WITH only two rounds of the championship played it already looks like Mourneabbey have one hand on the trophy.
It’s going to take a very good side to beat them as they followed up their opening round win with another emphatic victory away to Bride Rovers.
The Rathcormac side, led by the likes of Katie Quirke and Grace Kearney, are one of the sides expected to challenge Mourneabbey for overall honours, but last Sunday they had no answer to their power.
Weather conditions were atrocious and Mourneabbey had the elements in the first half; by the break they had built up a lead that was always going to be tough to reel in.
The efforts of the Bride players to try and keep them at bay in the first half was telling as they seemed to run out of steam late in the second half.
Sisters Doireann and Roisin O’Sullivan both raised green flags in the first half and were it not for a couple of good saves by Sarah Murphy it could have been more.
By half-time, the All-Ireland champions were 2-7 to 0-1 up, but turning to play with the strong wind Bride still had an outside chance of getting something from this encounter.
But despite the best efforts of Quirke, Kearney, and Grace Culloty, they couldn’t get a foothold, losing out by 2-7 to 1-4 in the end, their goal coming in the last minute.
This week, in the battle of the Rovers, they make the short trip to take on Inch whose game last week was postponed due to a bereavement in the Fermoy club.
So Bride will have the advantage of having two games under their belt as Inch get their campaign off the mark. It should be an entertaining game and one that is too close to call at this stage.
Mourneabbey are at home to Aghada and it’s difficult to see anything other than a home win here. Aghada lost their opening tie to Bride and will make the journey to Mourneabbey more in hope than expectation.
Aghada were without Hannah Looney and Sarah Leahy for the Bride game and both are not expected to be available for this one either. They would be a loss to any side and their absence makes a difficult trip far tougher.
Mourneabbey welcomed back Laura Fitzgerald and Maire O’Callaghan from injury last weekend and still have Ciara O’Sullivan to return.
However on that front Fitzgerald, who hit 1-2 in the first 20 minutes, then had to go off having picked up another injury and will face a late fitness test ahead of Sunday’s encounter.
Manager Shane Ronayne, who was named as the new Cork senior ladies football boss on Monday night, may choose to rest Fitzgerald for this one.
Éire Óg are at home to Kinsale and both sides will be in confident mood after good opening round wins, over St Val’s and Clonakilty respectively last weekend.
There was a familiar name back in the St Val’s side in their loss to Éire Óg as Briege Corkery was on the score-sheet for her side. Laura Buttimer and Ciara McCarthy also raised white flags for them, with Maire Ambrose, Ciara Hughes, and Emma Flanagan also playing well.
They will be hoping home advantage can count against a quality opponent in Clonakilty, who are backboned by Martina O’Brien, Clare and Áine O’Leary, Ciara Ryan, and Orlaith Deasy.
Kinsale were very impressive in their win over Clon, with Orla Finn and Sadhbh O’Leary leading their attack.
But there is far more to this side than just them, with Faye Aherne also impressing in attack, despite having a penalty saved by Martina O’Brien.
Centre-back Jenny Murphy was solid out in defence, alongside Caoimhe O’Callaghan and they will be another tough challenge for Éire Óg.
The Ovens outfit has a lethal attack that includes the likes of Eimear Scally, Laura, and Emma Cleary and behind them have experienced heads like Lisa Crowley and Meabh Cahalane to keep them on their toes.
Cork ladies senior football club championship: Inch Rovers v Bride Rovers, 1pm; Mourneabbey v Aghada, 4pm; St Val’s v Clonakilty, 1pm, Carrigadrohid; Éire Óg v Kinsale, 4pm.