Cork ladies footballers should be too strong for Mayo

Cork ladies footballers should be too strong for Mayo

Doireann O’Sullivan was outstanding against Waterford. Picture; Eddie O'Hare

Cork ladies footballers can travel to Cusack Park, Ennis, tomorrow in confident mood for their TG4 All-Ireland SFC clash with Mayo, throw-in 3pm.

They will be favourites to win this one and should they do so won't have long to wait to see who their semi-final opponents will be.

At 5pm Kerry take on Armagh in their quarter-final clash and the winners of that will face the winners of the Cork game.

While they will be favourites Cork manager Shane Ronayne won't be letting them get carried away as he bids to win his second trophy with the Rebels this season. The Munster title was secured with a win over Kerry in Killarney a number of weeks ago.

Ultimately all sides are judged on their success in the Brendan Martin Cup and it has been a few years – 2016 - since the coveted trophy has been on Leeside.

This is Ronayne's first year at the helm and his track record with other sides, Mourneabbey in particular, shows his winning mentality. The first time he met the Mourneabbey players he not only said they would win the Cork championship but they would win the All-Ireland title as well.

While it took a few years to win the latter the former come in his first year in charge and it started a run for the club of titles that few others have amassed.

That winning mentality will be needed from all as they aim to take another step closer to All-Ireland glory.

Mayo enjoyed good wins over Cavan and Tipperary to reach the quarter-final, before losing out to Dublin in their last group game.

Maire O’Callaghan: A key player in the Cork defence. Picture: INPHO/Dan Sheridan
Maire O’Callaghan: A key player in the Cork defence. Picture: INPHO/Dan Sheridan

In the likes of Tara Needham, Sinead Cafferky, Shauna Howley, Sinead Walsh, and Lisa Cafferky have forwards that can hurt any team. Defensively Aisling Tarpey, Fiona McHale and Ciara Needham have been leading by example and they will have to be at their best to stop the Cork forward line that has been outstanding in the championship so far.

This will be the first championship meeting between Cork and Mayo since 2017 when the counties met in an All-Ireland semi-final at Breffni Park in Cavan. 1-9 from Cora Staunton and goals from Aileen Gilroy and Amy Dowling helped Mayo to a two-point victory on that occasion before they went on to lose the All-Ireland final to Dublin.

Rebel stars like Eimear Meaney, Roisin Phelan, Ciara O'Sullivan, Maire O'Callaghan and Doireann O'Sullivan won't have forgotten that day and no doubt a little bit of revenge will be at the back of their minds.

On paper you would expect nothing more than a Cork win, especially as the likes of Doireann and Phelan are back to their best, with injuries now behind the former. Work commitments ruled Phelan out for a while but she is now back playing in Cork and in their last group game against Waterford she was simply outstanding in defence.

Many would have rightly argued she should have been named Player of the Game afterward, but the scoring prowess of Doireann saw that accolade going her way.

Expect these two to star again tomorrow and Cork advance to the semi-final to face Kerry or Armagh a week later at Croke Park.

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