TG4 All Ireland Ladies Football Senior Championship Semi-Final – Cork 2-9 Kerry 0-11

Cork defeated Kerry by 2-9 to 0-11 in the TG4 All Ireland Ladies Football Senior Championship Semi-Final on Saturday September 7th at Semple Stadium Thurles.

TG4 All-Ireland Ladies senior football championship semi-final

Cork 2-9 Kerry 0-11

By Jackie Cahill at Semple Stadium

VALERIE Mulcahy scored 2-3 as champions Cork advanced to an eighth TG4 All-Ireland ladies senior football championship final in nine seasons with victory over Kerry in Thurles on Saturday afternoon. Allstar forward Mulcahy bagged two first half goals as Cork won by four points in what was a repeat of last year’s All-Ireland decider against Kerry. The neighbours had met twice already in this year’s championship – with Kerry winning twice in Munster, including the provincial final. But Cork had too much know-how for the Kingdom at Semple Stadium as they set up another final meeting with Monaghan on September 29.

The Rebelettes beat Monaghan in the 2008 and 2011 finals – and in last year’s semi-final – and their eyes are on three-in-a-row as another September showpiece looms. At Semple Stadium, Cork took the game to Kerry from the start and built up a 1-3 to 0-1 lead within 12 minutes. Doireann O’Sullivan and Annie Walsh were involved in the build-up for Mulcahy’s first goal in the eighth minute, as the Rockbán attacker finished clinically from close range at the Killinan End.

But after Cork moved five points clear, Munster champions Kerry replied with four unanswered points to move back into contention. Geraldine O’Flynn, brilliant once again in the Cork half-back line, kicked a point from play before Mulcahy struck again in the 28th minute, finishing from close range with a palmed effort from Ciara O’Sullivan’s pass. Kerry hit back with two of the last three points of the first half and at the break, Cork led by 2-5 to 0-7.

In the second half, Kerry twice got to within three points of the Rebelettes. But frustratingly, the Kingdom could never quite get close enough to threaten another upset against the pre-match favourites. Cork called upon all of their reserves of experience and in the second half, Mulcahy kicked two classy points from play to keep the scoreboard ticking over. Despite only kicking four points in total during the second half, Cork kept Kerry comfortably at arm’s length, with Briege Corkery and O’Flynn both excellent in defence.

At midfield, Deirdre O’Reilly enjoyed some good moments as quarter-final player of the match Juliet Murphy, who started at wing-forward, provided an extra body around the middle third. As an attacking force, Cork were relatively non-existent in the second half as they sat back and soaked up the Kerry pressure. At times, there were eight, nine and even ten Cork players behind the ball and that cluster of players formed an impenetrable wall for Kerry. And once again, the Kingdom suffered big game heartbreak against a Cork team that just keeps on rolling.

Scorers for Cork: V Mulcahy 2-3 (0-1f), G O’Flynn 0-3 (2f), Annie Walsh 0-2, N Cleary 0-1.

Scorers for Kerry: L Ní Mhuircheartaigh 0-4f, D Corridan & P Dennehy 0-2, B Breen, S Houlihan (f) & M Fitzgerald 0-1 each.

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

Subs: O Farmer for Ní Bhuachalla (37), O Finn for C O’Sullivan (40), A Barrett for A.M. Walsh (53), E Farmer for Annie Walsh (56), V Foley for D O’Sullivan (57).

KERRY: E Murphy; C Lynch, A Desmond, A Lyons; B Lane, C Kelly, D Hallissey; E Sherwood, B Breen; S Houlihan, D Corridan, A Brosnan; P Dennehy, L Galvin, L Ní Mhuircheartaigh.

Subs: M Fitzgerald for Brosnan (h.t.), S.J. Joy for Lane (34), M O’Connell for Corridan (50).

Referee: M Farrelly (Cavan)


Match Preview

TG4 All-Ireland Ladies SFC semi-final

Compiled by Jackie Cahill

Cork v Kerry – Semple Stadium, Thurles – 4.00pm.

