Ladies Football: Cork must get back to winning ways in clash with Donegal

Rebels need a victory to avoid the prospect of a relegation battle in the Lidl Ladies NFL
Ladies Football: Cork must get back to winning ways in clash with Donegal

Louise Ward of Galway in action against Erika O’Shea of Cork. Picture: Ray Ryan

CORK take on Donegal on Sunday, throw-in 12.30pm in Mallow, as they begin a series of home ties in the Lidl Ladies NFL.

Having had to travel away for three of their first four games, they are now at home for the remaining clashes, starting with Donegal.

After that they take on Kerry and Meath to round off their league season and they will be hoping for three wins to finish on a high before the upcoming Munster and All-Ireland championships.

With one win, a draw and two losses so far they need to win to ensure they don’t get sucked into a relegation battle with tough ties against the Kingdom and the reigning league and All-Ireland champions to come.

Melissa Duggan on the move. Picture: Ray Ryan
Melissa Duggan on the move. Picture: Ray Ryan

Judging from their form to date they should be too strong for Donegal who are having a poor season by their standards and have yet to register a win in the league.

They would have been disappointed with some aspects of their play against Galway last Sunday but there were plenty of positives.

The return of Ciara O’Sullivan will add to the options available to manager Shane Ronayne and she showed her importance to the side last Sunday. In her first game back, Ciara was outstanding and it was her influence that saw the Rebels in front at half-time.


Also, Orlaith Cahalane got her first start of the season and raised two green flags in the first half.

With her dual involvement with the senior camogie side it had been agreed in advance, she would only play 30 minutes but have no doubt Ronayne would have been happy to see her play on. But to both sets of management’s credit, they had agreed 30 minutes in each game over the weekend and they stuck to it.

He left Libby Coppinger, Hannah Looney, and Aoife Healy at home to rest, also due to their dual involvement, and had they been available the result could have easily been different at Salthill. They should all play a part on Sunday and will strengthen the side further, with Eimear Meaney also in the running for a starting spot

Ronayne now has only a few others to return, with Doireann O’Sullivan and Laura Fitzgerald due back in the coming weeks to make competition for places even tougher.

The squad is starting to blend new players in with established ones and even though the overall results may not be what they wanted there are lots of positive signs there.

Expect them to take the points on Sunday and move up the table to avoid a relegation battle.

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