Wednesday 21 February 2018

O'Sullivan bags brace in Cork's scoring spree

Cork produced a frenzy of goals Stock photo: Sportsfile
Cork produced a frenzy of goals Stock photo: Sportsfile Newsdesk Newsdesk

Ephie Fitzgerald's Cork went goal-crazy at Tuam Stadium to put themselves in a strong position to qualify for the Lidl Ladies NFL Division 1 semi-finals.

The holders ran out 6-15 to 1-11 winners against the Tribeswomen to boost their scoring difference as Mayo strengthened their position at the top of the table yesterday.

It was also a landmark day for Armagh as Ronan Clarke's charges scored a first-ever victory over Dublin at senior level, while Kerry finally won a game on the road this year, scoring a 1-14 to 0-6 victory over hosts Monaghan.

Cork had their game put to bed by half-time, having opened up a 4-7 to 0-6 lead. Aine O'Sullivan netted twice in the first half, with Orla Finn and Ciara O'Sullivan adding the other first-half goals.

Roisin Leonard scored Galway's only goal ten minutes into the second half but Cork added further majors through Annie Walsh and Ciara O'Sullivan, who completed her brace. Leonard finished as Galway's leading scorer with a haul of 1-7, including four pointed frees, with Finn notching 1-8 for Cork.

Mayo made sure of a place in the last four as they beat Tyrone by 1-13 to 0-5 in Killyclogher. Barring a mathematical miracle in next weekend's final round of group fixtures, Tyrone are relegated, carrying a scoring difference that is 57 points worse off than Monaghan, who are second from bottom.

Mayo can't be caught at the top of the table and looking at the possibilities for the other top four slots, Dublin and Armagh look good in second and third places.

Arguably the story of the day was depleted Armagh's victory over Dublin at the Athletic Grounds. Aimee Mackin scored 1-7 for the Orchard County and Niamh Marley bagged her first Armagh goal on her 24th birthday. Dublin's goals were supplied by Sinead Aherne, Niamh McEvoy and Lyndsey Davey but this was Armagh's day and they now look good for a semi-final spot.

In Blackhill, meanwhile, Kerry had 1-6 from Laura Rogers as they triumphed over Monaghan.

The Kingdom should beat Tyrone in their final fixture next weekend but will be reliant on an unlikely series of results elsewhere to make the semi-finals.

The top four slots in Division 2 have been decided as Donegal, Clare, Cavan and Westmeath will contest the semi-finals, with one of them set for eventual promotion.

All four of those teams won their second-tier fixtures yesterday and there's a four-way relegation scrap down for decision as Kildare, Sligo, Laois and Meath are all tied on three points.

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