Both Sides Meet Again In Two Weeks In The Lidl NFL Semi Final
Niamh Cotter and Marie O’Callaghan hit the net as Cork gained some revenge for last year’s All-Ireland final defeat to Dublin in this Lidl National Football League Division 1 clash at Mallow.
Carla Rowe and Siobhan Killeen bagged the goals for Mick Bohan’s side, but they were second best on the day and fell to their second loss of the competition.
Victory means Cork finished the group stages in second place overall, and the sides will meet again in two weeks’ time in the Lidl NFL semi final.
Dublin had beaten Cork in their last two meetings and the home side were determined not to make it three in-a-row of losses and Ephie Fitzgerald’s side were worthy winners here.
Dublin got off to the perfect start when they got a goal in the first minute. A brilliant ball from Noelle Healy – now playing with Cork side Mourneabbey – put Rowe in and she found the back of the net.
Cork responded quickly with a point from Orlagh Farmer and with five minutes gone were unlucky not to have a goal of their own. A shot from Rhona Ni Bhuachalla went just outside the post, with Dublin keeper Rachel Fleming well beaten.
Niamh McEvoy increased Dublin’s lead before Cork were back on level terms, with 11 minutes gone. Ciara O’Sullivan burst through the Dublin defence and she played in O’Callaghan who coolly slotted home, to make it 1-1 apiece.
Two minutes later the Rebels took the lead when Ciara O’Sullivan pointed, and with 15 minutes played they were unlucky not to get another goal. Ciara O’Sullivan was the provider again, but Sadhbh O’Leary’s effort came back off the crossbar and the danger was cleared.
Healy equalised for the visitors, before a free from McEvoy had them back in front. Rhona Ni Bhuachalla responded at the other end from a free, to see the sides level with three minutes to go until half-time.
Cork had another goal chance just before the break when Farmer was played in, but she shot straight at Fleming for a relatively easy save, and Ni Bhuachalla pointed on the stroke of half-time to see Cork 1-04 to 1-03 in front after an entertaining opening half.
Two points from Ni Bhuachalla extended Cork’s lead, before Rowe replied for Dublin. Ciara O’Sullivan and Cotter were on target for Cork and with 44 minutes gone they led by 1-08 to 1-05.
A brilliant move, involving Ni Bhuachalla and Ciara O’Sullivan set up Cotter for Cork’s second goal, but credit to Dublin they hit back immediately with two points from frees by McEvoy.
With 45 minutes gone Cork were reduced to 14 players when Eimear Meaney was sin-binned and Dublin made it count, with Siobhan Killeen goaling, to put a point between them, 2-08 to 2-07.
But Cork hit the next four points, through Ni Bhuachalla (2), Coppinger and Cotter to seal their win.
McEvoy and Scally, for Cork, scored late points but by then the home side’s win was well secured and set them up nicely for their league semi-final meeting in two weeks’ time.
Cork Scorers: R Ni Bhuachalla 0-6 (4f), N Cotter 1-2, M O’Callaghan 1-0, C O’Sullivan 0-2, O Farmer 0-1, L Coppinger 0-1, E Scally 0-1.
Dublin Scorers: N McEvoy 0-5 (4f), C Rowe 1-2, S Killeen 1-0, N Healy 0-1.
Cork: L Crowley; C O’Shea, H Looney, E Meaney; D Kiely, A Hutchings, E Kiely; M O’Callaghan, N Cotter; O Farmer, C O’Sullivan, L O’Mahony; L Coppinger, S O’Leary, R Ní Bhuachalla.
Subs: C Moore for L Crowley (h-t), S Kelly for E Kiely (40), M Duggan for D Kiely (40), S Noonan for O’Leary (50), E Scally for O’Mahony (50), L O’Mahony for Ni Bhuachalla (58).
Dublin: R Fleming; É Rutledge, O Carey, E McDonagh; S McGoldrick, S Finnegan, A Kane; N Hetherton, S McGrath; C Rowe, S Woods, K Sullivan; S Killeen, N Healy, N McEvoy.
Subs: H O’Neill for Sullivan (6), R Ruddy for E McDonagh (12), C Trant for Fleming (h-t), O Nolan for Woods (h-t), L Magee for S Finnnegan (h-t), M Byrne for Carey (46), L Collins for McGrath (55).
Referee: S Mulvihill, (Kerry)