Cork 3-17 Cavan 1-3
Cork’s quest for a sixth successive TG4 All-Ireland Ladies SFC title remains on track after a superior second-half performance saw off Cavan in Birr early this afternoon.
While Ephie Fitzgerald’s side, playing into a stiff breeze in the first half, fell behind to a Caitríona Smith goal inside 13 seconds, they responded to lead by a point at half-time.
Goals soon after the restart from sub Rhona Ní Bhuachalla and then captain Ciara O’Sullivan put them in a commanding position, with Cavan struggling to make headway in the second period.
The Ulster runners-up competed very well in the first half, with some excellent defending frustrating Cork, who were short of their usually imperious standards.
Cavan also benefited from the best possible start as Rosie Crowe gained possession from the throw-in and exchanged passes with captain Sinéad Greene. Though the latter’s shot was blocked, Smith was on hand to send home the rebound.
While it took Cork a while to get going – full-back Bríd Stack got forward to eventually open their account in the ninth minute – they were ahead by 0-4 to 1-0 when Áine O’Sullivan pointed on 13.
Neasa Byrd and Smith put Cavan in front again only for Finn and Stack to reply for Cork, but while Aisling Doonan levelled for the Breffni County on 25, Finn’s third had Cork 0-7 to 1-3 up going in at the break.
Ní Bhuchalla, a half-time sub, made her presence felt by setting up a point for Annie Walsh and then she was there to send the loose ball home after Clodagh Doonan had made a great save to deny Ciara O’Sullivan following good work by Áine O’Sullivan.
Ciara O’Sullivan struck then, a marvellous individual goal with Doonan unlucky as she got a hand to the shot.
From there, though, Cork were rampant as the points continued to come, with subs Orlagh Farmer, Hannah Looney and Eimear Scally all getting on the scoresheet too. Finn put a gloss on the scoreboard when she palmed home Ní Bhuachalla’s pass on 51, giving her a final tally of 1-4.
Cork await either Monaghan or Kerry in the semi-final.
Scorers – Cork: O Finn 1-4 (0-4f), R Ní Bhuachalla 1-2, C O’Sullivan 1-1, O Farmer, A Walsh, B Stack 0-2 each, B Corkery, H Looney, E Scally, Á O’Sullivan 0-1 each.
Cavan: C Smith 1-1, A Doonan (0-1f), N Byrd 0-1 each.
CORK: M O’Brien; R Phelan, B Stack, M Ambrose; S Kelly, D O’Reilly, V Foley; B Corkery, A Walsh; R Buckley, C O’Sullivan, J O’Shea; L Coppinger, Á O’Sullivan, O Finn.
Subs: R Ní Bhuachalla for Á O’Sullivan (half-time), O Farmer for O’Shea (34), H Looney for Coppinger (41), E Meaney for Ambrose (45), E Scally for Finn (52).
CAVAN: C Doonan; S Lynch, R Jordan, J Moore; S Greene, L Fitzpatrick, S Reilly; D English, R Crowe; N Byrd, S O’Sullivan, R O’Keeffe; N Halton, A Doonan, C Smith.
Subs: A Kiernan for Lynch (35) R Doonan for Byrd, R Talbot for Smith (injured) (both 43).
Referee: S Mulvihill (Kerry).