Cork and Kerry to clash in mouth-watering semi-final

Cork’s quest for five All- Ireland football titles in-a-row remains on track as they dispatched Galway by two points in the TG4 All-Ireland quarter-final at the Gaelic Grounds on Saturday.

The win sees Eamonn Ryan’s side still in with a chance of winning their 10th All-Ireland title in 11 years, as they prepare for Munster champions Kerry in the semi-final on August 29.

A goal by captain Ciara O’Sullivan after just 20 seconds set Cork up for the best possible start, and points from Valerie Mulcahy, Deirdre O’Reilly and O’Sullivan saw them lead by seven at the turnaround (1-6 to 0-2).

Galway could only manage two scores in the first half, courtesy of Patricia Gleeson and Tracey Leonard, with Geraldine O’Flynn shackling the latter brilliantly for Eamonn Ryan.

However, upon the restart Galway captain Geraldine Conneally rallied the troops with an excellent individual goal five minutes in and the Tribeswomen mounted their comeback.

Points from Roisín and Tracey Leonard brought them back to within one (1-9 to 1-8) with 13 minutes remaining, but a masterclass in blocking in the closing minutes denied Kevin Reidy’s side a later winner.

Meanwhile Alan O’Neill’s Kerry ran riot against Mayo in the second half of Saturday’s second semi final land Ladies senior football quarter-final to book their place in the last four.

The semi against Cork is a repeat of this year’s Munster final showdown which saw O’Neill’s side dish out a nine-point hammering — Cork’s heaviest defeat under Eamonn Ryan since 2004 — to deny the reigning champions.

Kerry struggled in the first half Sunday, as did Mayo, with both sides adopting extremely defensive tactics.

Mayo only managed to get on the scoreboard on the opening and closing minute of the half, courtesy of freetaker Cora Staunton and Lisa MacManamon, while points by Sarah Houlihan (two) and Louise Ni Mhuirceartaigh ensured Kerry led 0-3 to 0-2 at the turnaround, despite the sin-binning of corner-back Gina Crowley on the eighth minute for a high tackle on Niamh Kelly.

Upon the restart however, Kerry produced the fast- moving style they’ve become accustomed to and goals from top-scorer Louise Ní Mhuirceartaigh (1-5) and Megan O’Connell on the 37th and 42nd minute opened the floodgates.

Next weekend sees the second batch of quarter-finals, with Ulster champions Donegal facing Armagh, and 2014 All-Ireland finalists Dublin up against Monaghan. Both games are set for Clones, and will be televised live by TG4.

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