Tough semi final win should stand to Cork against Dublin

Tough semi final win should stand to Cork against Dublin

Cork's Orla Finn scores a goal against Donegal in the League semi final win at Tuam. (NW Newspix)

CORK will face Dublin in the Lidl Ladies NFL final on Saturday, June 23, at Croke Park, in what should be another thrilling game.

If their meeting in the group stages is anything to go by then expect another close and top-quality game on the night, throw-in 7.30pm.

Last Saturday they took on Donegal in the semi-final at Tuam Stadium in what turned into a goal feast. By half-time both had scored three apiece and in the second-half Cork hit two more to win by 5-10 to 3-13.

Cork got off to a great start and were 2-2 to no score up after four minutes but Donegal hit back with two goals of their own, within a minute and by half-time the sides were level at 3-5 apiece.

A goal from Sadhbh O'Leary 12 minutes into the second-half proved to be a crucial score as it put the Rebels 5-8 to 3-8 ahead and from here on they controlled the game.

Defensively Cork improved in the second-half with the likes of Erika O'Shea, Roisin Phelan and Shauna Kelly rock solid as usual. 

Hannah Looney and Maire O'Callaghan controlled midfield and up front Cork started to torment the Donegal defence.

All in the forward line had good games, with Eimear Scally coming on at half-time and showing the addition she is to the squad having returned in recent weeks.

She will only get better with time and brings another dimension to the Cork attack that is getting better game by game. 

Ciara O'Sullivan is playing some of the best football she has in some time, with others like Brid O'Sullivan and O'Leary giving manager Ephie Fitzgerald the selection headaches he likes to have.

Against Donegal half-forward Orla Finn was simply outstanding and it was no surprise to see her named Player of the Game afterward.

Hitting 1-8 on the day, four from frees, she covered every inch of the pitch and aside from the scores was involved in setting up some of the other scores for her side.

“I am absolutely delighted we came through that game, against Donegal you know it's going to be tough,” said Orla, “but we're very happy with our performance and have the final to look forward to now in two weeks.

“It was mad the way the game went today, there were a lot of goals and that's something we are working on and obviously they are too.

“Maybe we eased off a little after the great start and let them back into it but we will learn from that. We drove on in the second-half and we have the final to look forward to now.

“That game today will stand to us ahead of the championship and the final will as well. 

"They are the type of games you want ahead of the championship as it is only a few weeks away now,” concluded Orla.

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