Tuesday 24 October 2017

Ryan considering Cork future after quarter-final exit

Jackie Cahill

EAMON Ryan will take time out to consider his future in charge of Cork's ladies senior football team following last Saturday's TG4 All-Ireland quarter-final defeat to Tyrone.

Ryan has overseen a remarkable period of success for a team that annexed seven successive Munster titles, five National League crowns and five straight All-Ireland titles.

Going for a sixth successive All-Ireland, Cork were stopped in their tracks on Saturday by Tyrone, who ran out 3-11 to 0-13 winners at Banagher.

Ryan, described this year by Mayo star Martha Carter as a coaching "genius", insisted that the seven-week break between the Munster final and the All-Ireland quarter-final was a hindrance to his team's chances.

Cork also carried injury concerns into the game and lost centre-forward Ciara O'Sullivan and experienced defender Geraldine O'Flynn to knocks in the first half.

They led by 0-11 to 0-5 at half-time but Tyrone fought back and with Cork defenders Bríd Stack and Aisling Barrett sin-binned in the dying minutes, Tyrone scored two goals to seal a famous win.

"There will be no rash decisions. They have put a lot of things on hold but I'm hoping they'll all come back," said Ryan. "But we didn't really discuss that. The girls were very quiet after and just dispersed. They've had a good innings but it was bound to end sometime.

"It could have ended against Armagh in 2006 and it could have ended last year against Dublin (All-Ireland final)."

Cork defeated Clare in the Munster final on July 3 but seven weeks passed before their next championship outing, which ended in defeat against a Tyrone side with huge momentum in the qualifiers.

"Seven weeks definitely made things harder. We hadn't competitive matches and it's hard to keep the buzz going."

Earlier, Laois secured their passage with a 0-12 to 0-9 victory over Monaghan with Angela Casey and Noirin Kirwin prominent.

With Cork's exit, a new name will be etched on the Brendan Martin Cup in September.

The semi-final draw pitted Tyrone against Kerry, while last year's beaten finalists Dublin tackle Laois in a repeat of this season's Leinster decider.

Tyrone and Dublin have never won a senior title, Laois claimed their solitary success in 2001, while the last of Kerry's 11 crowns was won back in 1993.

Irish Independent

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