Starring role for Mulcahy as Cork show signs of return to top form
CHAMPIONS Cork showed ominous signs that they are returning to top form with a comprehensive 4-16 to 1-11 victory against Laois in yesterday's Bord Gáis Energy Ladies National Football League Division 1 tie.
Valerie Mulcahy was the star of the show as the Rockban ace finished with a haul of 4-4.
Her opening goal was a fortuitous long-range effort but there was no doubting the general quality of Mulcahy's finishing as the Leesiders ran out comprehensive 14-point winners at Cork IT.
At half-time, Cork were out of sight as they led by 3-12 to 0-5 and it was early goals that proved the O'Moore County's undoing.
Tracey Lawlor, Aisling Quigley and Mary Kirwan kept plugging away for Laois while Martina Dunne scored a second half consolation goal but the visitors played second fiddle throughout to a rampant Cork.
Juliet Murphy was also in good form for Cork as she weighed in with four points, all from frees, while Geraldine O'Flynn, Nollaig Cleary, Rhona Ní Bhuachalla and Laura McMahon chipped in with a brace of points each.
In Division 2, Donegal ensured their place in the play-offs with a crucial 3-13 to 3-9 victory against Tipperary, a result which severely dents the Premier County's hopes of a top-four finish.
Goals from Karen Feeney, Karen Guthrie and Aoife McMonagle proved decisive for the North-Westerners as they made the long visit to Golden a profitable one.
Gillian O'Brien scored 1-5 for Tipperary, who trailed by 2-5 to 2-3 at half-time, while Cliona O'Dwyer and Ann Marie O'Gorman added the home side's other goals.
In Division 3, Fermanagh and Waterford fought out an exciting draw in a top-of-the-table clash at Kinawley.
The home side scored 2-14 while visitors Waterford responded with 1-17 as the teams ensured themselves of coveted play-off spots.
All the goals were scored in the first half as Waterford came from six points down to lead by 1-10 to 2-6 at half-time.
Imelda McGovern scored Fermanagh's first goal after seven minutes while Caroline Little, who scored a total of 1-7, added the Erne County's second goal with 21 minutes on the watch.
Elaine Power's late leveller for Waterford ensured a draw and it is now guaranteed that the two teams will meet again in the forthcoming Division 3 semi-final.
In Division 4, Sinead Foley, Evie Guckian and Michelle Reynolds were on target as Leitrim scored a 3-15 to 0-8 victory against Louth.