The Irish Times/Irish Sports Council Sportswoman Award for November: Cora Staunton (Gaelic football)

Gaelic games great is still busy spreading her wing

Carnacon’s Cora Staunton in action against  Donaghmoyne during the All-Ireland senior club football final in which see scored 1-5 in helping her club regain the title. Photograph: Inpho

Carnacon’s Cora Staunton in action against Donaghmoyne during the All-Ireland senior club football final in which see scored 1-5 in helping her club regain the title. Photograph: Inpho

Wed, Dec 11, 2013, 01:00

Where does the time go? We’ve reached the end of another awards year, one that produced monthly winners and high achievers in athletics, basketball, rugby, squash, sailing, hockey, swimming, camogie, Gaelic football, eventing and triathlon. Some new names on our list, some familiar faces, it was yet another impressive year from our sportswomen.

Dilemma
We finish up with one of Gaelic games’ greats, Mayo’s Cora Staunton. Our only dilemma was whether to consider her for the November or December award, the latter falling in to next year’s cycle because the 2013 ceremony takes place before the end of the month.

It was on December 1st that Staunton turned in a typically stirring individual display when she scored 1-5 of Carnacon’s 1-6 tally to ensure the Connacht champions regained their All-Ireland club title from Monaghan’s Donaghmoyne, but her November wasn’t too bad either, contributing 2-7 to her club’s semi-final win over Mountmellick Sarsfields to go through to their fourth successive final.

Any notion this championship might have been a swansong for the 31-year-old, who was just 13 when she was first called up to the Mayo senior panel, was quickly dismissed – Staunton, in fact, is busy spreading her sporting wings, making her rugby debut in September for Castlebar in the Connacht League. How’d she do? Just the seven tries.

She told the Mayo News recently “if I was 20 now, I’d like to have tried to be a boxer and gone to the Olympics”, but at the sporting rate she’s going, you wouldn’t rule out Rio.

And in November she won her ninth All-Star, a fair indication of her impact on Gaelic football since she made her Mayo debut in 1995, adding to a personal roll of honour that includes four All-Ireland county and five club titles.

Staunton, then, is our final monthly winner of the year, one that gave us more memorable moments from our finest sportswomen.