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Dublin: 19 °C Monday 22 July, 2019

Cork find the net seven times as second-half blitz breaks spirited Monaghan

Ciara O’Sullivan and Saoirse Noonan netted a brace apiece for the Rebels in Birr.

Image: Brendan Moran/SPORTSFILE

Cork 7-7

Monaghan 1-9

Conor McKenna reports from St Brendan’s Park, Birr

CORK CRUISED TO victory in their opening game of the TG4 ladies All-Ireland Senior Football Championship, defeating Monaghan by 16 points in what was a one-sided game played out in Birr.

Monaghan did compete well for large periods – especially in the first half – but the Rebels’ class ultimately shone through, with two second-half goals in as many minutes sealing the victory.

Ciara O’Sullivan opened the scoring for Cork with a point. It was followed up by an excellent score from Orla Finn.

Monaghan responded well, though, and two points from Ellen McCarron levelled proceedings.

Cork v Monaghan - TG4 All-Ireland Senior Championship Group 2 Round 2 Orla Finn takes on Gráinne McNally Source: Brendan Moran/SPORTSFILE

Cork wing-back Maire O’Callaghan then got the game’s opening goal with an excellent finish after a superb run from deep.

Monaghan did their best to stay in the game but Cork added a further goal: Aine O’Sullivan burst forward with a superb solo run and the Beara native made no mistake with the finish.

Two further points from McCarron kept the Farneywomen in the game approaching half-time. The scoreboard was manageable at the interval, reading 2-4 to 0-6 in Cork’s favour.

Cork completely dominated the second half, however, scoring five more goals en route to victory.

The first of those came after a poor kick-out from Monaghan goalkeeper Linda Martin was intercepted by Saoirse Noonan, who put it on a plate for Ciara O’Sullivan to tap home from close range.

Cork v Monaghan - TG4 All-Ireland Senior Championship Group 2 Round 2 Ciara O'Sullivan of Cork scores her side's third goal Source: Brendan Moran/SPORTSFILE

The game was completely over as a contest when Noonan herself found the net brilliantly after linking up with O’Sullivan.

Another O’Sullivan – Doireann, this time – added Cork’s fifth goal shortly afterwards with a great finish before Noonan got her second goal just 20 seconds later, leaving the gap at 18 points.

Cork v Monaghan - TG4 All-Ireland Senior Championship Group 2 Round 2 Saoirse Noonan celebrates her second goal Source: Brendan Moran/SPORTSFILE

Player of the Match Ciara O’Sullivan then lobbed Martin to register what her own second and her side’s seventh goal.

A late penalty converted past her opposite number by the Monaghan ‘keeper was little more than a consolation as Cork eased to a 16-point victory.

Cork v Monaghan - TG4 All-Ireland Senior Championship Group 2 Round 2 Linda Martin scores a penalty Source: Brendan Moran/SPORTSFILE

Scorers – Cork: C O’Sullivan 2-1, S Noonan 2-0, O Finn 0-5 (2f), A O’Sullivan 1-1, D O’Sullivan 1-0 and M O’Callaghan 1-0 each.

Scorers – Monaghan: E McCarron 0-5 (3f), L Martin 1-0 (pen) C McAnespie 0-2, R Courtney 0-1 and E Woods 0-1 each.

Cork: M O’Brien; C Collins, R Phelan, M Duggan; M O’Callaghan, S Kelly, E Spillane; A Hutchings, H Looney; C O’Sullivan, L Coppinger, O Farmer; A O’Sullivan, D O’Sullivan, O Finn.

Subs: S Noonan for Farmer (h-t), E Scally for Coppinger (h-t), B O’Sullivan for Looney (43) A Kelleher for Duggan (52), A Barrett for D O’Sullivan (52)

Monaghan: L Martin; J Fitzpatrick, F Courtney, G McNally; Aoife McAnespie, S Courtney, E Woods; M Monaghan, E McAnespie; R Courtney, J Drury, C Courtney; C McAnespie, N Callan, E McCarron.

Subs: Aisling McAnespie for Courtney (h-t) R McKenna for Fitzpatrick (h-t), Muireann Atkinson for Callon (33), G McKenna for Woods (55), C McBride for Courtney (59).

Referee: Stephen McNulty (Wicklow)

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Five-goal Dublin open TG4 All-Ireland championship title defence in style

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Conor McKenna

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