INCH Rovers and St Val’s will contest the 2021 Cork LGFA senior B county decider in a repeat of last year’s final.
St Val’s took on Fermoy in Sunday’s semi-final and emerged 4-11 to 4-3 winners amid awful weather conditions in Cloughduv. Leading 2-8 to 1-1 at the interval, St. Val’s made sure of their place in the senior B county final thanks to two second-half goals.
Ciara McCarthy proved the winners' most potent attacking weapon by bagging 2-3 en route to victory. Laura Buttimer weighed in with 1-3 with Aoife Barry Murphy (1-0), Mairead Corkery (0-2), Ellen Coakley (0-2) and Emma Flanagan (0-1) completing St. Val’s total.
Saoirse Moore (2-1), Abbie Scannell (1-1), Muireann O’Brien (1-0) and Aoibhin Carey (0-1) got on Fermoy’s scoresheet with manager Denis O’Brien sportingly paying tribute to the winning team.
“The experience of St Val’s was the difference in this game which was played in very tough conditions,” Denis O’Brien commented.
“Val’s built a 10-point lead playing with the advantage of the wind in the first half. Saoirse Moore got all our scores during that first period but the second half was much better contested. Fermoy pressed much harder but Val’s defence was very strong and they held out for a deserved win."
“Overall, we were happy with our performance,” Val’s manager Tony Hughes added.
“It wasn’t conditions for fancy football. We had to dig in, fight and play the conditions as well as a physical Fermoy team. It was a solid overall performance but we certainly have room for improvement before the county final.
“We have been taking things one game at a time and trying to improve with each game. We feel we did that in the win over Fermoy. Now, we move on, assess and plan for Inch Rovers which is a repeat of last year’s senior B county final as well.”
Inch Rovers, last year’s senior B champions, came through a tough examination before reaching a second county final in a row.
2020 intermediate grade winners Clonakilty showed they belong at senior level but it was who Inch ran out deserving victors after building a five-point interval lead and eventually winning 2-10 to 1-7.
Ann Marie O’Connor and Noelle O’Donovan each scored 1-1 with Angela Walsh and Annie Walsh (0-3 each) plus Ciara Irwin and Sarah Harrington (0-1 each) rounding off Rovers’ win.
“This was a hard-fought game played in wild and windy weather and heavy underfoot conditions,” Inch Rovers manager Noel O’Connor said.
“It was a game played in a very sporting manner too. A goal either side of the first half water break proved a game-changer for Inch Rovers. It was a great result in such difficult conditions.
“Our tireless work rate right until the end was a credit to our players especially playing into such a strong wind and when Clonakilty were piling forward. This win keeps our season going a bit longer and with another big game to look forward to.”
As for Clonakilty, a positive first season at the senior grade ended in defeat despite Orlaith Deasy (1-3), Sinead O’Donovan (0-2) and Ciara Ryan (0-2) getting on the scoreboard.
Louise Collins, Siobhan Calnan, Martina O’Brien and Orlaith Deasy impressed for the west Cork side with manager JJ Deasy admitting Inch Rovers deserved their victory.
“We battled very hard in tough conditions but the better team won,” Deasy commented.
This year’s Cork LGFA junior A county final will be an all-west Cork affair after Castlehaven and Dohenys safely negotiated their semi-finals last Saturday.
The Haven are through to their third consecutive county decider having claimed junior C and B titles over the past two seasons. A 2-6 to 0-4 win over Douglas in Moneyvollahane was attained thanks to Katie Cronin (1-3), Grainne O’Sullivan (1-0), Mairead O’Driscoll (0-2) and Hannah Sheehan (0-1) scores.
Dohenys will take on their west Cork rivals in what should be a cracking encounter thanks to a hard-fought 3-4 to 0-9 defeat of Naomi Abán in Dunmanway. Goals proved the difference between two evenly-matched teams with goalkeeper Nora McCarthy producing a stunning late save to ensure Dohenys’ progression.
Katelyn Sheehan (1-3), Laurie Hayes and Noelle O’Mahony (1-0 each) and Mairead Crowley (0-1) scored earned a delighted Dohenys a shot at the JAFC county title in a fortnight’s time.