Sunday 16 June 2019

Cork boss admits 'it was hard to get motivated' for Kerry tie

Cork 3-16 Kerry 0-9

Eimear Scally of Cork in action against Kerry's Aoife O'Callaghan. Photo: Matt Browne/Sportsfile
Eimear Scally of Cork in action against Kerry's Aoife O'Callaghan. Photo: Matt Browne/Sportsfile

Independent.ie Sportdesk

Cork manager Ephie Fitzgerald said his side have plenty of work to do before they meet Waterford in the TG4 Munster SFC final.

His side were in control throughout at Páirc Uí Rinn but he feels they have room for improvement. "The win keeps our good run going and any day you score 3-16 you have to be happy overall. But in the first-half I thought some of our play was a bit sloppy and not at the standard we expect."

Cork manager Ephie Fitzgerald. Photo: Matt Browne/Sportsfile
Cork manager Ephie Fitzgerald. Photo: Matt Browne/Sportsfile

His side led by 1-6 to 0-1 at the break, with Saoirse Noonan getting the goal and Orla Finn shooting all their points, and then pulled away in the second-half when Kerry had to commit more players going forward.

Fitzgerald said it took Cork some time to get moving but he was pleased with the way they performed once they got going. "I suppose sometimes it can be hard to get motivated for a game when you know that effectively you are in the Munster final before you even start.

"I must admit I found it hard to get motivated myself ahead of the game, but having said that I thought once we got going we played some great football," Fitzgerald added.

"Kerry were very defensive and made it difficult for us to break down, especially early on, but once we got the first goal I thought it started to open up a bit more. We changed around a few players for this one and that took a bit of time to gel, but I have said before that I think we have a strong squad overall this year and there is no point in having them if you are not going to play them."

Orla Finn of Cork in action against Ciara O'Brien of Kerry. Photo: Matt Browne/Sportsfile
Orla Finn of Cork in action against Ciara O'Brien of Kerry. Photo: Matt Browne/Sportsfile

Finn and Noonan increased Cork's lead shortly after the break with Aoife O'Callaghan replying for Kerry.

With 42 minutes gone, Cork got their second goal, when Libby Coppinger caught a long ball in from Ciara O'Sullivan to turn and blast to the net making it 2-9 to 0-3.

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Rhona N Bhuachalla, Finn and Aine O'Sullivan all pointed for Cork, with Louise Ní Mhuircheartaigh replying for Kerry. In the last minute a superbly worked move saw O'Sullivan get their third goal of an easy win.

Scorers - CORK: O Finn 0-9 (7f), S Noonan 1-2, L Coppinger, A O'Sullivan 1-1 each, R Ni Bhuachalla 0-2, E Kiely 0-1.

Scorers - KERRY: L Ní Mhuircheartaigh 0-5 (5f), A O'Callaghan 0-2, N Carmody, L Scanlon 0-1 each.

CORK: M O'Brien; C O'Shea, E Meaney, M Duggan; S Kelly, A Hutchings, E Kiely; O Farmer, M O'Callaghan; C O'Sullivan, N Cotter, D Kiely; E Scally, S Noonan, O Finn. Subs: L Coppinger for D Kiely (ht), H Looney for C O'Shea (39), R Ni Bhucahalla for S Noonan (45), A O'Sullivan for N Cotter (47), L O'Mahony for O Farmer (52).

KERRY: L Fitzgerald; T Breen, L Coughlan, C O'Brien; K Cronin, A O'Connell, C Murphy; L Scanlon, N Carmody; S Houlihan, A Brosnan, A Galvin; L Ní Mhuircheartaigh, B Ryan, A Foley. Subs: A O'Callaghan for A Galvin (ht), A O'Reilly for B Ryan (49), M O'Keeffe for A Brosnan (57).

REF - John Murphy (Tipperary).

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