Cork Minor Ladies On Course For Fourth Minor Title In A Row
From Jackie Cahill at MacDonagh Park, Nenagh
FIONA Keating bagged a hat-trick as champions Cork Minor Ladies put themselves within sight of a fourth successive All-Ireland minor A Ladies Football title.
Keating, the 2017 Munster Young Player of the year, lit up a scorching MacDonagh Park in Nenagh as Cork saw off dogged Dublin by a flattering 13-point margin.
Goals proved crucial for clinical Cork as they eventually pulled away from the Sky Blues, while the young Rebelettes also had a stellar display from Emma Cleary, daughter of team manager John.
Cleary scored eight points, including three from play, as Cork advanced to a final meeting with Galway, in what will be a repeat of the 2017 decider between the counties.
There were also goals from full-forward Katie Quirke and sub Sarah O’Brien, while Dublin will be disappointed with a number of missed chances.
At half-time, Cork were 1-9 to 1-6 clear, after Dublin had struck for a fifth minute goal from Jodi Egan, after she pounced on a loose kick-out.
Dublin looked energetic in those early exchanges but Keating took some of the wind out of their sails with the first of her treble in the 14th minute, finishing from close range after impressive midfielder Ciara McCarthy set her up.
Cork kicked on in the second half and Keating’s second goal, in the 32nd minute, set them on their way to a comfortable win.
Goal number three for Keating arrived midway through the half, before Dublin’s Caoimhe O’Connor pulled a goal back with eleven minutes left.
O’Connor struck the post at a time when a second goal for the Clontarf forward would have made things really interesting.
But Cork put the end result beyond any doubt when O’Brien netted four minutes from time, before Quirke netted in the final minute.
The Cork Minor Ladies will meet Galway in the final for the fourth time in five seasons, when they lock horns on July 15.
Cork: F Keating 3-2, E Cleary 0-8 (5f), K Quirke & S O’Brien 1-0 each, C McCarthy & L O’Mahony 0-2 each, A O’Mahony 0-1.
Dublin: C O’Connor 1-1, J Egan 1-0, K Sullivan (0-1f) & L Quinn 0-3 each, E O’Loughlin, E Leahy, S Fagan (f) & L Carthy 0-1 each.
Cork: S Murphy; K Horgan, C O’Shea, R Sheehan; G Gould, S Leahy, J Murphy; C McCarthy, E Mullins; L O’Mahony, E Cleary, R Murphy; E Jack, K Quirke, F Keating.
Subs: A O’Mahony for Mullins (40), S O’Brien for Jack (50), E Murphy for O’Mahony (60), E Fitzgerald for Gould (60+3), C Nevin for Quirke (60+4).
Dublin: Á Ryan; L Dempsey, E O’Loughlin, F O’Connell Bell; H Leahy, E Healy, L Davies; S Fagan, J Egan; N Hetherton, R Brennan, G O’Driscoll; K Sullivan, C O’Connor, L Carthy.
Subs: L Quinn for Hetherton (23), A Coughlan for Dempsey (h.t.), E Griffen for Sullivan (38), S O’Leary for Egan (45), K O’Brien for Healy (57).
Ref – J Murphy (Carlow).