Coach Ryan says last year’s defeat spurred Cork

CORK coach Eamon Ryan believes the hurt of losing the TG4 All-Ireland Ladies SFC crown in 2010 has fuelled a renewed quest for glory.

The Leesiders suffered a shock quarter-final defeat against Tyrone last year, ending hopes of a sixth successive All-Ireland crown.

But Cork have hit back with a vengeance this season, claiming Bord Gáis Energy National League Division 1 glory, the Munster championship and now a place in the All-Ireland final, against Kerry or Monaghan, on September 25.

Team captain Amy O’Shea scored a second half hat-trick of goals for Cork against Laois in a 4-10 to 1-6 semi-final victory at Cashel’s Leahy Park on Saturday.

Cork got off to the worst possible start, falling 1-3 to 0-0 behind, but were level at 1-3 apiece by half-time and turned up the heat after half-time, with two goals within a minute from O’Shea shortly after the restart proving crucial.

“We got a horrible start, unexpected,” Ryan said.

“To be down 1-3 after seven or eight minutes was a bit of a shock but we came back well. I thought the benefit of the game the previous week became obvious the longer the game went on.

“We were much more fluid than the previous week. But we have a good few areas we can improve on. They’ve been very committed this year, very loyal to the whole thing, looking after themselves on and off the pitch.”

Ryan revealed that he hopes to have Ciara O’Sullivan back in training before the end of this week, but admitted that the talented forward faces a race against time to be ready for the final.

“They’re all working very hard, they’re all good friends and there’s a great unit there. Last year remains a disappointment but they just have to plough on. But the flip side is that what happened last year has helped them this year.”

Laois boss Joe Higgins will take time out to consider his future in charge – but hinted that he would like to remain at the helm in the O’Moore County.

“It’s not all up to me. I know with managers, having played myself and gone through four or five of them, it would have to come from the girls if I’m to stay on. Listening to one person after two years sometimes gets a bit monotonous.

“I’ll have a serious think about it – today’s not the day to decide anything. But maybe you’ll see me in charge next year.”

Cavan came good after extra-time to win a thrilling TG4 All-Ireland Ladies IFC semi-final against Leitrim at Leahy Park, Cashel, on Saturday evening.

Cavan, beaten semi-finalists in 2010, have now gone one step further this year and will face Limerick or Westmeath in the September 25 final at Croke Park, having scored a thrilling 2-26 to 3-13 win at the weekend.

And the Breffni girls did it the hard way, coming from nine points down to force extra-time, before eventually cruising to a ten-point win which sealed a place in a first All-Ireland final since the 1981 senior decider.

Leitrim full-forward Áine Tighe scored 3-7, including two penalty goals and seven points from frees, but the Kiltubrid attacker was held scoreless in extra-time as Cavan came on strong.

Cavan’s leading scorers Aisling Doonan and Bronagh Sheridan, who bagged 2-14 between them, led the charge while subs Grainne Smith and Darna Clerkin also played massive roles for Adrian McGovern’s team.

Wicklow booked their place in the TG4 All-Ireland junior final with a 3-9 to 0-7 victory against Louth. And New York’s first appearance in the junior championship since 2001 resulted in a comprehensive 3-8 to 0-6 victory against hosts Carlow at Éire Óg.

New York will play Wexford in the second of the junior semi-finals in Birr next Saturday.

Scorers for Cork: A O’Shea 3-0, R Ní Bhuachalla 1-1, J Murphy 0-4 (3f), N Cleary 0-3, M Kelly, G Kearney 0-1 each.

Scorers for Laois: M Dunne 1-1, T Lawlor 0-3 (2fs), Mary Kirwan (f), G Weston 0-1 each.

CORK: E Harte; AM Walsh, A Walsh, D O’Reilly; B Corkery, B Stack, G O’Flynn; J Murphy, R Buckley; N Cleary, M Kelly, G Kearney; V Mulcahy, R Ni Bhuachalla, A O’Shea.

Subs: N Kelly for Buckley (53), L McMahon for Kelly (58), A Sheehan for Kearney (60), O Farmer for O’Shea (60).

LAOIS: C Dollard; L Hyland, G Dunne, E Healy; A Taylor, J Moore, M McEvoy; A Casey, T Lawlor; Mary Kirwan, A Moore, M Dunne; P Fogarty, S Doogue, G Weston.

Subs: Martha Kirwan for Dunne (59), O Farrell for Casey (59).

Referee: G Corrigan (Down).

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