Ladies: First-half goals key as Cork see off Royals

March 25, 2023

Eimear Kiely of Cork in action against Katie Newe of Meath during the Lidl Ladies National Football League Division 1 Round 7 match between Cork and Meath at Pairc Ui Rinn in Cork.

Cork 2-8 
Meath 0-11 

by Anthony Newman 

Two first-half goals secured the points for Cork in their Lidl Ladies NFL Division 1 clash with Meath at Páirc Uí Rinn on Saturday. 

Libby Coppinger and Eimear Kiely raised the all-important green flags to see the home side finish their League campaign on a high. 

Meath made four changes to the team announced with Olivia Gore, Vikki Wall, Shelly Melia and Orlaith Mallon coming in for Aine Sheridan, Ali Sherlock, Ciara Smyth and Amy O’Leary respectively. 

Cork had to make one late change with Anna Ryan replacing the unwell Orlaith Cahalane. 

Chances and scores were few and far between early on before Meath’s Aoibhín Cleary broke the deadlock in the fifth minute, with Ciara O’Sullivan replying for the home side. 

Niamh O’Sullivan put Meath back in front, with Ciara O’Sullivan replying from the restart to make it 0-2 each after 10 minutes. 

A minute later and Cork raised a green flag when a shot from Doireann O’Sullivan dropped short but Libby Coppinger was on hand to catch and shoot to make it 1-2 to 0-2. 

Coppinger followed up with a point to increase Cork’s lead before Stacey Grimes pulled a point back for Meath. 

A foul by Katie Newe on Anna Ryan saw referee Seamus Mulvihill award Cork a penalty but Emma Cleary’s effort was superbly saved by Monica McGuirk. 

Cleary got her second to put two between the sides before Cork keeper and player of the match, Sarah Murphy, saved brilliantly to deny Shelly Melia a green flag. 

Dara Kiniry got Cork’s fourth point to put a goal between the sides again, with Niamh O’Sullivan replying for the visitors. 

Vastly-experienced Doireann O’Sullivan, in her first game of the League campaign, was denied a goal by the width of the crossbar when she rattled it in the 24th minute, with the Meath defence clearing the danger. 

The visitors were denied another possible goal, this time impressive netminder Murphy saving well from Cleary. Cork worked the ball straight down the pitch and they enjoyed more success as Eimear Kiely struck for their second green flag, to make it 2-4 to 0-5, and she added a point to increase Cork’s lead to see them lead by six points at half-time. 

Meath’ TG4 All Star Emma Duggan came on for the second half and was soon on the scoresheet as she pointed from a free with Ciara O’Sullivan, again, responding for Cork. 

White flags from Orlaith Mallon and Grimes made it 0-8 to 2-6 with 44 minutes gone. 

A minute later and Cork had another goal chance with Abbie O’Mahony’s effort somehow going across the goal rather than finding the back of the net. 

Two pointed frees from Grimes had three points between the sides with five minutes to go before Olivia Callan made it a two point game. 

But a late point from Kiely and secured the win for Cork. 

Scorers for Cork: E Kiely 1-3 (2f), L Coppinger 1-1, C O’Sullivan 0-3, D Kiniry 0-1. 

Meath: S Grimes 0-4 (2f), A Cleary, N O’Sullivan 0-2 each, E Duggan, O Mallon, O Callan 0-1 each. 

CORK: S Murphy; M Duggan, E Meaney, R Phelan; E O’Shea, S Kelly, D Kiniry; H Looney, S Leahy; L Coppinger, D O’Sullivan, E Cleary; A Ryan, E Kiely, C O’Sullivan. 

Subs: E Jack for D O’Sullivan (ht), A O’Mahony for L Coppinger (33), B O’Sullivan for H Looney (42), L McDonagh for E Cleary (52), E Twomey for D Kiniry (55), S McGoldrick for A Ryan (58), A Ring for E Kiely (59). 

MEATH: M McGuirk; O Gore, M.K. Lynch, K Newe; N Gallogly, S Ennis, A Cleary; M O’Shaughnessy, A Minogue; M Thynne, V Wall, S Melia; O Mallon, S Grimes, N O’Sullivan. 

Subs: E Duggan for S Melia (ht), O Callan for O Mallon (38), A McCabe for M O’Shaughnessy, A Leahy for N Gallogly (both 48), A Sherlock for M Thynne (52). 

Referee: Seamus Mulvihill, Kerry. 

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