All-Ireland champions Cork sent out a strong statement of intent as they recorded a massive 8-27 to 0-02 victory over Donegal in the TG4 Ladies Football All-Ireland Senior Championship quarter-final at Dr Hyde Park in Roscommon.
Though up against a Donegal side depleted due to a number of squad members attending a wedding, Cork showed sheer ruthlessness in making sure they did not fall into the trap that saw them eliminated by Tyrone at the same stage two years ago.
The outcome was never in doubt at any stage, as Cork began in emphatic fashion, Nollaig Cleary registering a goal inside 30 seconds following good work from Geraldine O’Flynn, and while Roisín Friel responded with a Donegal point, Ciara O’Sullivan added a second green flag.
With Bríd Stack marshalling a strong defence, Cork were not giving their opponents many scoring opportunities, and at the other end Cleary, O’Sullivan, Laura MacMahon and Valerie Mulcahy were all among the scores.
A third goal arrived in the 15th minute when Cleary won the ball and finished after O’Sullivan’s point attempt fell short, leaving it 3-05 to 0-01, and O’Sullivan and Annie Walsh both had chances to add further goals.
As it was, Donegal’s only other first-half score came through Kate Kearney and Cork continued to add on the points at the other end, Mulcahy with two in quick succession before Cleary point just before the hooter to leave it 3-13 to 0-2 at half-time.
After Mulcahy and Cleary pointed early in the second half, sub Rhona Ní Bhuacha added another goal before Mulcahy converted a penalty when Ní Bhuachalla was fouled.
Ní Bhuachalla and another sub, Doireann O’Sullivan, were keen to make an impact and both scored some fine points before Cleary got the sixth goal to complete her hat-trick.
Such was Cork’s dominance, they could afford to withdraw Player of the Year Juliet Murphy for the final 20 minutes, but even so Doireann O’Sullivan and Mulcahy added further goals as the rout continued.
Scorers for Cork: N Cleary 3-04, V Mulcahy 2-06 (1-00 penalty, 0-02f), D O’Sullivan 1-04, R Ní Bhuachalla 1-03, C O’Sullivan 1-02, L MacMahon, J Murphy (0-02f) 0-03 each, G O’Flynn, O Farmer 0-01 each.
Scorers for Donegal: K Kearney, R Friel 0-01 each.
Cork: E Harte; AM Walsh, B Stack, D O’Reilly; B Corkery, R Buckley, G O’Flynn; J Murphy, N Kelly; A Walsh, C O’Sullivan, L MacMahon; N Cleary, V Mulcahy, G Kearney.
Subs used: O Farmer for A Walsh, R Ní Bhuachalla for Kearney (both h-t), A Barrett for Corkery (37), D O’Sullivan for Murphy (40).
Donegal: N Mailey; O Carr, K Wilson, T Khan; T McCafferty, G Houston, A Watters; E Gallagher, A McDonnell; K Kearney, K Guthrie, R Friel; R Curran, CD Shovlin, K Feeney.
Subs used: A McDonnell for Khan (18 mins), R Boyle for Curran (43), O Furlong for Feeney (47), B McGinty for Houston (51).
Referee: G Corrigan (Down).