Goals key as Mourneabbey retain ladies title

Mourneabbey 3-9 St Val’s 0-9: Two first-half goals powered Mourneabbey to a second successive Cork ladies senior football crown at Carrigaline last night.

Having trailed by seven points at half-time in last Saturday’s drawn encounter, Mourneabbey were in no mood to hand their opponents such a generous start in this replay and were led only once over the 60 minutes.

Five clear after 18 minutes, the gap was stretched to nine points early in the second period. While St Val’s, led by Vera Foley, Briege Corkery and Ciara McCarthy, never threw in the towel, the outcome was in no doubt from a long way out. Indeed, after Brid O’Sullivan pilfered Mourneabbey’s third goal on 36 minutes to propel the North Cork outfit 3-6 to 0-6 clear, the reigning champions were content to sit on their lead. In the remaining 24 minutes, they added just three points, from Doireann O’Sullivan (0-1 free), Sile O’Callaghan and Emma Forde.

Eva Dunne, Caoimhe Creedon (0-2, 0-1 free) and Ciara McCarthy provided Val’s second-half scores, but the required goals they could not locate.

Two first-half goals had put Mourneabbey in the driving seat, but their green flag count could easily have been double that as they returned to the dressing room 2-6 to 0-5 in front. Laura Fitzgerald, Brid O’Sullivan and Niamh O’Sullivan were all guilty of spurning goal opportunities inside the first quarter, before the dam gave way on 14 minutes. Laura Fitzgerald’s looping effort wasn’t properly dealt with by St Val’s keeper Mairead O’Sullivan and the ball trickled across the white paint.

The opening goal put the victors 1-3 to 0-2 clear. Doireann O’Sullivan and McCarthy traded efforts in the ensuing passages of play. On 21 minutes, Mourneabbey pounced for a second goal. Brid O’Sullivan fed Laura Fitzgerald and she buried from close range.

McCarthy (free) and Claire Byrne posted the Val’s response, but the seven-point interval deficit proved insurmountable for the 2013 winners.

For Mourneabbey, attention now turns to Saturday’s Munster final against Ballmacarbry.

Scorers for Mourneabbey:

L Fitzgerald (1-2); B O’Sullivan (1-1); Mairead O’Sullivan (1-0, OG); D O’Sullivan (0-3, 0-1 free); S O’Callaghan (0-2); E Forde (0-1).

Scorers for St Val’s:

C Creedon (0-3, 0-1 free); C McCarthy (0-3, 0-1 free); E Dunne, V Foley, C Byrne (0-1 each).

Mourneabbey:

M O’Sullivan; CA Stack, A O’Sullivan, E Coakley; K Healy, R O’Sullivan, E Meaney; M O’Callaghan, N O’Sullivan; S O’Callaghan, B O’Sullivan, E Harrington; C O’Sullivan, L Fitzgerald, D O’Sullivan.

Subs:

E Forde for Healy (33 mins), K Coakley for Fitzgerald (45), A O’Callaghan for R O’Sullivan (60 mins, inj).

St Val’s:

M O’Sullivan; Liz Coholan, S Cotter, A Kelleher; C Ambrose, M Ambrose, M Corkery; B Corkery, V Foley; C McCarthy, Laura Coholan, E Dunne; J Down, C Creedon, A Plunkett.

Subs:

C Byrne for Down (29 mins), N Canty for Corkery (29), J Lucey for Plunkett (41) Referee: AJ Cronin (Mayfield).


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