Laura Fitzgerald hat-trick fires Mourneabbey to another county with victory over Éire Óg

It's eighth Cork title in nine years for the powerhouse from north Cork
Laura Fitzgerald hat-trick fires Mourneabbey to another county with victory over Éire Óg

Mourneabbey celebrate after they achieved eight wins in the Cork Ladies Football Senior A Club Championship in the last nine years. Picture: Larry Cummins

Mourneabbey 3-12 Éire Óg 0-13

MOURNEABBEY'S remarkable record in the Cork senior ladies football championship continued at MTU on Saturday.

They retained their title to make it eight wins in the last nine years, the one slip coming in 2020 when they lost out to West Cork.

Éire Óg can’t be faulted for their efforts but once Mourneabbey got in front they never let up, helped by two early goals from Laura Fitzgerald.

As a team, they were superb with the likes of Ciara O’Sullivan, Maire O’Callaghan, Fitzgerald, Doireann O’Sullivan, and Eimear Meaney leading by example as usual. 

On the day they were simply unstoppable and credit has to go to manager Shane Ronayne and his backroom team for the work put in over that time.

Laura Cleary opened the scoring for Éire Óg after she was set up following a 45, but Mourneabbey responded in style, with two goals in three minutes.

 Ciara O'Sullivan in action for Mourneabbey. Picture: Larry Cummins.
Ciara O'Sullivan in action for Mourneabbey. Picture: Larry Cummins.

The first came after Doireann O’Sullivan’s effort was blocked but Fitzgerald was on hand to pick up the loose ball to raise their first green flag.

Two minutes later and they were awarded a penalty for a foul on Fitzgerald and she picked herself up to find the back of the net off the post, to make it 2-0 to 0-1.

Doireann O’Sullivan added a point before Laura Cleary got Éire Óg’s second score and Eimear Scally added their third from a free, to make it 2-1 to 0-3 with 10 minutes played.

Deirdre Cronin raised another white flag for Mourneabbey, with Maire O’Leary and Shauna Cronin on target for Éire Óg.

Doireann pointed again from a free, with O’Leary and Scally raising white flags in this end-to-end game, to make it 2-3 to 0-7 after 20 minutes.

Two more from Doireann and a point from Roisin O’Sullivan extended Mourneabbey’s lead with Scally hitting back for her side.

Roisin O’Sullivan raised another white flag before we had a long stoppage for an injury to Shauna Cronin who thankfully was ok.

A minute later and the half-time whistle went as the defending champions led 2-7 to 0-8 at the break. Maire O’Callaghan increased their lead at the start of the second-half, before Scally replied from another free as the game continued at pace.

 Celebrations after another county title. Picture: Larry Cummins.
Celebrations after another county title. Picture: Larry Cummins.

Emma Cleary played Cronin in for what looked like a certain only for Meabh O’Sullivan to deny her with a superb save.

A sweeping move, involving O’Callaghan and Brid O’Sullivan played Doireann in, but Éire Óg keeper Lisa Crowley tipped her effort over the bar when it looked like heading for the top corner.

Scally pulled a point back for her side before Mourneabbey were awarded another penalty, this time after Jennifer O’Gorman fouled Anna Ryan. Up stepped Fitzgerald to complete her hat-trick to put her side well in control, 3-11 to 0-10.

The width of the bar stopped Mourneabbey from getting a fourth goal with Anna Ryan’s effort rebounding to Ellie Jack who slotted over. Aoife Nic a Bhaid pulled a point back for Éire Óg but it was no more than a consolation score as Mourneabbey’s magnificent run continues.

They will now go on to represent Cork in the Munster championship next weekend.

Scorers for Mourneabbey: L Fitzgerald 3-1 (2-0 pen), D O’Sullivan 0-6 (0-5 f), R O’Sullivan 0-2, D Cronin, E Jack, M O’Callaghan 0-1 each.

Éire Óg: E Scally 0-6 f, M O’Leary, L Cleary 0-2 each, S Cronin, O Cahalane, A Nic a Bhaird 0-1 each.

MOURNEABBEY: M O’Sullivan; A Walsh, E Meaney, G Cronin; K Williamson, R O’Sullivan, E Cronin; M O’Callaghan, B O’Sullivan; E Jack, D O’Sullivan, C O’Sullivan; D Cronin, L Fitzgerald, A Ryan.

Subs: M Burke for E Cronin (52), K O’Toole for D Cronin (60).

ÉIRE ÓG: L Crowley; I Sheehan, J O’Gorman, A Hickey; A O’Connell, S McGoldrick, M Cahalane; S Cronin, A Rodgers; Eimear Cleary, E Scally, A Nic a Bhaird; L Cleary, M O’Leary, O Cahalane.

Subs: Elaine Scally for A Rodgers (ht), C O’Connor for M O’Leary (47), R Sheehan for A O’Connell (59).

Referee: Cathal McAllister, Aghada.

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