Irish soccer international Noonan hits hat-trick as Cork claim All-Ireland final win

Cork hit five goals en route to victory over Galway today.

Cork fans fly their flag high after their victory Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Cork 5-11
Galway 1-4

Jackie Cahill reports from O’Connor Park, Tullamore

SAOIRSE NOONAN AND Sadhbh O’Leary put Galway to the sword as Cork claimed a third successive All-Ireland ladies minor A football crown today.

Republic of Ireland soccer international Noonan, who plays with Cork City, bagged 3-4 and O’Leary added 2-3 as John Cleary’s charges cruised to a 19-point victory over Galway at O’Connor Park in Tullamore today.

In last year’s final victory over Dublin, Noonan collected 2-5 and O’Leary 0-5 as Cork retained the silverware.

And these special talents helped to secure the treble, in what was the third final meeting between the counties in four years.

It’s a tenth title in this grade for Cork and considering the quality of talent coming through, more good times lie in store for the county.

Saoirse Noonan with Hanna Nemeth Irish soccer international Saoirse Noonan. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Cork began with five players who started in the 2016 final – including inside trio Grace Culloty, Noonan and O’Leary.

Captain Ciara Hughes and midfielder Ciara McCarthy were other survivors and Galway were simply outclassed by a formidable Cork outfit.

The Westerners were competitive in the early exchanges and level at 0-2 apiece before O’Leary netted in the 14th minute.

Cork would lead from there all the way to the finish – as Galway went from the ninth minute of first half until midway through the second period without a score.

Leanne Coen was denied a Galway goal in the 20th minute as back-tracking Sarah Leahy cleared the ball off the line.

And two goals in a minute from Noonan, who received the Republic of Ireland’s U17 International Player of the Year award in March, put this game to bed approaching half-time.

Both were carbon-copy strikes, as Noonan slotted the ball beneath Laura Hession in assassin-like style.

Those goals, in the 27th and 28th minute, propelled Cork into a 3-5 to 0-2 advantage – and they cruised home from there.

O’Leary collected her second goal with eight minutes left and while raised a consolation green flag for Galway in the 54th minute, there was still time for Noonan to complete her hat-trick.

It was another fine finish and fittingly, Noonan would have the last say with the final score of the game.

With the countdown clock at zero, the Nemo Rangers player sent a free over the bar with the outside of her right foot, another moment to showcase her outstanding individual talents.

Scorers for Cork: Saoirse Noonan 3-4 (0-2f), Sadhbh O’Leary 2-3, Aisling Healy 0-2, Jenny Brewdinan, Grace Culloty 0-1 each.

Scorers for Galway: N Daly 1-0, L Coen 0-2 (1f), L Finnegan & A O’Donovan 0-1 each.


1. Sarah Murphy (Bride Rovers)

2. Katie Horgan (Knocknagree)
3. Clare O’Shea (Beara)
4. Sarah Leahy (Aghada)

5. Eimear Kiely (Valley Rovers)
6. Jenny Brewdinan (Donoughmore)
7. Ciara Hughes (St Val’s – captain)

8. Ciara McCarthy (St Val’s)
9. Nicole Quinn (Bandon)

10. Laura O’Mahony (O’Donovan Rossa)
11. Emma Cleary (Éire Óg)
12. Rachel Murphy (Bantry Blues)

13. Grace Culloty (Bride Rovers)
14. Saoirse Noonan (Nemo Rangers)
15. Sadhbh O’Leary (Kinsale)

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25. Aisling Healy (Kilshannig) for Culloty (46)
23. Chloe Collins (Dromtarriffe) for Cleary (50)
29. Georgina Gould (Kinsale) for O’Mahony (52)
19. Ciara Ryan (Clonakilty) for Murphy (53)
22. Aoife Kelleher for Quinn (54)


1. Laura Hession (St Michael’s)

2. Chloe Langan (Corofin)
3. Kate Screene (Menlough/Skehana)
4. Andrea Glynn (Claregalway)

5. Linda Booth (St Brendan’s)
6. Bronagh Quinn (Annaghdown – captain)
7. Aoife Molloy (St Fursey’s)

8. Amy Coen (Corofin)
9. Regina Naughton (Annaghdown)

10. Lara Finnegan (Tuam/Cortoon)
11. Niamh Daly (Kilconly)
12. Lyndsey Noone (Kilkerrin-Clonberne)

13. Leanne Coen (Corofin)
14. Niamh Coleman (Menlough/Skehana)
15. Amy O’Donovan (Corofin)


30. Andrea Trill (Claregalway) for Coleman (17)
18. Maria Mitchell (St Brendan’s) for Langan (half-time)
20. Grace Sheridan (Milltown) for Booth (half-time)
17. Ciara McCarthy (Annaghdown) for O’Donovan (40)
21. Niamh Daly (St Gabriel’s) for Noone (51)

Referee: S Mulvihill (Kerry).

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About the author:

Jackie Cahill

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