Mulcahy joy as ‘stubborn’ Cork rally to take glory
CORK 1-9 DUBLIN 2-4 TESCO LADIES NFL DIVISION 1 FINAL
Valerie Mulcahy attributed Cork's capture of an incredible eighth league title in 10 years to “stubbornness” after they fought back to get the better of Dublin at Parnell Park.
Dublin thought they were well on their way to collecting a first Division 1 crown when they led by four points early in the second half.
Facing defeat to a team being tipped to replace them at the top of the ladies' game, Cork seized control and scored an unanswered six points to extend their winning run over Dublin.
Mulcahy took a lot of satisfaction in proving that while they may have lost some key players, this Cork team is far from finished.
“They have been saying that about us for years and that's what drives us on,” she said.
“I think we are very competitive people. We just don't like to give up. I think that's when the stubbornness comes out in us.
“It's phenomenal really. When I started playing, we never envisaged anything like this.
“A lot of us had won nothing until we won our first All-Ireland, so we keep that in mind when we are doing well and we are very grateful.”
Dublin were desperate to get one over the Rebelettes, who had beaten them at the All-Ireland quarter-final stage in two of the last three campaigns.
And it had all started so well with two brilliantly-taken goals by Lindsay Peat in the 10th and 24th minutes.
Orlagh Farmer scored a goal after 13 minutes for Cork, who trailed by 2-1 to 1-2 at half-time.
Dublin will look back with some regret on a few missed chances in the second half, when they failed to score for 21 minutes and hit six wides, the most crucial being a poor effort from captain Sinead Goldrick when they trailed by a point with two minutes remaining.
Cork, appearing in their seventh league final in a row, showed all their experience to play the possession game and run down the clock, with Geraldine O'Flynn converting an insurance free with only seconds remaining.
Mulcahy, who was a late inclusion in the starting team, top-scored for Cork with 0-5.
Despite being involved in all of the Rebelettes' league and All-Ireland wins over the last decade, she is still hungry for more.
“Every year is different and once you start a new year, you forget about what you have done before,” she explained.
“We just want to compete and do our best each year. We have a great motivator in Eamonn (Ryan) and this sets us up nicely for the championship.”
SCORERS – Cork: V Mulcahy 0-5 (4fs), O Farmer 1-0, G O'Flynn 0-2 (1f), D O'Sullivan, D O'Reilly 0-1 each. Dublin: L Peat 2-0, L Davey 0-2, S Aherne 0-2 (2fs).
DUBLIN – C O'Connor; S McGrath, S Furlong, R Ruddy; S Goldrick (capt), S Finnegan, C Rowe; D Masterson, S McCaffrey; S Woods, N McEvoy, N Healy; L Davey, S Aherne, L Peat. Subs: D Murphy for Woods (45), N Hyland for McEvoy (48), O Leonard for Masterson (55).
CORK – M O'Brien; R Phelan, Angela Walsh, B Stack; V Foley, Ann Marie Walsh, G O'Flynn; R Buckley, B Corkery (capt); Annie Walsh, C O'Sullivan, O Farmer; E Farmer, D O'Sullivan, V Mulcahy.Subs: D O'Reilly for Ann Marie Walsh (36), O Finn for O Farmer (40), E Scally for Annie Walsh (40), G Kearney for E Farmer (51), N Kelly for Foley (54).
REF J Niland (Sligo).