Cora Staunton’s 1-7 can’t stop Foxrock-Cabinteely’s march to first final
Dublin club will face Donaghmoyne in the All-Ireland ladies senior club football final
Cora Staunton of Carnacon in action against Foxrock Cabinteely during the LGFA All Ireland Senior Club Championship semi-final match at Bray Emmets in Wicklow. Photograph: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
Foxrock-Cabinteely (Dublin) 4-9 Carnacon (Mayo) 2-11
A sensational two-goal flurry in as many minutes - after they were reduced to 14 players - helped Foxrock-Cabinteely past ladies’ football superpower Carnacon and into their first ever All-Ireland club final.
Dublin Allstar Sinead Goldrick had just tied the game, for the third time (2-8 each), in the 22nd minute when her side lost wing-back Lorna Fusciardi to the sin-bin.
That immediately tipped the balance towards five-time All-Ireland champions Carnacon, featuring five Mayo seniors, including Cora Staunton, Allstar Fiona McHale and Martha Carter, with Amy Dowling also outstanding at Bray Emmets.
But the two in-a-row Leinster champions produced a fantastic response, immediately scoring two goals despite their numerical disadvantage.
A brilliant through ball from Amy Connolly put Amy Ring through for the first and, within a minute, Ring turned provider, crossing a ball for Anne-Marie Murphy to fist to the net to give them a sudden five-point lead.
A point and free from Staunton kept Cornacon’s hopes alive and they continued to get chances.
But a vital steal by Goldrick off Staunton, and an insurance point from Dowling, sealed the historic win for the Dubliners who only won their first Leinster title last season and now face Donaghmoyne on December 4th in a repeat of their 2015 semi-final.
Foxrock-Cab lead by three (1-5 to 1-2) at half-time despite being hit by a 10th minute penalty, earned by Michelle Corbett and scored by 10-time Allstar Staunton.
Their goalkeeper Laurie Ahern then pulled off a vital save from Dowling before the two Amys combined for Amy Connolly to grab their first goal after 21 minutes in a very tense first half.
But the second half started with drama and never let up.
Laura Nerney hit the net just four minutes after the restart, Dowling matched her two minutes later and then Mayo’s five-time All-Ireland club champions hit four unanswered points to go a point clear.
Yet the Dubliners, with Goldrick operating as a holding midfielder, county colleague Niamh Collins marking Staunton in an excellent team defence and Westmeath star Laura Claffey also starring, never let their heads drop and pulled off a famous victory.
Carnacon: M Higgins; A Loftus, S McGing, S Walshe; M Corbett, M Carter, E Flannery; F McHale, D Hughes (Capt); A Brennan, A Dowling (1-4), M McGing; M Corbett, C Staunton (1-7 0-4f 1-0 pen), N Beegan. Subs - Aisling Hughes for Corbett (27 mins), M Larkin for Brennan (45).
Foxrock-Cabinteely: L Ahern; C Crotty, C Ni Mhurchadh, C O’Riordan; S Goldrick (0-1), N Collins, L Fusciardi; S Brophy (Capt), L Nerney (1-0); E McDonagh, AM Murphy (1-1), N Ryan; A Ring (1-4 0-4f), F Claffey (0-1), A Connolly (1-2). Substitutes: H O’Neill for Nerney (63).
Referee: C McManus.
Donaghmoyne (Monaghan) 1-8 Mourneabbey (Cork) 1-6
Reigning champions Donaghmoyne called on all their resolve and expertise to overcome Mourneabbey in Fontenoy Park in a nail-biting and high quality encounter that in the end was decided with late Catriona McConnell and Cora Courtney points.
For the Cork side it was to be a third successive loss to Ulster opposition after losing out in last year’s final to the Monaghan side also and to Donegal outfit Termon in 2014.
The visitors had led at the break, 1-4 to 0-5, thanks to a goal from team captain Brid O’Sullivan after 16 minutes, Mourneabbey’s only score from play.
But the home side battled their way back despite having both Fiona and Sharon Courtney sent to the sin bin in either half.
There were many key moments in this clash and the first was after just four minutes when Linda Martin dived full stretch to turn a Ciara O’Sullivan penalty around the post.
The sides were level on three occasions in the opening period, Doireann O’Sullivan with all four of Mourneabbey’s points from frees.
With Amanda Casey, Louise Kerley (2) and Cora Courtney on target Donaghmoyne led 0-4 to 0-3 after the opening 15 minutes before a great run and finish by Brid O’Sullivan yielded the opening goal.
Fiona Courtney was then yellow carded on 21 minutes but in that ten minute period Mourneabbey only registered a single point, that from the resultant free while Kerley was on target at the other end.
The home side got a dream start to the second half with last year’s final hero Hazel Kingham finding the net when her lobbing effort was misjudged by Meabh O’Sullivan in the Mourneabbey goal.
A minute later they had a big call for a penalty waved away for a foul on Kerley as they laid siege on the Cork side’s goal.
Doireann O’Sullivan and Kerley exchanged points as the game entered the final quarter.
Doireann O’Sullivan brought the sides level for the fifth time 12 minutes from time, a free that saw Sharon Courtney sent to the sin bin.
However, like in the first half that was to be the only score the Fontenoy’s were to conceded despite the numerical disadvantage.
They dug deep and with McConnell, her first of the day a minute into added time followed by a Cora Courtney point they secured yet another place in the decider. For Mourneabbey who had Cathy Ann Stack sin binned in added time it was to be another disappointment on the All-Ireland stage.
Donaghmoyne: Linda Martin; Joanne Geogehan, Sharon Courtney, Aine McElroy; Hazel Kingham (1-0), Fiona Courtney, Joanne Courtney; Amanda Casey (0-1), Cora Courtney (0-2); Catriona McConnell (0-1), Eileen McElroy, Rosemary Courtney; Louise Kerley (0-4 0-3f), Niamh Callan, Lauren Garland.
Substitutes: Roisin Finnegan for Garland (39).
Morneabbey: Meabh O’Sullivan; Eimear Harrington, Cathy Ann Stack, Aisling O’Callaghan; Emma Coakley, Eoisin O’Sullivan, Eimear Meaney; Marie O’Callaghan, Aisling O’Sullivan; Kathryn Coakley, Brid O’Sullivan (1-0), Ciara O’Sullivan; Ellie Jack, Doireann O’Sullivan (0-6f), Sile O’Callaghan.
Substitutes: Emily Land for Aisling O’Callaghan (42), Niamh O’Sullivan for Jack (55).