Friday 23 February 2018

Ladies Football: Ryan - Victory not about revenge but Rebel survival

Cork 2-9 Kerry 0-11

Jackie Cahill All-Ireland ladies SFC semi-final

CORK manager Eamonn Ryan insisted that Saturday's victory over Kerry in Thurles was not all about revenge.

Cork scored a championship victory over the Kingdom at the third time of asking this summer – following two defeats in the Munster championship.

Cork's four-point win at Semple Stadium sets up a showpiece decider with Monaghan on September 29.

Valerie Mulcahy grabbed the headlines with a 2-3 haul as Cork advanced to an eighth final in nine seasons. And Ryan reflected: "Everybody would be coming from the revenge angle. It wasn't about revenge. It was more that it was self-survival rather than anything against Kerry."

Cork were deserving winners as they counter-attacked smartly and pulled bodies behind the ball to frustrate Kerry's attacks.

Ryan added: "I thought we deserved to win. We could have kicked five more points in the second half – terrible decision-making by a few forwards, kicking aimlessly into the goalie's hands. The few times they (Kerry) went up the field in the second half, they got points. It looked like a day where if you don't take your chances, you might be caught. But we pulled through."

Mulcahy was the match-winner with two goals helping Cork to a 2-5 to 0-7 half-time lead. In the second half, Kerry were twice within three points of Cork but they couldn't get any closer.

Cork pulled through despite only scoring four second-half points. Mulcahy added: "We haven't performed well. It was important for us to give it everything. The result looked after itself."

Cork will now face Monaghan in an All-Ireland final for the third time in six seasons. Cork won the 2008 and 2011 deciders, as well as last year's semi-final against the Farney County.

Scorers – Cork: V Mulcahy 2-3 (1f), G O'Flynn 0-3 (2fs), Annie Walsh 0-2, N Cleary 0-1. Kerry: L Ní Mhuircheartaigh 0-4 (4fs), D Corridan, P Dennehy 0-2 each, S Houlihan (1f), B Breen, M Fitzgerald 0-1 each.

CORK – M O'Brien; A-M Walsh, B Stack, D O'Reilly; B Corkery, R Buckley, G O'Flynn; J Murphy, Angela Walsh; N Cleary, C O'Sullivan, Annie Walsh; V Mulcahy, D O'Sullivan, R Ní Bhuachalla. Subs: O Farmer for Ní Bhuachalla (37), O Finn for C O'Sullivan (40), A Barrett for A-M Walsh (53), E Farmer for Annie Walsh (56), V Foley for D O'Sullivan (57).

KERRY – E Murphy; C Lynch, A Desmond, A Lyons; B Lane, C Kelly, D Hallissey; E Sherwood, B Breen; S Houlihan, D Corridan, A Brosnan; P Dennehy, L Galvin, L Ní Mhuircheartaigh.

Subs: M Fitzgerald for Brosnan (h-t), SJ Joy for Lane (34), M O'Connell for Corridan (50).

Ref – M Farrelly (Cavan)

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