Cork boss Ephie Fitzgerald refuses to hit back at Gregory McGonigle

Cork boss Ephie Fitzgerald has refused to be drawn into a war of words with Gregory McGonigle after the Dublin supremo accused the Rebels of cynicism and systematic fouling during the Lidl Ladies National Football League Division 1 semi-final between the counties.

Fitzgerald, who is hoping to scoop his first piece of silverware as Cork boss in Saturday’s League final against Mayo, insisted he won’t be getting into a “tit-for-tat” slagging match with McGonigle.

McGonigle claimed he saw “loads of cynicism” from the holders in the semi-final and was unhappy that Cork’s Deirdre O’Reilly was not punished for a challenge on Lyndsey Davey that saw the Dublin player forced off injured.

Fitzgerald responded: “I have no comment to make — the article speaks for itself.

“I’m not going to get into a tit-for-tat. All I will say is we look after our own side of things, we go out to play the game in a proper manner.

“I thought our second half performance merited a lot more positivity than negatively. We were very pleased with the victory and I’ll leave it at that.”

Cork produced arguably their most complete display of the season against Dublin — particularly in that second half when they outscored the Sky Blues by 0-11 to 0-2.

On Sunday week Cork open their TG4 Munster championship against Waterford and with Mayo to come at the weekend, the Rebels appear to be hitting peak form at the right time.

Fitzgerald reflected: “We’ve had a few months training together. It took a while for me to get to know the girls and for them to know me. 

“I was appointed late, which set us back a bit in terms of preparation for the league but the reaction since the Kerry match was phenomenal.”

Cork lost their opening two League fixtures against Mayo and Kerry, and suffered another loss to Dublin in February, but they’ve hit a rich winning streak since then.

Fitzgerald added: “Having said that, we’ll be up against it on Saturday. 

“Mayo have won all of their games this year and while it didn’t look good for them in the semi-final against Kerry when they were seven points down, they battled back and won. We need to be at our best to compete.”


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