Cork too strong for Down
Cork proved far too strong for Down when they met in the final fixture of group 2 in the Liberty Insurance All Ireland Intermediate Championship played at Fermoy GAA on Saturday last. Cork took the lead after five when Linda Collins made no mistake in rattling the net after collecting on 20. Having some work to do to find a way through Collins carved out the space to fire past Grainne Savage in the Down goal and open Corks account. On 7 Collins was on hand to point from the wing after Lauren Callanan picked her out with a great pass. Down opened their scoring on 9 from a Paula Gribben 20 metre free, the first of eight placed balls she converted on the day. Two minutes later Caroline Sugrue and Maeve McCarthy combined to set up Keeva McCarthy to point before Down registered their only score from play through captain, Niamh Mallon on the quarter mark. Katelyn Hickey pointed after collecting a Finola Neville free to see Cork 1-03 to 0-02 ahead on 16. Cork did have the opportunity to be further ahead, however, inaccuracy from placed balls provided Down a short reprieve on the scoreboard. The reprieve was short-lived, however, as Maeve McCarthy goaled on 22 when her ground shot found the net after good attacking play by Collins and Sugrue was initially thwarted and with the defence in disarray McCarthy pounced on the short clearance to billow the Down net. Cork headed to the dressing room 2-03 to 0-02 to the good.
Rachel O’Shea on free taking duties in the second half pointed a tight angled 25 metre effort on 31 before Gribben cancelled it out three minutes later with a 20 metre placed ball. On 35 Sugrue pointed from range before O’Shea stepped up to point a tight angled 40 metre free. It was to be eight minutes before another score was registered and it came through a Sugrue goal when Down failed to clear a dropping ball in from Neville and Sugrue collected to slot home and push Cork 12 clear on 43. Finola Neville slotted over a 50 metre free before two Gribben placed balls from 35 and 40 metres respectively saw Cork 3-07 to 0-05 ahead going into the closing 10 minutes. Sugrue split the posts before three Gribben placed balls in four minutes brought the scoring to 3-08 to 0-08 with five remaining. Substitute Hayley Ryan set up O’Shea to point on 56, before O’Shea tacked on two from placed balls to tie up Corks scoring of 3-11 before Gribben closed out Downs account on 63 when she slotted over a 30 metre placed ball. Cork ran out victorious on a score line of 3-11 to 0-09 and now await their semi-final opponents which is down for decision pending the result from today’s fixtures.
Cork: A. Lee, Na Piarsaigh, L. Weste, Ballincollig, S. Harrington, Fr. O’Neills, N. Ní Chaoimh, (capt.),
Killeagh, J. Barry, Bride Rovers, S. Buckley, Ballincollig, R. Kileen, Ballyhea, F. Neville, St. Catherines, L. Callanan, Glen Rovers, R. O’Shea, Carrigaline, K. McCarthy, St. Finbarrs, K. Hickey, Blackrock, L. Collins, Courcey Rovers, M. McCarthy, Sarsfields, C. Sugrue, Ballinascarthy.
Subs: M. Buckley, Ballygarvan for K. McCarthy (44), S. Fahy, Douglas for K. Hickey (54), H. Ryan, Blackrock for M. McCarthy (55), M. Lynch, Newcestown for S. Buckley (56), N. O’Callaghan, Sarsfields for R. Kileen (60).
Down: G. Savage, C. McGilligan, M. McNally, N. O’Hagan, C. Caldwell, D. Magee, S. McCullough, A. Keown, P. Gribben, C. Fitzpatrick, SL. Carr, A. McAleenan, D. Toner, N. Mallon (capt.), C. Smyth.
Subs: N. McCullough for A. McAleenan (28), A. McKillop for C. Smyth (35), N. McCabe for D. Toner (43), G. Gallagher for S. McCullough (43), C. Byrne for N. O’Hagan (50).
Cork: C. Sugrue 1-02, L. Collins 1-01, M. McCarthy 1-00, R. O’Shea 0-05 (0-04f), K. Hickey, K. McCarthy, F. Neville 0-01 each.
Down: P. Gribben 0-08 (0-08f), N. Mallon 0-01.
Referee: John Dolan, Clare