megan Dunford during the Lidl NFL division 1B, round 3 at Fraher field, Dungarvan

They failed to score again as Waterford hit 2-2 to see it end 2-11 to 2-8.

Cork weren't helped by a double sinbinning late on. First Orla Finn was sent to the bin for the last seven minutes or so and two minutes later Maire O'Callaghan joined her.

So it became a bit of a rear guard action for the Rebels and in that regard they can be happy as they held out for the win, but they will know themselves their overall display was below they high standards they set themselves.

In fairness their cause wasn't helped by some strange decisions by referee Anton O'Connell on the day.

One in particular could now see Cork manager Ephie Fitzgerald, now possibly facing a sideline suspension. Katie Quirke was bearing down on goal and was taken down for what looked like a penalty by all present, except the referee.

When Ephie queried this decision, without being abusive and using any sort of bad language he was sent to the stand.

He told the referee his decision was 'a joke' and that saw him sent to the stands. He now awaits to see what will happen but any suspension for a remark like that would be a joke in itself. However he could now find himself on the end of an eight week ban.

Add in three players being sent to the sinbin, two Cork and one Waterford, for incidents that didn't even warrant a free the previous week in the meeting between the Rebels and Dublin.

Cork's Orla Finn shoots from Waterford's Emma Murray during the Lidl NFL division 1B, round 3 at Fraher field, Dungarvan
Cork's Orla Finn shoots from Waterford's Emma Murray during the Lidl NFL division 1B, round 3 at Fraher field, Dungarvan

It brought up the old argument of consistency, which is the main thing players and managers are looking for and isn't happening at present.

But ultimately Cork achieved their main objective, to reach the semi-final and can now look forward to another quality clash with Donegal next weekend.

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