TG4 Munster Ladies Football Senior Championship Second Round – Cork 0-20 Clare 0-8

Cork defeated Clare by 0-20 to 0-8 in the second round of the TG4 Munster Ladies Football Senior Championship on Friday in Shannon.

Cork revive title challenge

By Jackie Cahill

VALERIE Mulcahy scored 0-11 as Cork bounced back from last Sunday’s shock defeat against Kerry by scoring a twelve-point victory over Clare in this evening’s (Friday) TG4 Munster ladies senior football championship clash. The reigning provincial and All-Ireland champions were too good for the hosts in Shannon as they ran out 0-20 to 0-8 winners.

Cork had suffered a first championship defeat since the 2010 All-Ireland quarter-final defeat against Tyrone last weekend. But Eamonn Ryan’s charges are now back in contention for a tenth successive Munster crown – with Clare and Kerry scheduled to meet in the final round of round-robin fixtures in Scartaglin next Saturday evening. In what was a must-win fixture for Cork, they were driven forward by the scoring prowess of Mulcahy, who scored four of her points from placed balls.

It was Clare who got off to the better start but three unanswered points from Rockbán attacker Mulcahy tied the game at 0-4 apiece after 13 minutes. Cork went on to lead by 0-7 to 0-5 with 22 minutes on the watch, with Allstar Mulcahy contributing five of those scores. Cork also had Deirdre O’Reilly and dual star Briege Corkery in superb form as they kicked on to lead by 0-10 to 0-6 at the break. By half-time, Mulcahy had scored 0-7, including four frees, and the Rebelettes almost netted before half-time as Rhona Ní Bhuachalla saw her chance brilliantly saved by Clare goalkeeper Susan Higgins.

Cork drove home their superiority in the second half and with ten minutes remaining, they led by double scores, 0-16 to 0-8. Mulcahy had ten points to her name by then while Geraldine O’Flynn, sub Doireann O’Sullivan and Annie Walsh were also on the scoresheet. Niamh O’Dea top scored for Clare with 0-3, including a free, from centre forward and the Banner County must now defeat Kerry in their final game to have a chance of making the provincial decider.

Fixture Details

TG4 Munster Ladies Football Senior Championship

Clare v Cork at Wolfe Tones, Shannon

Friday June 28th at 7.30pm

Referee Keith Delahunty Tipperary

Match Preview

CORK captain Anne-Marie Walsh is demanding a response from the TG4 Munster and All-Ireland ladies football champions following last Sunday’s shock defeat to Kerry in Caherciveen. The Kingdom won by two points as Cork suffered a first championship defeat since losing the 2010 All-Ireland quarter-final against Tyrone. Cork have lost Juliet Murphy and Laura McMahon to retirement but Walsh suspects that complacency may have been a factor last weekend. And she is anticipating a marked improvement in performance levels when the Rebelettes visit Shannon on Friday evening for a must-win clash with hosts Clare.

But Walsh warned: “I just hope the players aren’t getting complacent and waiting for somebody else to do the job for them. We had no leaders on the field last Sunday. Kerry were the better team and had more hunger for the game.” Tesco Homegrown National League winning captain Walsh revealed that Cork dissected last Sunday’s display to identify where things went wrong. And the Inch Rovers defender added: “The U21 championship hit us at the wrong time – we had nine involved in that and another seven doing the Leaving Cert. That’s 16 out of the squad and at training we had small numbers. But they are excuses at the end of the day. We just seemed to be not with it, not in the right frame of mind, just going through the motions. “I’m hoping it can turn itself around and Clare is a must-win. At least we have another chance to get back to the Munster final.”

First-choice goalkeeper Elaine Harte is away travelling for a few weeks and therefore unavailable for selection, with Martina O’Brien and Lisa Crowley battling it out for the number one shirt.