Rebelettes on course for hat-trick after demolition of Monaghan
CORK and Galway will meet in the NFL Division 1 final on May 8 after winning their semi-finals over the weekend. Cork showed ominous form as they beat Monaghan 1-21 to 0-11 at Banagher on Saturday, while Galway ran out 2-13 to 1-12 winners against Laois at Kiltoom yesterday.
Cork, chasing a third successive title and a fifth in six seasons, will meet a Galway side contesting their first Division 1 final since 2007, when they lost to Connacht rivals Mayo.
All-Ireland champions Cork produced a devastating attacking display which yielded 1-19 from play as Monaghan were well beaten. The Farney girls did lead by 0-4 to 0-0 in the first half but once Cork found their rhythm, they proved unstoppable as eight different players registered scores.
For Cork, Angela Walsh was superb at full-back, Norita Kelly quietly effective at midfield while player of the match Mary O'Connor, Ciara O'Sullivan, Amy O'Shea and Nollaig Cleary were in top form.
The Rebelettes led by 1-8 to 0-6 at half-time and the goal, cracked home by O'Shea a minute before the interval, was a crucial score as Monaghan's heads visibly dropped.
In Kiltoom, throw-in for the Galway-Laois semi-final was delayed after Waterford and Fermanagh fought out a memorable high-scoring draw in the Division 3 semi-final.
When the second Division 1 semi-final did get under way, Laois went on to lead by 0-7 to 0-6 at half-time and the O'Moore County were two points ahead, 1-10 to 0-11, with 10 minutes remaining. However, Galway's subs Una Carroll, Patricia Gleeson and Dora Gorman helped to turn the tide as the Connacht champions came roaring back to clinch the win.
Edel Concannon and Lorna Joyce scored Galway's goals as the Tribeswomen produced a strong finish to reach the final for the third time in six seasons. Niamh Duggan finished as Galway's top scorer with eight points, including seven frees, while Noirin Kirwan hit 1-4 for Laois, including a penalty goal in the second half.
In Division 2, Donegal must wait for their final opponents after Armagh and Kildare fought out a thrilling draw, 2-10 apiece, in Saturday's semi-final. Donegal, beaten Division 2 finalists in 2008, advanced to another decider with a 2-14 to 2-6 victory over Meath.
Cavan advanced to the Division 3 final following a comfortable win against Wexford and will meet Waterford or Fermanagh on May 8.
And in Division 4, next Saturday's final will be contested by Limerick and Leitrim at Cavan's Kingspan Breffni Park (5.0).