Sunday 27 May 2018

Cafferky ends Rebelettes' league run

Sinead Cafferky of Mayo is tackled by Emma Spillane of Cork. Photo: Sportsfile
Sinead Cafferky of Mayo is tackled by Emma Spillane of Cork. Photo: Sportsfile

Jackie Cahill

Mayo manager Peter Leahy is relishing the prospect of a Lidl Ladies NFL final showdown with TG4 All-Ireland champions Dublin on May 6 at Parnell Park.

Mayo ended Cork's hopes of landing a sixth successive league title with a high-scoring victory in yesterday's Birr semi-final.

And Mayo now have a shot at revenge as they'll face up to the Dubs in a repeat of last year's All-Ireland senior decider.

Sinéad Cafferky's second-half goal proved crucial and she was also brilliant at the other end of the pitch - denying Cork sub Áine O'Sullivan a certain goal with a superb clearance off the line.

Leahy smiled: "I don't want to say too much about Sinéad Cafferky because she's our hidden gem. I think she was player of the match - her overall performance was unbelievable."

Mayo also had forward stars Sarah Rowe and Grace Kelly in fine form - as they contributed 0-16 between them. Cork's marquee attacker Orla Finn was brilliant too, scoring 1-9.

Thoughts now turn to Mayo's first league decider since 2016 against a Dublin side hoping to win the league for the very first time.

And Leahy said: "I love playing the Dubs - Mick (Bohan) and myself will go at it on the line as well. Ken Robinson is a close friend and Ken's on the line for them as well."

Playing with the strong wind, Mayo took the lead when Grace Kelly pointed from a free, but with six minutes gone Libby Coppinger goaled for Cork. Finn got her third point to make it 1-4 to 0-2 with seven minutes gone. After Sorcha Murphy saved Eimear Scally's penalty, Mayo perked up and raced into a 0-14 to 1-6 lead before Finn got Cork's second goal as Mayo led by 0-14 to 2-7 at half-time.

Four minutes into the second-half and Cork were back in front, when áine O'Sullivan set up Coppinger for her second goal to make it 3-8 to 0-15.

With 21 minutes of the second-half gone the vital score came when Gilroy and McHale combined to set up Cafferky to make it 1-19 to 3-9 for Mayo who hung on for victory.

Scorers - Mayo: S Rowe 0-9 (4f), G Kelly 0-7 (3f), S Cafferky 1-1, N Kelly, A Gilroy, F McHale 0-1 each. Cork: O Finn 1-9 (5f), L Coppinger 2-0, C O'Sullivan 0-2, E Scally 0-1.

MAYO - S Murphy; O Conlon, S Tierney, S Ludden; D Caldwell, E Lowther, D Hughes; C McManamon, A Gilroy; F McHale, F Doherty, S Cafferky; N Kelly, S Rowe, G Kelly. Subs: M Corbett for S Ludden, R Kearns for S Murphy, S Howley for F Doherty.

CORK - M O'Brien; M Ambrose, E Meaney, E Spillane; M O'Callaghan, M Duggan, S Kelly; A Hutchings, B O'Sullivan; C O'Sullivan, C Collins, O Farmer; L Coppinger, E Scally, O Finn. Subs: A O'Sullivan for M Ambrose, A Barrett for S Kelly.

REF - B Rice (Down)

Irish Independent

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