TG4 All-Ireland Ladies Football Senior Qualifiers Round 2 – Cork 0-16 Armagh 2-9

Cork defeated Armagh by 0-16 to 2-9 in the round 2 of the TG4 All-Ireland Ladies Football Senior Qualifiers on Saturday August 10th at Birr.

TG4 All-Ireland Ladies SFC qualifier

Cork 0-16 Armagh 2-9

By Jackie Cahill at St Brendan’s Park, Birr.

CHAMPIONS Cork survived a major scare from Armagh on Saturday evening before booking their place in the quarter-finals of the TG4 All-Ireland Ladies senior football championship. Plucky Armagh came from seven points down in the first half to lead by a point, 2-8 to 0-13, in the final quarter at St Brendan’s Park in Birr. But driven forward by inspirational wing-back and player of the match Geraldine O’Flynn, Cork held firm and edged home with just a point to spare.

After Armagh hit the front, O’Flynn levelled with a free and then surged forward to land a brilliant point from play. Rhona Ní Bhuachalla’s point pushed Cork two ahead but Armagh weren’t done yet as Caroline O’Hanlon, scorer of 1-3, responded with a point. And at the death, O’Hanlon had the chance to level the game but instead of shooting for goal, the Carrickcruppin dynamo dropped her effort short and Cork breathed a huge sigh of relief.

At half-time, beaten Munster finalists Cork looked on course for a comfortable win, as the Leesiders had established a 0-10 to 0-3 lead. Valerie Mulcahy scored five first half points but she was one of the players taken off in the second half as boss Eamonn Ryan emptied his bench. Juliet Murphy came on at half-time to complete her retirement U-turn but Cork struggled in the second half as Armagh came on strong.

A goal or two in that first half could have made life easier for Cork but Ciara O’Sullivan missed two good chances. And when Kelly Mallon and O’Hanlon netted for the Orchard County, the beaten Ulster semi-finalists were right back in it. Cork, beaten by Kerry twice in Munster this year, were on the ropes but despite getting ahead, Armagh couldn’t deliver the knockout punch and the Rebelettes survived.

Scorers for Cork: V Mulcahy 0-6 (3f), G O’Flynn 0-3 (2f), D O’Sullivan 0-2, B Corkery, N Cleary, O Finn, C O’Sullivan & R Ní Bhuachalla 0-1 each.

Scorers for Armagh: C O’Hanlon 1-3, K Mallon 1-1, F McKenna 0-2, S McCleary (f), M McGuinness & S Mackle 0-1 each.

CORK: M O’Brien; A.M. Walsh, B Stack, D O’Reilly; B Corkery, Angela Walsh, G O’Flynn; Annie Walsh, R Buckley; N Cleary, D O’Sullivan, O Farmer; V Mulcahy, C O’Sullivan, O Finn.

Subs: J Murphy for O Farmer, E Farmer for Mulcahy, S Harrington for Buckley, R Ní Bhuachalla for Finn, S Kelly for C O’Sullivan.

ARMAGH: K Daly; L Kenny, C Morgan, S Marley; S Reel, N Marley, N Henderson; C O’Hanlon, S McCleary; M McGuinness, F McKenna, M Tennyson; C Malone, K Mallon, M McAlinden.

Subs: S Mackle for Kenny, C O’Hare for Mallon, A Hughes for McGuinness.

Referee: S Joy (Kerry)

Match Preview

Armagh v Cork – St Brendan’s Park, Birr – 6.00

JULIET Murphy looks to set to complete a remarkable retirement U-turn by featuring for Cork against Armagh. And the All-Ireland champions could badly do with their seven-time All-Ireland medallist as they look to get their campaign back on track. Cork lost twice to Kerry in the Munster championship and are now going through the back door in pursuit of the Brendan Martin cup for the very first time. They won’t get anything easy against an Armagh team that lost the Ulster semi-final by a point against Tyrone but the Orchard County operate in Division 3 and Cork are top-flight opposition.