Cork v Waterford: Ladies footballers face tough test in Munster clash

This season Cork will have to do without the services of top players Erika O'Shea, Sadhbh O'Leary, Daire and Eimear Kiely,
Cork v Waterford: Ladies footballers face tough test in Munster clash

Cork's Erika O'Shea celebrates after a win. Picture: INPHO/Bryan Keane

THE Cork ladies footballers are also on the road to Waterford this Sunday as they take on the home side in the semi-final of the Munster championship, throw-in at 2pm at the Fraher Field, Dungarvan.

They will travel as favourites to advance to the final against Kerry but they won't be taking their opponents lightly.

The Fraher Field in Dungarvan has proved a difficult venue for Cork in the past and if the wind gets up then it can be difficult to play top-quality football.

Coming off the back of a disappointing league form Cork will have a lot to prove and add in the loss of a number of players to that equation and it's not going to be an easy day out for the Rebels.

But Cork manager Shane Ronayne is only looking forward and is very happy with the block of work they have done in the last six to eight weeks since they rounded off their league campaign with a win over their opponents on Sunday, a game that they were tested in before pulling away to secure victory in the end.

That win, coming after away losses to Meath and Dublin, secured Cork stayed in the top flight for next season, as for the first time in more than 10 years they weren't involved in the knock-out stages of the league.

To be fair to Shane and his management team they made no secret of the fact they weren't placing too much emphasis on the league and were using it to try find new players and also for those there to start getting used to the way they wanted to play.

Have no doubt that on Sunday you will see a far better team take to the pitch now that they have had proper time to work with the players, including playing a number of challenge games over the last few weeks to help prepare for the Munster and All-Ireland championships.

Shane's record with Mourneabbey stands second to none and his winning mentality will now start coming to the fore and like all involved is now looking forward to getting going and showing all where Cork are at.

Having been involved with Waterford senior men's side before taking over the Cork job he is well aware of the talent in the county and how difficult a venue the Fraher Field can be.

"Waterford really put it up to us in the league this year and last season's championship game was very close as well," said Shane.

Cork manager Shane Ronayne. Picture: Ray McManus/Sportsfile
Cork manager Shane Ronayne. Picture: Ray McManus/Sportsfile

"I think they have a great work ethic and have lots of talented footballers as well and they are a well organised and structured team.

"They know that we are going down there as favourites, there's no denying that, but they will fancy their chances down there and we have to be on our guard.

"I think we have worked hard in the last few weeks and our players are tuned in to what we have to do and we won't be taking them lightly as we know how good Waterford can be.

The Fraher Field can be a difficult place to play if the wind starts to swirl and I would know it well from my time with the Waterford men's side as we would have played there on a number of occasions. 

"But the surface is good and in fairness, they do everything well there so we don't or won't have any complaints in that area.

"The players are hoping to lay down a marker on Sunday as they are not happy with the way some have them in the pecking order at the moment and they want to show them what Cork are about and get our business done and hopefully move on the final against Kerry in a few weeks time."

This season Cork will have to do without the services of Erika O'Shea, who is heading to Australia; along with Sadhbh O'Leary, Daire and Eimear Kiely, who all are not available as well.

"Like all young people missed out in the last few years and all three are in fourth year in college and they want to go travelling for the summer. I was obviously disappointed they said they wanted to go but I said the best of luck and the door will always be open for them to return next year.

"But overall we are very happy with the panel we have and are looking forward to getting back to games on Sunday."


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