Cork ladies football: Season off to a great start with brilliant U21 football action

Ger McCarthy rounds up all the action to date with Glanmire and Mourneabbey through to the U21 A decider
Cork ladies football: Season off to a great start with brilliant U21 football action

he Midleton U21 team that was unlucky to lose a Cork LGFA U21 C county championship first-round tie to Bantry Blues 5-10 to 3-11 after extra-time.

THE Cork LGFA U21 county championships are in full swing with Mourneabbey and Glanmire preparing for a repeat of last year’s U21 A decider.

Mourneabbey will meet the Glanmire club they overcame in 2022’s U21 A final at the penultimate stage of this year’s tournament.

The reigning county champions travelled to Aghada for a first round tie and emerged 6-7 to 2-6 winners on March 5th.

Deirdre Cronin top scored for an impressive Mourneabbey with 2-1. Katie O’Toole, Rachel Church (1-1 each), Molly Burke, Lucy Williamson, Laura Walsh, Anna Ryan and Sarah Finnegan also contributed.

Despite the defeat, Aghada put in a battling performance with Eimear Cronin (1-1), Mary Leahy (1-0), Bríanna Smith, Sally McAllister and Anabel O’Brien getting on the scoreboard.

The second of this year’s U21 A semi-finals see 2022 U21 B county champions Naomh Abán taking on Éire Óg. Both games should be cracking affairs and are pencilled in for Sunday, March 19th.

This year’s Cork LGFA U21 B Championship has reached the quarter-finals stage.

O’Donovan Rossa will host Valley Rovers after both West Cork clubs came through their opening round ties.

Shona Cronin notched 5-3 in Valley’s defeat of Nemo Rangers at Brinny. Last year’s U21 B championship runners-up, O’Donovan Rossa, were pushed to the limit by Fermoy before edging a cracking tie 1-15 to 3-8. Sarah Hurley (1-6) top-scored for the Skibbereen club.

The winners of the Rovers and Rossa’s quarter-final will meet either Dohenys or Kinsale in the last four. That scenario guarantees a West Cork club will reach this year’s county final.

On the opposite side of the U21 B draw, Clonakilty travel to St Val’s to earn the right to face Bride Rovers in the semi-finals. Rovers overcame Erin's Own 5-15 to 5-11 despite Jenny O’Neill, Aimee Corcoran and Sarah Casey impressing for the East Cork side. Aoibhinn O’Neill, Grace Nagle, Ella Collins, Chloe Reis, Helen Savage and Hollie Healy provided the bulk of Erins Own’s scores.

This business end of this year’s U21 C championship is also taking shape.

Watergrasshill host Douglas in the quarter-finals after both sides received first-round byes. Dromtarriffe or Mallow will face Killshannig in the quarter-finals after the North Cork outfit defeated Carrigaline 5-8 to 4-7. Holly Fitzgerald scored 3-3 for a battling Carrigaline with Abbey McGrath, Abbey McLoughlin and Eva O’Herlihy also contributing.

The Carrigaline U21 team that performed superbly before going down 5-8 to 4-7 to Kilshannig.
The Carrigaline U21 team that performed superbly before going down 5-8 to 4-7 to Kilshannig.

Bantry Blues and Midleton served up a marvellous U21 C opening round clash in which the West Cork club edged the result 5-10 to 3-11 after extra time.

Aoife Kingston’s 3-5 helped the Blues over the line despite a heroic Midleton effort. Aisling McCarthy (2-2) and Sadhbh Beausang (1-5) were on top form for a Midleton team in which Rachel Quirke and Saoirse Twomey-Tangney also stood out.

Bantry’s rewards is a home quarter-final against Rockbán. Jennifer Whelan, Maria Herlihy, Aideen Donovan and Eabha O’Brien were on target in a 2-7 to 1-6 Rockbán first-round defeat of Inch Rovers at Killeagh.

Niamh O’Connor, Megan and Chloe O’Donovan, Anna and Emily Brenner, Grace Rooney, Ali Budds, Kayla Jennings and Áine Ó Driscoll stood out for Inch.

Ballinora defeated Araglen Desmonds Buí and Castlehaven knocked out Bandon to setup the two winners’ U12 B quarter-final. Cliona Dooley, Kate O’Shea, Rose Murphy, Nessa Kingston, Aoife Murphy, Louise O’Neill and Caoimhe Murphy were the pick of Ballinora’s top performers.

Rosscarbery defeated Carrigtwohill 3-11 to 2-6 to set up a U21 D county championship first-round clash with fellow West Cork club Gabriel Rangers. Kellianne French, Sandra O’Donoghue and Claire O’Donovan were amongst Ross’s scorers.

In the first round, Youghal proved too strong for Passage and Lisgoold knocked out Killavullen 1-15 to 1-5. Cork senior Dara Kiniry along with Laura Murphy, Molly Cullinane, Lily Carroll, Molly Carroll, Eilis Hegarty and Gemma Carroll helped Lisgoold reach the quarter-finals.

Ibane Ladies host Abhainn Dalla, Youghal travel to Ballincollig and Lisgoold welcome Banteer in the last eight. The winners of Ballinhassig and Mayfield will host either Rosscarbery or Gabriel Ranges in the other U21 D quarter-final tie.


Cork LGFA U21 Championships 

U21 A Round 1: Aghada 2-6 Mourneabbey 6-7 

U21 B Round 1: Valley Rovers 6-12 Nemo Rangers 1-10, Fermoy 3-8 O’Donovan Rossa 1-15, Erin's Own 5-11 Bride Rovers 5-15 (quarter-final). 

U21 C Round 1: Carrigaline 4-7 Kilshannig 5-8, Bantry Blues 5-10 Midleton 3-11 (after extra time), Inch Rovers 1-6 Rockbán 2-7, Araglen Desmonds Buí 2-9 Ballinora 8-12, Bandon 2-6 Castlehaven 4-12. 

U21 D Round 1: Carrigtwohill 2-6 Rosscarbery Ladies 3-11 (preliminary round), Lisgoold 1-15 Killavullen 1-4, Youghal 6-13 Passage 1-1.

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