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Cork clinch All-Ireland six-in-a-row as Dublin suffer final heartbreak again

Rhona Ní Bhuachalla hit the crucial second-half goal for Cork.

Cork captain Ciara O'Sullivan leads the celebrations with the Brendan Martin Cup.
Cork captain Ciara O'Sullivan leads the celebrations with the Brendan Martin Cup.
Image: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Cork 1-7
Dublin 1-6

Fintan O’Toole reports from Croke Park

CORK’S EXTRAORDINARY RECORD in ladies football shows no sign of coming to a halt as they clinched a sixth successive All-Ireland senior ladies football title today.

And for the third year in a row it was Dublin who suffered at the hands of Cork, again losing out narrowly in a decider that was witnessed by a crowd of 34,445.

Cork overcame an indifferent first-half display to triumph with substitute Rhona Ní Bhuachalla’s 35th minute goal proving crucial.

Doireann O’Sullivan and Orla Finn kicked 0-3 apiece for the champions as manager Ephie Fitzgerald saw his side claim control in the second-half.

Sinead Aherne netted from the penalty spot with the last kick of the game for Dublin yet the match ended moments later with Cork in front.

However a major talking point was a first-half point not being awarded when Dublin’s Carla Rowe looked to have raised a white flag.

Carla Rowe and Shauna Kelly Dublin's Carla Rowe had a point controversially not awarded today against Cork. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Dublin were in front 0-4 to 0-3 at the interval but given their superiority, they should have been further in front. Sinead Goldrick and Sinead Finnegan were both excellent for Dublin in establishing a platform of dominance but Dublin were left to rue seven wides in the opening period. They finished the game with 13 wides in all, a total which severely hindered their chances of success.

The tough weather conditions turned the game into a war of attrition in the first-half. Finn (2) and Orlagh Farmer helped Cork go in front 0-3 to 0-1 after the opening quarter but a brace from Aherne and one by Lyndsey Davey pushed Dublin ahead at the midway mark.

They got an early second-half boost when Aherne pointed a free before Cork responded in telling fashion. Rhona Ní Bhuachalla, a half-time substitute, reprised her vital contribution in the 2014 final by grabbing another priceless goal.

This one arrived in the 35th minute when she neatly sidestepped goalkeeper Ciara Trant before calmly rolling the ball to the net after a surging run by captain Ciara O’Sullivan created the chance.

Dublin drew level soon after thanks to a point from Niamh McEvoy and the match was finely balanced entering the final quarter. However Cork kicked for the finish line impressively with experienced figures like Rena Buckley, Briege Corkery, Deirdre O’Reilly and Brid Stack all exerting a big influence on the game.

Valerie Mulcahy celebrates with Briege Corkery Valerie Mulcahy celebrates Cork's victory with Briege Corkery Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Up front Finn weighed in with a point from play but it was Doireann O’Sullivan who was Cork’s real attacking hero. She hit three superb points – two excellent efforts from play and another from a long-range free.

Dublin received a late lifeline when Aherne was fouled and she despatched the resultant penalty but that was the last play of the game as Cork held on for a deserved triumph.

Scorers for Cork: Rhona Ní Bhuachalla 1-0, Doireann O’Sullivan (0-1f), Orla Finn (0-2f) 0-3 each, Orlagh Farmer 0-1.

Scorers for Dublin: Sinéad Aherne 1-3 (1-0 pen, 0-1f), Lyndsey Davey, Noelle Healy, Niamh McEvoy 0-1 each.

Cork

1. Martina O’Brien (Clonakilty)

2. Marie Ambrose (St Val’s)
3. Bríd Stack (St Mary’s)
4. Róisín Phelan (Aghada)

5. Vera Foley (St Val’s)
6. Deirdre O’Reilly (Newmarket)
7. Shauna Kelly (Araglen Desmonds Bui)

8. Rena Buckley (Donoughmore)
9. Briege Corkery (St Val’s)

10. Annie Walsh (Inch Rovers)
11. Ciara O’Sullivan (Mourneabbey – captain)
12. Orlagh Farmer (Midleton)

13. Áine O’Sullivan (Beara)
14. Doireann O’Sullivan (Mourneabbey)
15. Orla Finn (Kinsale)

Subs

20. Rhona Ní Bhuachalla (Naomh Fionbarra) for Áine O’Sullivan (half-time)
24. Eimear Scally (Éire Óg) for Walsh (inj) (43)

Dublin

1. Ciara Trant (St Brigid’s)

2. Olwen Carey (Thomas Davis)
3. Deirdre Murphy (St Brigid’s)
4. Leah Caffrey (Na Fianna)

5. Sinéad Goldrick (Foxrock-Cabinteely)
6. Sinéad Finnegan (Fingallians)
7. Niamh Collins (Foxrock-Cabinteely)

8. Lauren Magee (Kilmacud Crokes)
9. Molly Lamb (Kilmacud Crokes)

10. Noelle Healy (St Brigid’s – captain)
11. Nicole Owens (St Sylvester’s)
12. Carla Rowe (Clann Mhuire)

13. Niamh McEvoy (St Sylvester’s)
14. Sinéad Aherne (St Sylvester’s)
15. Lyndsey Davey (Skerries Harps)

Subs

18. Siobhan Woods (Raheny) for Owens (42)
22. Muireann Ní Scanaill (Fingallians) for Caffrey (43)
17. Sorcha Furlong (St Brigid’s) for Lamb (50)
19. Olivia Leonard (St Maur’s) for McEvoy (52)
20. Lucy Collins (Na Fianna) for Murphy (53)

Referee: Brendan Rice (Down)

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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