Champions Cork have too much for Dublin
Rebel women into the last four after scoring 1-10 wihtout reply in the second half
Cork’s Doireann O’Sullivan is tackled by Siobhan McGrath and Sinéad Goldrick of Dublin in Birr. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho
Cork 1-19 Dublin 2-12: Eamonn Ryan’s Cork produced a remarkable comeback against Dublin on Saturday afternoon to book their place in the semi-finals of the TG4 All-Ireland ladies senior football championship.
Dublin looked on course for a landmark victory over Cork in the second half as they led by 2-12 to 0-9. But after Sinead Aherne popped over a point to put the Sky Blues nine points in front, they would not score again for the remainder of the game.
Instead, All-Ireland champions Cork ran riot with a run of 1-10 without reply in the final 20 minutes to clinch a sensational four-point win and book a final berth alongside Munster rivals Kerry, who beat Mayo in the first semi-final.
This was another bitter defeat for Dublin at the hands of Cork, and reminiscent of the 2011 quarter-final meeting between the sides at the same venue, St Brendan’s Park in Birr.
Two years ago, Cork came with a run of seven unanswered points to edge past their big city rivals but this latest comeback was even more impressive because the Leesiders looked dead and buried in the second half.
Dublin were rampant against a Cork side that had lost twice to Kerry in the Munster championship, before stuttering past Armagh in the qualifiers, but the ran out of steam, having not played a competitive game since the Leinster final six weeks ago.
Powered forward by player of the match Juliet Murphy, the beaten Munster finalists took control. Points from top scorer Valerie Mulcahy, hard-working forward Nollaig Cleary and Murphy got the ball rolling for Cork before sub Rhona Ní Bhuachalla banged home a 44th minute goal to put the cat among the pigeons.
Two further points from Mulcahy (one free) and Nollaig Cleary hauled Cork level at 1-15 to 2-12 and all of the momentum was with them at the Offaly venue.
Cork, winners of seven of the last eight All-Ireland titles, sensed Dublin’s vulnerability and kicked for home with further points from Mulcahy, magnificent wing-back Geraldine O’Flynn, Mulcahy again and Ciara O’Sullivan.
Dublin were left to reflect on another heartbreaking reverse against Cork. It had all looked so good for Paul Gilheaney’s charges, when they led by 1-8 to 0-7 at half-time.
Lindsey Davey scored the 10th minute goal and when opposite corner forward Lindsey Peat netted five minutes after half-time, it all looked so good for Dublin. Champions Cork had other ideas, however, and surely this victory ranks up there with some of the finest performances produced during Ryan’s glory-filled reign.
Scorers for Cork: V Mulcahy 0-8 (5f), R Ní Bhuachalla 1-0, D O’Sullivan 0-3, N Cleary 0-3, G O’Flynn 0-2 (1f), C O’Sullivan 0-2, J Murphy 0-1.
Scorers for Dublin: S Aherne 0-7 (5f), L Davey & L Peat 1-0 each, N Healy 0-2, A McGuinness, N McEvoy & S Goldrick 0-1 each.
CORK: M O’Brien; A.M. Walsh, B Stack, D O’Reilly; B Corkery, R Buckley, G O’Flynn; J Murphy, Angela Walsh; N Cleary, C O’Sullivan, Annie Walsh; V Mulcahy, D O’Sullivan, O Finn. Subs: R Ní Bhuachalla for Finn (h.t.), O Farmer for Annie Walsh (h.t.), A Barrett for A.M. Walsh (53).
DUBLIN: C O’Connor; C Ruddy, S McGrath, L Caffrey; M Byrne, S Goldrick, S Finnegan; D Masterson, N McEvoy; K Flood, A McGuinness, N Healy; L Peat, S Aherne, L Davey. Subs: N Hyland for Flood (44), O Egan for Masterson (48), E Kelly for Peat (54), D Murphy for McEvoy (54), C Ruddy for Healy (57).
Referee: J Niland (Sligo).