By Conor McKenna, at St Brendan’s Park, Birr
Cork picked up victory in their opening game of the TG4 ladies All-Ireland Senior Championship, after a comfortable 16-point victory over Monaghan, in what was a one-sided game played out in Birr today.
Monaghan did compete well for large periods, especially in the first half, but ultimately the Rebels’ class shone through in the end with two second-half goals in as many minutes sealing the victory.
Ciara O’Sullivan opened the scoring for Cork with a point, which was followed up with an excellent score from Orla Finn.
Monaghan responded well though and two points from Ellen McCarron levelled proceedings.
Cork wing-back Maire O’Callaghan then got the game’s opening goal with an excellent finish after a superb run from deep.
Monaghan did their best to stay in the game but Cork added a further goal, with another superb solo run from Aine O’Sullivan with the Beara native making no mistake with the finish.
Two points from Ellen McCarron kept Monaghan in the game with the scoreboard reading 2-4 to 0-6 in favour of Cork at half time.
Cork completely dominated the second half scoring five more goals on their quest to victory.
The first goal came from Ciara O’Sullivan after a poor kick-out from goalkeeper Linda Martin was intercepted by Saoirse Noonan, with Noonan passing the ball to Ciara O’Sullivan who tapped home from close range.
The game was completely over as a contest when Saoirse Noonan found the net again after linking up with Ciara O’Sullivan with a great finish to the back of the net.
Doireann O’Sullivan added Cork’s fifth goal shortly after with a great finish before Noonan got her second goal 20 seconds after to leave the gap at 18 points.
Ciara O’Sullivan then lobbed Monaghan goalkeeper Linda Martin to register what was her side’s seventh goal.
A late penalty from Martin was little more than a consolation as Cork eased to a 16-point victory.
Scorers for Cork: C O’Sullivan 2-1, S Noonan 2-0, O Finn 0-5 (2f), A O’Sullivan 1-1, D O’Sullivan 1-0 and M O’Callaghan 1-0 each.
Scorers for Monaghan: E McCarron 0-5 (3f), L Martin 1-0 (pen) C McAnespie 0-2, R Courtney 0-1 and E Woods 0-1 each.
Cork: M O’Brien; C Collins, R Phelan, M Duggan; M O’Callaghan, S Kelly, E Spillane; A Hutchings, H Looney; C O’Sullivan, L Coppinger, O Farmer; A O’Sullivan, D O’Sullivan, O Finn.
Subs: S Noonan for Farmer (h-t), E Scally for Coppinger (h-t), B O'Sullivan for Looney (43) A Kelleher for Duggan (52), A Barrett for D O’Sullivan (52)
Monaghan: L Martin; J Fitzpatrick, F Courtney, G McNally; Aoife McAnespie, S Courtney, E Woods; M Monaghan, E McAnespie; R Courtney, J Drury, C Courtney; C McAnespie, N Callan, E McCarron.
Subs: Aisling McAnespie for Courtney (h-t) R McKenna for Fitzpatrick (h-t), Muireann Atkinson for Callon (33), G McKenna for Woods (55), C McBride for Courtney (59).
Referee: Stephen McNulty (Wicklow).