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Cora's set to light up Cork clash with Mayo

DO yourself a favour next Saturday and get down to Parnell Park. Cora Staunton is in town.

She'll be playing for Mayo in the Tesco National Football League Division 1 final against Cork (3.45). It's the top-of-the-bill clash in the treble header that sees Galway play Kerry in the Division 2 decider (2.0) and Armagh face Down for the Division 3 prize (12.15).

Cora was in the capital quite recently. She helped Mayo beat Dublin at Portmarnock. The former Dubln boss Peter Clarke is managing Mayo.


He took Monaghan to the All-Ireland final a couple of years ago. Monaghan won the Division 1 title last season, beating Cork. But in the semi-final this time, Mayo overcame the Farney women.

Mayo scored 1-10 that day. Cora scored them all. She played with a broken nose.

She has been playing for Mayo since she was 14. She's a wonder of the modern age.

She has won the lot – All-Irelands for county and club, Carnacon, Player of the Year, Irish Sportswoman of the Year, All-Star awards and the Golden Boot.

She has had enough injuries to fill a few episodes of Casualty, and still she shows that remarkable drive that makes her the footballer she is.


She is superbly fit. And the mere sight of her lacing up the boots fills her colleagues with confidence.

Following last year's defeat, Cork will be keen to win back the crown. They beat Laois in the semi-final. Dublin weren't far away from the top four. Manager, Paul Gilheaney, was pleased with the journey.

The smell of the championship now fills the air. But in Donnycarney's league Saturday spectacular, such thoughts will be banished for a little while longer.

Like many, Cora has expressed regret at how small the following is for women's sport.

But no matter. She always produces a show.

And, no doubt, she'll grace Parnell Park with her usual amazing grace.

If you have the time, bring the kids along to see a living legend. In Mayo, Willie Joe may be the King, but Cora is the Queen.