REPORT : Cork beat Waterford in Clonakilty
TG4 Munster Senior Championship
By Anthony Newman
Holders Cork are through to the TG4 Munster Senior Football Final following their win over Waterford at Clonakilty GAA Club.
More than 1,000 people were present at the West Cork venue, which made for a great atmosphere, and helped by a highly entertaining game.
A first half goal from Doireann O’Sullivan put Cork on their way to a deserved win on the day.
Waterford won the toss and opted to play with the strong wind. They were soon in front when Lauren McGregor pointed from a first minute free.
But Cork moved the ball up the pitch and when Doireann O’Sullivan played a one-two with her sister Ciara, the former raised the game’s first green flag.
They increased their lead when Orlaith Cahalane pointed, to make it 1-1 to 0-1 after nine minutes.
McGregor got Waterford’s second point, from another free, before Brid McMaugh hit the crossbar for the visitors.
Katie Quirke put Cork further ahead as they pressed up and put pressure on the Waterford kick-outs.
Quirke was denied a goal when Evelyn O’Brien saved superbly after Doireann O’Sullivan had played her in.
With 19 minutes gone, Quirke added to her tally with Cork’s third point to make it 1-3 to 0-2 as Waterford were finding it difficult to break through the Cork defence.
Eimear Kiely had a chance to raise another green flag for Cork but her effort went narrowly wide.
Cahalane got Cork’s fourth point, with Anna Ryan adding their fifth as Cork were in control all over the pitch.
McGregor got Waterford’s third point, again from a free to make it 0-3 to 1-5 at half-time as the visitors failed to score from play in the first half, despite the strong wind advantage.
Now with the wind, Cork soon increased their lead when Libby Coppinger pointed two minutes into the second half.
Credit to Waterford, they came more into the game, with Aoibhe Waring unlucky not to score a goal.
Quirke increased Cork’s lead to make it 1-7 to 0-3 after 44 minutes.
Waterford had another goal chance, this time Annie Fitzgerald’s effort was well saved by Meabh O’Sullivan and with ten minutes to go, the Déise still hadn’t scored from play.
With nine minutes to go Laura Fitzgerald made a welcome return from injury for Cork and showed her worth with two points from her first two touches.
With six minutes to go, Waterford got their first point from play when Emma Murray scored, to make it 1-9 to 0-4.
Quirke added a point before Fitzgerald rounded off the scoring with Cork’s second goal as they advanced to the Munster final after a deserved win.
Scores for Cork: L Fitzgerald 1-2, D O’Sullivan 1-0, K Quirke 0-4, O Cahalane 0-2, L Coppinger, A Ryan 0-1 each.
Waterford: L McGregor 0-3 (3f), E Murray 0-1.
CORK: M O’Sullivan; M Duggan, E Meaney, R Phelan; A Ryan, S Kelly, A Healy; S Leahy, H Looney; O Cahalane, K Quirke, L Coppinger; E Kiely, D O’Sullivan, C O’Sullivan.
Subs: D Kiniry for R Phelan (ht), M O’Callaghan for H Looney, D Kiely for L Coppinger (both 43), L O’Mahony for A Ryan (46), L Fitzgerald for D O’Sullivan (51).
WATERFORD: E O’Brien; C Murray, E Power, A Murray; N Power, Karen McGrath, Kate McGrath; A O’Neill, E Murray; B McMaugh, K Murray, K Hogan; C McCarthy, A Fitzgerald, L McGregor.
Subs: A Waring for N Power (ht), A Shankey for C McCarthy (ht), C Hynes for K Murrahy (51), M Comerford for A Fitzgerald (60).
Referee: Maurice Murphy, Kerry.