THE scene is set for a third championship meeting of the season between Cork and Kerry. And so far, All-Ireland champions Cork have yet to record a victory against their neighbours. Kerry won an opening round fixture in the Munster championship and then denied Cork a tenth successive provincial title with victory in the final. But Cork are probably the last team that Kerry wanted to meet again in the championship – particularly after the Leesiders produced such a stunning fightback against Cork in the All-Ireland quarter-final.

The challenge now for Kerry is a psychological one and the big question is – can they beat Cork for a third time in a row? Kerry showed some real fight themselves in their quarter-final victory over Mayo, coming with a run of three late points to clinch a narrow win. But Cork won’t countenance another defeat to Kerry and with Juliet Murphy back pulling the strings at midfield, they looked primed for an All-Ireland final appearance against Monaghan on September 29, and a crack at the three-in-a-row.

Betting: Cork 1/3 Draw 10/1 Kerry 11/4

Verdict: Cork

Match Preview

TG4 All-Ireland Ladies SFC semi-final preview

By Jackie Cahill

KERRY manager William O’Sullivan fears that Cork’s spectacular comeback against Dublin could spell trouble for the Kingdom in Saturday’s TG4 All-Ireland Ladies senior football semi-final (Semple Stadium, Thurles – 4.0). All-Ireland champions Cork came from nine points down against the Dubs in a remarkable quarter-final, to clinch a four-point victory with a run of 1-10 without reply.

Cork looked dead and buried and the worry for Kerry now is that the Leesiders have rediscovered their best form at the business end of the championship. Cork looked sluggish and lethargic in the Munster championship and that allowed Kerry to beat them not once, but twice in the provincial campaign.

But now the scene is set for the third championship meeting between the neighbours this season – in what is also a repeat of last year’s All-Ireland final. O’Sullivan said: “During the Munster championship, Cork were a team looking for fifth gear. They found it against Dublin and that’s bad news for us. “Juliet (Murphy) brought a certain amount of organisation to the middle of the park and they feel more comfortable with her there. “They’re better than what we played in Munster – no doubt about that.”

Kerry, fresh from their victory over Mayo, looked on at St Brendan’s Park in Birr as Cork came from the dead to reel in Leinster champions Dublin. And O’Sullivan revealed: “Our trainer Alan O’Neill was beside me and he was saying that it was over when they went nine points down. I said: ‘do you want to put money on that?’ It was a carbon copy of what happened between the teams in 2011 (quarter-final when Cork scored seven unanswered points to win). “Cork are Cork – they’re not going to die until the final whistle.”

O’Sullivan concedes that beating Cork for a third time in the championship will be “difficult” but added: “We’re in a better place than we would have been in any other year. For Cork, they have Juliet back and a full team so there are no excuses about what might have happened in Caherciveen, hitting the crossbar in the Munster final and kicking a few wides. “There are no excuses now. For them it’s all or nothing – for us, too, in many ways. “It should make for a good match and we’ll obviously take a bit of confidence from knowing that we’ve beaten them twice already. “But the dynamic is going to be different. There’s a different pace to an All-Ireland semi-final than a qualifier or Munster final.”

Meanwhile, Cork manager Eamonn Ryan believes that resilience and unity dug his team out of a massive hole against Dublin. He explained: “There’s a great bond and camaraderie amongst them. “I suppose it was that team dynamic that took over. It’s very hard to put your finger on what initiated it. Everybody realised that they were in trouble and worked harder.”

Ryan concedes that the “psychology” of the Cork-Kerry rivalry has changed, as the Munster champions have now managed to beat the Rebelettes in big championship games. He added: “Their confidence is bound to be sky-high. We were their nemesis for a good few years but they’ve beaten us twice and that changes the whole psychology of the thing. The challenge for us is can we bounce back? Only Saturday will tell us that really.”

Weekend fixtures:

Saturday September 7

TG4 All-Ireland Ladies intermediate football championship semi-final.

Fermanagh v Tipperary – Semple Stadium, Thurles, 2.15 pm.

TG4 All-Ireland Ladies senior football championship semi-final.

Cork v Kerry – Semple Stadium, Thurles, 4.00 pm.