Cork and Dublin to face off in ladies's minor A championship final

Cork and Dublin to face off in ladies's minor A championship final

Holders Cork emerged from a game for the ages to book their place in a third successive All-Ireland minor A ladies football final writes Jackie Cahill.

The Leesiders saw off Galway by 3-14 to 3-12 in Nenagh, in what was a repeat of the last two finals.

Grace Culloty’s two goals proved crucial and captain Laura Cleary led by example with a haul of 1-2 as Cork edged past the Westerners in a classic encounter.

Saoirse Noonan was another player to excel for Cork as the Nemo Rangers star collected seven points for the winners.

This was a fixture that ebbed and flowed from start to finish and while Galway went in at half-time 3-7 to 2-6 in front, and with the breeze at their backs in the second half, Cork prevailed to set up a final clash with Dublin.

Galway had excellent contributions from Leanne Coen (1-5) and Chelsea Blade (1-4) but a strong third quarter from Cork saw them gain the upper hand and kick for home.

Missed chances cost Galway dear in the second half but Cork goalkeeper Mairead O’Sullivan was in brilliant form, denying Coen and Blade with superb saves.

Right at the death, Blade collected a pass from Siobhan Divilly and found herself one on one with the Cork netminder, who performed heroics to seal victory.

An early Cleary goal was the game’s first significant contribution and Culloty also netted in the first half for Cork.

But Galway, with midfielder Divilly and Blade demonstrating almost telepathic qualities, had three first half goals from Blade, Ailbhe Davoren and Coen.

Galway, even with the breeze advantage, retreated into a more defensive mode in the second half and that allowed Cork to mount a fightback.

Captain Cleary was exceptional as they completed a remarkable turnaround and Culloty’s second goal was a crucial score, as Cork moved into a 3-12 to 3-9 lead.

There was still time for O’Sullivan to save Cork’s bacon and this group of players remain on course to repeat their All-Ireland successes at U14 and U16 level in 2012 and 2014 respectively.

Remarkably, Galway had a 2-12 haul from inside forwards Coen, Blade and Eimear O'Kane but still ended up on the wrong side of the result.

Cork's final opponents are Dublin, who steamed past Armagh by 4-21 to 1-9 in Inniskeen.

Dearbhla Coleman got Armagh off to an ideal start with a goal inside 60 seconds and Dublin, playing against a strong wind in the opening half, were slow to settle.

Inspired by Julia Buckley, Dublin were a team transformed approaching the break and Buckley’s first goal helped to establish a 1-10 to 1-1 interval lead.

Buckley, who finished with 2-4, netted again in the second half and Dublin also had goals from Hannah O’Neill and Aoife McGrath.

Rachel Douglas was also in good scoring form for the young Jackies, finishing with haul of 0-7, including five pointed frees.

Maria Murphy was Armagh’s leading scorer with 0-7, a tally that included four frees, as Coleman added a point to her early goal.


More in this Section

Dalo's Hurling Show: The Last Dance and The Savage Hunger: Dynamics of a GAA dressing roomDalo's Hurling Show: The Last Dance and The Savage Hunger: Dynamics of a GAA dressing room

Troy Deeney receives abuse after expressing his concerns over football’s returnTroy Deeney receives abuse after expressing his concerns over football’s return

RB Leipzig fail to move up to second after home draw with Hertha BerlinRB Leipzig fail to move up to second after home draw with Hertha Berlin

World Rugby rejects invitational tournament proposal to help struggling unionsWorld Rugby rejects invitational tournament proposal to help struggling unions


Lifestyle

Cork author Conal Creedon tells Richard Fitzpatrick about some of his influences, from characters in his family’s shop to Ian Dury and Jim JarmuschCulture That Made Me: Conal Creedon on showbands, punk rock and playing the saw

A new thriller on Netflix is already causing a stir, and JK Rowling has set the internet alight with chapters of her fairytale, writes Des O’DriscollOnline Entertainment Tips: Snowpiercer, JK Rowling's new tale, and two films on Repeal

She's been sorting out Cork people for ages likeAsk Audrey: Normal People is basically a Maeve Binchy novel with mobile phones

Every evening, volunteers set out on bikes from Penny Dinners, delivering food and supplies to Cork’s homeless community. Donal O’Keeffe accompanied the Knight Riders on their rounds.Knight Riders bike around Cork city to deliver food to the homeless for Cork Penny Dinners

More From The Irish Examiner