Ladies: Cork edge Galway to earn home All-Ireland SFC quarter-final berth

June 15, 2024

Galway goalkeeper Dearbhla Gower saves a shot from Laura O'Mahony of Cork during the TG4 All-Ireland Ladies Football Senior Championship Round 2 clash at MTU Cork in Cork. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Cork 1-12 
Galway 1-10 

by Ger McCarthy 

Cork are through to the TG4 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship quarter-finals following a pulsating win over Galway at MTU Cork. 

Ava McAuliffe fisted the game’s opening score and Katie Quirke doubled Cork’s lead from a free shortly after. 

Nicola Ward got Galway on the scoreboard prior to an excellent McAuliffe effort. 

An entertaining opening spell concluded with Emma Reaney firing over to make it 0-3 to 0-2. 

Cork’s attacks were met by solid Galway defending but Daire Kiely came up from the back to expertly split the posts. 

That was their opponents’ cue to up the tempo as Olivia Divilly and Leanne Coen efforts levelled matters. Ava McAuliffe and Leanne Coen exchanged points as the scores kept coming. 

Then came a major turning point as Cork captain Màire O’Callaghan crashed a shot off an upright. Galway cleared the danger before Emma Reaney handed Galway their first lead. 

Ròisìn Leonard increased the Connacht team’s advantage from a free prior to Galway forcing a turnover and working the ball to Olivia Divilly. The Kilkerrin-Clonberne forward instantly arrowed a vicious shot into the top corner to make it 1-7 to 0-5. 

A pair of converted Katie Quirke frees left a goal between the sides at half time at 1-7 to 0-7. 

Quirke and Divilly converted frees at either end to kickstart the second half. 

Cork’s direct running was met by stern Galway defending throughout the third quarter. The Rebels’ back six were equally proficient making scores harder to come by. 

Katie Quirke saw two frees fail to find the target amid increasingly windy conditions. Galway also wasted chances before Quirke added her fifth point. 

Goalkeeper Dearbhla Gower bravely denied Cork a goal but was powerless to prevent substitute Hannah Looney from netting to make it 1-9 to 1-8 after 47 minutes. 

Quirke and Ailish Morrisey swapped points to keep the bare minimum between the sides with 10 minutes left.   

The next score would be crucial and Rachel Leahy notched it. Katie Quirke pushed a resurgent Cork three clear before Ailbhe Davoren made it 1-12 to 1-10 in the dying embers. 

The Rebels had further chances but held on for a two-point victory and home All-Ireland quarter-final berth. 

Scorers – Cork: K Quirke 0-7 (0-5 f), H Looney 1-0, A McAuliffe 0-3, D Kiely and R Leahy 0-1 each. 

Galway: O Divilly 1-2 (0-1f), E Reaney and L Coen 0-2 each, N Ward, R Leonard (0-1f), A Morrissey and A Davoren 0-1 each. 

CORK: S Murphy; M Duggan, S Kelly, S Leahy; S McGoldrick, A Healy, D Kiely; M O’Callaghan (capt.), A O’Mahony; E Cleary, L O’Mahony, A McDonagh; A McAuliffe, K Quirke, R Leahy. Subs: S Cronin for McGoldrick (ht), H Looney for O’Mahony (43), E Kiely for Cleary (46), A Ryan for Kiely (53), K Smith for McDonagh (59). 

GALWAY: D Gower; M Jordan, S Ní Loingsigh, E Gavin; K Geraghty, N Ward, A Ni Cheallaigh; M Glynn, A Davoren (capt.); O Divilly, L Ward, N Divilly; E Reaney, L Coen, R Leonard. Subs: A Morrissey for Reaney (45), S Hynes for Ní Cheallaigh (45), A Trill for N Divilly (49), C Cleary for Davoren (55). 

Referee: Barry Redmond (Wexford). 

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