Wednesday 24 April 2019

First blood goes to Cork women ahead of Dublin rematch

LGFA Lidl League Div 1: Cork 2-13 Dublin 2-8

Rory Kerr

Dublin suffered their second loss in the Lidl National League in Sunday's encounter in Mallow.

It was the first time the sides had met since the All-Ireland decider when two goals from Carla Rowe had secured back-to-back Brendan Martin titles for Mick Bohan's team.

Rowe was again on target at the weekend, but a Dublin side that featured eight changes from the one that beat Galway in the penultimate round were second best to the home side.

The teams will now meet in the semi-final in just under two weeks' time where Dublin, as League holders, are likely to present a more formidable challenge.

The visitors had got off to a good start when, from a ball delivered by Cork-based Noelle Healy, Rowe found the back of the net.

Dublin then suffered a scare when, followed an opening point from Orlagh Farmagh, Rhona ni Bhuachalla just failed to find the back of the net.

While Niamh McEvoy would stretch Dublin's lead to four points, Cork were on level terms by the 11th minuth when, following a break through the middle by Ciara O'Sullivan, Maria O'Callaghan slotted passed the keeper.

The two teams then exchanged two points apiece before Ni Bhuachalla pointed with the last of the first-half action to leave Cork up by 1-4 to 1-3.

The third quarter would see Cork out-score Dublin by four points to one, with Dublin's sole score from Rowe as the Rebelettes moved their lead to out three points by the 44-minute mark.

Then Cork struck for their second goal when Ni Bhuachalla and O'Sullivan combined to set up Niamh Cotter.

That left Dublin facing an uphill task, but they had a quick response courtesy of back-to-back frees from McEvoy and with Cork reduced to 14 players following Eimear Meaney's sin-binning the visitors made further inroads into the deficit.

A Siobhan Killeen goal would leave the Jackies just a point in arrears, 2-8 to 2-7, but Cork regrouped to register the next four points. They included a brace from Ni Bhuachalla who finished as Cork's top scorer on the day with six points.

Cork: L Crowley; C O'Shea, H Looney, E Meaney; D Kiely, A Hutchings, E Kiely; M O'Callaghan, N Cotter 1-2; O Farmer 0-1, C O'Sullivan 0-2, L O'Mahony; L Coppinger 0-1, S O'Leary, R Ní Bhuachall 0-6(4f). Subs: C Moore for L Crowley (h-t), S Kelly for E Kiely (40), M Duggan for D Kiely (40), S Noonan for O'Leary (50), E Scally 0-1 for O'Mahony (50), L O'Mahony for Ni Bhuachalla (58).

Dublin: Rachel Fleming; Éabha Rutledge, Olwen Carey, Emma McDonagh; Sinead McGoldrick, Sinead Finnegan, Aoife Kane; Niamh Hetherton, Sionhan McGrath; Carla Rowe 1-2, Siobhan Woods, Kate Sullivan; Siobhan Killeen 1-0, Noelle Healy 0-1, Niamh McEvoy 0-5(4f. Subs: Hannah O'Neill for Sullivan (6), Rachel Ruddy for E McDonagh (12), Ciara Trant for Fleming (h-t), Orlagh Nolan for Woods (h-t), Lauren Magee for S Finnnegan (h-t), Martha Byrne for Carey (46), Lucy Collins for McGrath (55).

Fingal Independent