Monday 16 December 2019

Rebelettes hold on to keep title

Cork 1-9 Dublin 2-4, Ladies League Finals, Division 1

The Cork team celebrate victory over Dublin with the cup
The Cork team celebrate victory over Dublin with the cup
Cork's Ciara O'Sullivan is tackled by Dublin's Sinéad Finnegan
Cork's Ciara O'Sullivan collects the ball ahead of Dublin's Sinéad Finnegan
Cork's Rena Buckley is pulled back by Dublin's Carla Rowe
Cork's Emma Farmer runs with the ball
Cork's Valerie Mulcahy under pressure from Dublin's Rachel Ruddy
Cork captain Briege Corkery with the cup
The Galway team celebrate with the cup after the game
Armagh's Aoife McCoy in action against Waterford's Gráinne Enright during the Ladies National Football League Division 3 final at Parnell Park
The Armagh team celebrate with the cup after the game

Cork retained their title in a Parnell Park thriller, coming from behind to edge out first-timers Dublin by a single point.

The Rebelettes came good in the second half to claim their eighth title since 2005, but they had to win a fierce battle to do so. Dublin managed just three scores in the first half, but two of those were stunning goals, both scored by Lindsay Peat.

And both owed much to the creative brilliance of Lyndsey Davey, who mesmerised the Cork defence with a weaving run to set up her team-mate for a bullet-like finish in the 10th minute.

Cork responded with a brilliant goal of their own, Orlagh Farmer finishing with power and precision following a neat inter-play between Ciara O'Sullivan and Annie Walsh. Some superb defending from Sorcha Furlong, Sinead Finnegan and the influential Carla Rowe repeatedly frustrated the Cork attack, and after absorbing a spell of pressure, the Dubs broke at pace for a second goal in the 26th minute.

Noelle Healy got the move going from deep, and it was Davey and Peat who got in on the business end of a devastating play, the latter smashing home her second.

Valerie Mulcahy slotted over her second point, but the champions trailed by 2-1 to 1-2 at the break.

Geraldine O'Flynn and skipper Briege Corkery were the architects of Cork's revival as they shot six points on the spin to take control, holding their opponents scoreless for 24 minutes.

Mulcahy slotted a couple of frees, and there were points from O'Flynn, Doireann O'Sullivan and Deirdre O'Reilly as the champions got into gear. Neverthless, just a point separated the sides going into the final minute, but time ran out for a brave Dublin side.

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Having lost the last two deciders to Mayo and Kerry, Galway made no mistake at the third attempt, brushing Westmeath aside to win promotion to the top division.

The key score in the first half came in the 23rd minute when Annette Clarke netted a penalty to open out a four-point lead. Galway led by 1-7 to 0-7 at the interval. And they struck for two goals in the space of three minutes early in the final quarter to kill the game off.

Lauren McConville and Fionnuala McKenna shared a 1-7 haul as Armagh easily overcame Waterford. McConville's stoppage-time goal sent the Orchard girls in with a 1-6 to 0-2 interval lead and they never looked back.

Shauna Dunphy pulled back a Waterford goal, but led by inspirational captain Caroline O'Hanlon, Armagh finished strongly.

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