Cork ladies football round-up: Éire Óg through; Aghada hold Mourneabbey

Ovens outfit blitzed Kinsale while Aghada were unlucky not to beat the favourites
Cork ladies football round-up: Éire Óg through; Aghada hold Mourneabbey

Mourneabbey's Ashling Cronin clears from Éire Óg's Emma Cleary. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

ÉIRE Óg qualified for this year’s Cork LGFA SFC semi-finals on a weekend of draws in the county’s top grade.

The Ovens club produced a blistering display to see off Kinsale and confirm their place in the last four of the championship.

Éire Óg got off to the best possible start and led 2-3 to 0-0 at the first water break. From there, the eventual winners built on a 12-point interval advantage to run out 3-14 to 0-6 winners.

Cork senior Eimear Scally celebrated her All-Star nomination with another superb display, scoring 0-8. Laura Cleary (1-3), Emma Cleary (1-2) and Orlaith Cahalane (1-0) also contributed. Cork inter-county star, Orla Finn, provided all of Kinsale’s points.

Éire Óg’s passage from Group 2 was confirmed following St. Val’s and Clonakilty’s draw in Carrigadrohid. A lively encounter saw Clon lead 2-2 to 1-4 at half-time.

The West Cork club were still three points clear heading into the final quarter but Val’s confirmed their championship aspirations with a gutsy finish to draw level 2-10 to 3-7 at full time. Ciara McCarthy (0-5) top-scored for the hosts with Marie Ambrose (1-1), Briege Corkery (0-3), Laura Buttimer (1-0) and Sinead Cotter (0-1) also contributing.

Clonakilty’s scores came via Orlaith Deasy (1-2), Millie Condon (1-1), Orla Lowney (1-0), Katie O’Driscoll and Sinead O’Donovan (0-2 each).

“This was Clonakilty’s first point in the senior championship against a seasoned team,” Clonakilty manager JJ Deasy said.

“We looked to be in trouble at half time, only up a point and with a strong wind, but we produced a super second-half effort to earn a draw.” 

“Overall, we are probably disappointed with the result,” St Val’s manager Tony Hughes added.

“Six or sevent of our starting 15 played senior camogie championship the night before which isn’t great from a player welfare point of view. It is something that has to be looked at.

“So, it is down to a shootout between ourselves and Kinsale next Sunday unless Clon pull off a shock and defeat Éire Óg.” 

Mourneabbey and Aghada’s rearranged senior championship Group 1 encounter took place last Friday evening.

In a surprise result, Aghada held the county championship favourites to a 3-14 to 2-17 draw following a high-scoring and entertaining matchup.

The pressure was on Aghada to come up with a result following their previous defeat to Bride Rovers. Credit to Cathal McAllister’s side who led by a point at the interval and had an opportunity to snatch a late and unexpected victory. Lisa’s Ring attempt went narrowly wide of the post and the two sides had to settle for a share of the spoils.

Mary Leahy, Hannah Looney and Amanda Bennett netted Aghada’s goals on an evening Laura Fitzgerald (0-8), Ciara O’Callaghan (1-2), Ellie Jack (1-1) and Bríd O’Sullivan (0-4) were on the Mourneabbey’s scoresheet.

“We made lots of changes to our starting team as it was our third game in 12 days,” Cork LGFA senior and Mourneabbey manager Shane Ronayne said. 

“We gave an opportunity to some of our younger players and panel members to stake a claim for starting spots against Inch Rovers in our last game. We were disappointed to not win the game as we spurned some excellent goal chances but fought hard to the end and grabbed a draw. Aghada played great football and showed no fear in taking the game to us.” 

Intriguingly, last weekend’s other Group 1 fixture also ended in a stalemate between Inch Rovers and Bride Rovers.

Cork senior Katie Quirke earned Bride a valuable point by converting a high-pressure free with the last kick of the game. Inch led all the way through an entertaining matchup before Bride hit back in the final quarter to earn a 3-7 to 3-7 draw from the jaws of defeat.

Underlining her growing reputation, Katie Quirke accounted for 3-6 of her side’s total with Jen Cahill also kicking a point. Annie Walsh (0-4), Angela Walsh (1-1), Ciara Barry and Kate Harrington (1-0 each), Ciara Irwin and Noelle O’Donovan (0-1 each) provided Inch’s scores.

“Today gives us a starting block as it’s very congested with dual girls at moment and Bride having had the advantage of two fine games under their belts. We move on to Aghada next week,” Inch Rovers manager Noel O’Connor said.

“We failed to see out the game having opened a five-point lead after 35 minutes but this result gives us a glimmer of hope of staying in championship,” added Bride Rovers manager Ed Burke.

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