IT WAS THE 40th All-Ireland Ladies football final and Cork were eager to defend the trophy they emphatically won in 2012. Monaghan have not won the Brendan Martin Cup since 1997 but looked the form team all championship summer.
Monaghan: Martin; G McNally, Courtney, Reilly; McEnaney, McCarron, McAnespie; Casey, Connell; T McNally (c), Mohan, Courtney; McConnell, McKenna, McAnespie.
The two sides are parading on the pitch after getting a meet and greet with your favourite President, Michael D.
Megan Burns sets the tone for the 40th ladies football final with a handy rendition of Amhrán na bhFiann. Here we go!
Cork 0-0 Monaghan 0-1: First scoring chance falls to McConnell and she scythes over a fine point from an acutely angled free.
Cork 0-1 Monaghan 0-1: McAnespie with a howler as she spills a high ball. It falls to Cleary but she opts for safety with McAnespie diving to put her off. Over it goes.
Ciara McAnespie is fouled and McConnell drives in a low free that causes havoc before it is knocked out for a 45.
Cork 0-1 Monaghan 0-2: Good work by the Monaghan forwards as their hand passes open up room for McAnespie. She slots over to give the Farney an early edge.
Cork 0-2 Monaghan 0-2: Annie Walsh marauds forwards and settles herself before towering a kick between the posts. We’re level after nine minutes but Cork have a free from close range coming up…
Cork 0-3 Monaghan 0-2: Mulcahy curls it over from 20 yards out. The reigning champs hit the front.
Cork 0-4 Monaghan 0-2: Great Cork defence as Walsh steals the ball and sets up a sweeping attack. Cork have the numbers on the attack and a cynical foul is needed as they close in on goal. Mulcahy gets her second score of the game.
Cork 1-4 Monaghan 0-3: Therese McNally with a point, which went over via the crossbar, but Cork strike back with a goal. Another lightning quick move and Mulcahy shows composure to slot home.
Cork 1-5 Monaghan 0-3: Julie Murphy fists over a score to stretch the Rebelette’s lead and Reilly has to be at her defensive best, moments later, as Ní Bhuachalla threatened to break through on goal.
Monaghan need McConnell to slot over her frees but she has missed two good opportunities. With 22 minutes gone we have a HUGE moment as McConnell is one-on-one with Harte but she chooses to shot from 15 yards out and is brilliantly denied.
Cork 1-6 Monaghan 0-5: Monaghan have not scored in 10 minutes but Cork are wasting chances too. As I lament the waywardness on both sides, Mohan scores the point of the game. The bounce beats Buckley, her marker, and unleashes a fine, left-footed score. She follows it up with another steepling point. Great stuff from the forward.
Mulcahy lobs over a free from 30 yards out to settle Cork nerves.
Cork 1-6 Monaghan 0-6: That is better from McConnell as she puts over a free from 30 yards out and slightly to the left of the posts. Monaghan finishing the half well but Cork are bringing back 13 players behind the ball.
TG4 are loving their Ref Cam footage. Here is a clip of what the man with the big whistle is seeing out there:
Cork 1-7 Monaghan 1-8: Cork though on goal but play called back for a foul and Cleary is not happy. Mulcahy compounds the disquiet by missing her free to the right. Geraldine O’Flynn rallies the Cork troops, though, with a fine point from play.
Cleary with a chance to level affairs but he point effort goes right and wide. 21 minutes left to play and Mulcahy gets a chance to slot over a free. It is five yards off target but the ball stays in play.
Cork sub Orlaigh Farmer has the ball in the Monaghan net but it is ruled out. Lucky for goalkeeper Martin as she had gone walkabout.
McConnell has just missed a vital, easy free for Monaghan from all of 25 yards out. The excellent Mohan had earned that opportunity after two Cork defenders took her out.
Cork 1-8 Monaghan 1-8: We are level, midway through the second half. Mulcahy hit the post with a spinning effort but Cleary was there to pop the ball over.
Cork have done well to battle back into this match after conceding the goal and point in the space of 60 disastrous seconds. Will their cup-winning experience tell?
The referee is really cutting into the flow of this game by giving frees for any bit of contact between players. We’re up to 20 frees conceded apiece with 12 minutes left to play.
Mohan cramps up but wants to play on. Orlan Finn, meanwhile, comes on for Cork. Credit: TG4
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