Ladies football: Cork back in All-Ireland semi after digging out win over Déise

Waterford let the Rebels off the hook with their poor finishing; next up is Meath
Ladies football: Cork back in All-Ireland semi after digging out win over Déise

Cork's Hannah Looney goes past Waterford's Laura Mulcahy. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Cork 0-14 Waterford 0-8

CORK are into the TG4 All-Ireland Ladies Senior Football semi-final following their win over Waterford at Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Sunday afternoon.

But they will be far from happy with their overall performance and know they will have to improve on this showing if they are to get the better of Meath.

Waterford missed two goal chances in the second half that could have seen a different outcome and Cork know they have a bit of work to do ahead of the semi-final.

But at this stage, the most important thing is the result and Cork will be happy to get over this one to move on to the semi-final

Eimear Scally opened the scoring from a free in the third minute off her left foot. Three minutes later she showed the right is just as good, slotting over another free off the right foot.

Cork were dominating the opening exchanges and it was no great surprise when they extended their lead further, with Hannah Looney setting up Ciara O'Sullivan to point.

With nine minutes played Cork were dealt a blow with Orla Finn having to go off injured, replaced by Eimear Kiely.

Cork's Sadhbh O'Leary is tackled by Waterford's Aisling Mullaney. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Cork's Sadhbh O'Leary is tackled by Waterford's Aisling Mullaney. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Waterford got off the mark when Maria Delahunty raised the white flag from a free and she got a second, also a free to put one between them

Then after scoring two points from frees she was guilty of a careless tackle on Erika O'Shea, which saw her sin-binned.

Eimear Kiely scored for Cork just before the first water break as they lead 0-4 to 0-2.

From the restart Cork regained possession with Aine O'Sullivan raising the white flag as the home side were taking advantage of the extra player.

O'Sullivan pointed again before a last gasp block from Laura Mulcahy denied Sadhbh O'Leary what looked like a certain goal. From the resulting 45 O'Sullivan got her third in a row as Cork continued to dominate.

Waterford struck back with Eimear Fennell taking over the free-taking duties in Delanhnty's absence to pull one back. She was on target again to make it 0-4 to 0-7, with 23 minutes gone.

Fennell made it three in a row, with Waterford's first point from play as they were back to 15 players.

Cork finished the half strongly with Kiely extending their lead before Ciara O'Sullivan made it 0-9 to 0-5. Scally got the last score of the half as Cork led by double scores at the break, 0-10 to 0-5.

Despite playing against the wind Waterford were much the better side at the start of the second half, with Fennell raising the white flag and Delahunty also scoring to put three between the sides, with 33 minutes played.

Cork were guilty of some sloppy play and squandered a number of chances to score, before Ciara O'Sullivan went close with a shot for goal, just going the wrong side of the post.

Another mistake from Cork let Waterford in on goal and with an open goal in front of her Kate McGrath shot wide.

Even with that warning, Cork were still giving the ball away too easily at times, with credit having to go to Waterford for the pressure they were putting them under.

Just before the water break Cork got their first point of the second half, with Scally raising the white flag, to make it 0-11 to 0-7.

Cork's Eimear Scally shoots from Waterford's Karen McGrath. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Cork's Eimear Scally shoots from Waterford's Karen McGrath. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Again Waterford drove forward on the restart with Megan Dunford pointing. Doireann O'Sullivan, who is continuing her return to full fitness from injury, pointed for Cork.

Another quick free from Delahunty found Fennelly and another goal chance went wide,

Sadhbh O'Leary increased Cork's lead as they started to up the gears to try and finish the game out.

With time running out Doireann O'Sullivan pointed again to see Cork into the semi-final in two weeks against Meath.

Scorers for Cork: E Scally 0-4 (0-2 f), A O'Sullivan 0-3, C O'Sullivan, E Kiely, D O'Sullivan 0-2 each, S O'Leary 0-1.

Waterford: M Delahunty 0-3 (0-2 f), E Fennell 0-4 (0-2 f), M Dunford 0-1.

CORK: M O’Brien; M Ambrose, R Phelan, E Meaney; E O’Shea, M Cahalane, M Duggan; A Hutchings, H Looney; L O'Mahony, C O’Sullivan, Á O’Sullivan; S O’Leary, O Finn, E Scally.

Subs: E Kiely for O Finn, (9 inj), D O'Sullivan for L O'Mahony (ht), K Quirke for A O'Sullivan (40), L Coppinger for E Scally (55), S Kelly for M Ambrose (58).

WATERFORD: R Landers; M Dunford, L Mulcahy, R Casey; R Tobin, Karen McGrath, A Mullaney; C Fennell, M Wall; S Dunphy, B McMaugh, Kate McGrath; E Fennell, M Delahunty, A Wall.

Subs: L Cusack for S Dunphy (38), C McCarthy for E Fennell (56), N Power for B McMaugh (58), S Coakley for A Mullaney (59).

Referee: Seamus Mulvihill, Kerry.

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