Lucky 13: Mourneabbey captain an unsung hero for Cork champions

Brid O'Sullivan will be hoping to lift another trophy for her club this Saturday in Birr
Lucky 13: Mourneabbey captain an unsung hero for Cork champions

Brid O'Sullivan, captain of Mourneabbey, kicks a point against Dunboyne. Picture: Larry Cummins.

Next Saturday Mourneabbey will put their currentaccount.ie All-Ireland ladies club football title on the line as they take on Kilkerrin-Clonberne in the final at St Brendan’s Park, Birr, throw-in 1pm.

The Cork side are bidding to make it three All-Ireland titles in a row and standing in their way is the Galway side they defeated in the final in the 2019 decider, the last time this competition was played.

Kilkerrin-Clonberne have made no secret of the fact they are hell-bent on seeking revenge for that loss and will bring a drive and passion to the decider that Mourneabbey know they not alone have to match, but better.

There were no Munster or All-Ireland championships in 2020 but they returned for the 2021 season and after local, provisional, and All-Ireland semi-finals it came down to a repeat of the 2019 decider.

They also clashed in the 2018 semi-final and Mourneabbey will be hoping to keep their winning run going.

Brid O'Sullivan will be hoping it's not unlucky 13 as she bids to captain Mourneabbey to their 17th championship title and her 13th as captain.
Brid O'Sullivan will be hoping it's not unlucky 13 as she bids to captain Mourneabbey to their 17th championship title and her 13th as captain.

Two players key to that will be captain Brid O’Sullivan and Maire O’Callaghan.

Both are key players, with O’Callaghan lining out at centre-back or midfield and O’Sullivan normally in the half-forward line.

As well as being club players both are key members of the Cork senior panel and will need to draw on all their experience to have any chance of winning on Saturday.

In the 2019 decider, it took a last-minute point from Laura Fitzgerald to separate the sides and both players are expecting another close battle this time around.

It’s probably just as well that Brid is not really superstitious as she will be hoping to lift her 13th championship cup as captain.

It must be a record for one person to have captained a club team to 12 championship titles and she is hoping to make it a lucky 13 on Saturday.

“I hadn’t really thought about it to be honest until I saw a tweet mentioning it, but it’s something that when all this is over I will look back on with pride.

“But for the moment we’re just enjoying the journey,” said Brid. “Luckily I’m not superstitious, at least not now anyway and we are just concentrating on the challenge of us.

We have a lot of experience of playing them as we beat them in the semi-final in 2018 as well and that was by no means an easy game either.

“They have so much experience all over the pitch with players with Galway and colleges and they have the hurt of losing the final to us by such a narrow margin driving them on.

“In saying that we have experienced players and the experience of winning as well so all in all it makes for a very exciting game.”

Defensively Mourneabbey have been very strong this year, restricting Dunboyne to just five points in the semi-final.

“If you look at our displays this year we have tried to keep scores against us low and overall have managed to do that and to keep a team to five points in an All-Ireland semi-final is a massive feat and that’s down to a lot of hard work.

“We have a very experienced side with a couple of young players as well and even though we won in 2019 we felt we didn’t play really well and we just got over the line.

“I think since then we have learned how to perform on the big day and are looking forward to getting out there and trying to do that on Saturday.

“Our forwards have been excellent all year and have been putting up the scores, but further out the field our midfield and defence have all been playing crucial parts for us.

“It takes a massive team effort to win games and we will need the same to win again at the weekend as we know nothing else will be good enough.

“As captain, it has been a pleasure to be on this journey with the players and management, and hopefully, we will have another good day out on Saturday."

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