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Finn points the way as ruthless Cork rout Cavan

Eimear Scally, Saoirse Noonan and Libby Coppinger also starred for the Munster side.

Cork's Saoirse Noonan under pressure from Ciara Finnegan.
Cork's Saoirse Noonan under pressure from Ciara Finnegan.

Cork 6-19

Cavan 3-8

by Daire Walsh

THE OUTSTANDING Orla Finn scored 0-12 at TEG Cusack Park in Mullingar as Cork kickstarted their All-Ireland SFC Group 1 campaign with a convincing win over Cavan.

Eimear Scally, Saoirse Noonan and Libby Coppinger also stood out on a day when Ephie Fitzgerald’s charges issued a strong statement of intent in their quest to reclaim the Brendan Martin Cup.

Following an initially tight opening, the Leeside challenge pushed into gear. Finn (two), Aine O’Sullivan and Eimear Scally added points, before an O’Sullivan shot squeezed underneath Elaine Walsh for a Cork goal in the 12th-minute.

The league champions remained in control, until Cavan responded with a brace of goals to force their way back into contention.

After Aisling Sheridan superbly fired beyond the reach of Martina O’Brien, Aisling Maguire unleashed a powerful penalty into the top left-hand corner of the net.

A Scally point settled Cork and Coppinger then linked up with Noonan to grab her side’s second major on 25 minutes. Donna English added an additional point for Cavan but with Finn in sparkling form, Cork ended the half nine points in front on a scoreline of 2-13 to 2-4.

Within 60 seconds of the restart, the impressive Kinsale attacker contributed her fifth point from play to move the Cork lead into double digits.

Cavan gained brief respite through Aisling Sheridan, only for the Munster side to re-assert their authority.

Martina O'Brien Aishling Maguire Cork goalkeeper Martina O'Brien looks on as Aishling Maguire of Cavan, 11, scores her side's second goal from a penalty. Source: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Having been denied by an outstanding Walsh save at the beginning of the half, Noonan finally got the better of the Killygarry netminder at the end of a sweeping move.

Coppinger got her second goal and Cork’s fourth before team captain Doireann O’Sullivan was introduced for her first appearance of the championship.

Finn continued to do the bulk of the damage for Cork and Scally’s successful penalty enhanced their tally inside the closing-quarter.

Doireann O’Sullivan capped a fine cameo with a point on 53 minutes, in advance of swapped goals between Cavan substitute Geraldine Sheridan and Orlagh Farmer.

Aisling Sheridan and Lauren McVeety were on target late on for the Breffni county, who are still in line for a quarter-final place should Armagh fail to beat Cork at O’Connor Park, Tullamore next weekend.

Scorers – Cork: O Finn 0-12 (6f), L Coppinger 2-0, E Scally (1-0 pen), S Noonan 1-2 each, A O’Sullivan, O Farmer 1-1 each, D O’Sullivan 0-1.

Cavan: A Maguire (1-0 pen), A Sheridan 1-2 each, G Sheridan 1-0, A Gilsenan (f), M Sheridan, D English, L McVeety 0-1 each.

Cork: M O’Brien; S Kelly, H Looney, E Meaney; M O’Callaghan, M Duggan, E Spillane; A Hutchings, A O’Sullivan; L Coppinger, C O’Sullivan, O Finn; O Farmer, S Noonan, E Scally.

Subs: E Kiely for Looney (h-t), R Ni Bhuachalla for Noonan, D O’Sullivan for Coppinger (both 40), D Kiely for O’Callaghan, M Ambrose for Meaney (both 52).

Cavan: E Walsh; S Reilly, R Doonan, S Greene; N Byrd, S Lynch, M Sheridan; D English, S O’Sullivan; C Finnegan, A Sheridan, A Gilsenan; L Fitzpatrick, A Maguire, L McVeety.

Subs: E Lonagair for Finnegan, J Moore for Doonan, N Keenaghan for M Sheridan (all 43), K McIntyre for Lynch, G Sheridan for Maguire (both 49).

Ref: Gus Chapman (Sligo).

Waterford 7-19

Monaghan 1-10

By Alan Gunn

THE WATERFORD FULL-FORWARD line was in devastating form as they proved far too strong for Monaghan in this TG4 All-Ireland SFC Group 2 clash at Shamrock Park in Cremartin. 

The trio of Eimear Fennell, Maria Delahunty and Michelle Ryan combined for 4-13 of their side’s total with Fennell completing a first half hat-trick in just five minutes at the end of the first quarter.

Monaghan, despite a bright start, were chasing the game after that and they now must defeat champions Dublin next weekend if they are to avoid a relegation battle.

Monaghan were forced to field without their experienced captain Cora Courtney, who was out through injury and they were unable to call on their minors who will be involved in Sunday’s All-Ireland semi-final.

While it was the visitors, hoping to bounce back after an opening round loss to champions Dublin, who looked much the sharper in the early stages, Monaghan opened an early lead through Louise Kerley, Ciara McAnespie and Abbie McCarey to give them a 0-3 to 0-1 advantage after nine minutes.

Waterford, who had wasted two earlier goal chances, finally found the net on 10 minutes when Eimear Fennell struck and within five minutes the Abbeyside girl had a hat-trick to her name to put the Deise in the driving seat.

The home side responded with Ciara McAnespie and Kerley points but Waterford always looked dangerous were soon seven clear again. Monaghan though got a boost before the break when Casey Treanor rattled the net to give them some hope, but Waterford led 3-5 to 1-6.

Waterford put the game to bed in the third quarter with an unanswered 2-9, Maria Delahunty starting the rout with a goal within 30 seconds of the restart. Aileen Wall hit her side’s fifth goal on 38 minutes as they laid siege on the Monaghan goal.

Monaghan kept going and had goal chances themselves but Rosie Landers denied them. At the other end the Munster side continued tag on scores and finished with further goals from Kellyann Hogan and Delahunty.

Scorers – Waterford: E Fennell 3-4 (2f), M Delahunty 1-5 (0-2f), C Fennell 1-2, M Ryan 0-4, KA Hogan 1-1, A Wall 1-0, K Murray, K McGrath, L McGregor 0-1 each.

Monaghan: C Treanor 1-0, L Kerley (1f) C McAnespie 0-3 each, A McCarey 0-2, C McBride, S Coyle 0-1 each.

Monaghan: B Tierney; K Lambe, S Boyd, R Hughes; A McAnespie, H McSkane, N Kerr; A McCarey, E McAnespie; S Coyle, N McGuirk, C McBride; E Woods, L Kerley, C McAnespie.

Subs: C Treanor for McGuirk (27), G McNally for Hughes (29), L Flynn for Lambe (47), R Hughes for Coyle (58), N McGuirk for Woods (59). 

Waterford: R Landers; C McGrath, E Murray, Kate McGrath; R Tobin, Karen McGrath, A Mullaney; K Murray, C Fennell; A Wall, K Hogan, M Wall; E Fennell, M Ryan, M Delahunty.

Subs: B Valuntaite for Mullaney (42), L McGregor for Tobin (45), E Gildea for M Wall (55), K Moroney for Landers (55), D Curran for Ryan (60). 

Ref - G Carmody (Sligo). 

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