Cork 1-15 Mayo 0-09
Eamonn Ryan’s champions Cork eased into the semi-finals of the TG4 All-Ireland Ladies senior football championship with a comfortable nine-point victory over Mayo in their quarter-final in Tullamore.
The Rebelettes finished with a flourish to book their place in the last four once again and with hopes of a ninth All-Ireland crown in ten seasons still very much in their sights.
Eimear Scally came off the bench to palm home Cork’s only goal of the game eight minutes from time and Mayo finished the game with 14 players when midfielder Claire Egan was sin-binned.
Cork never hit the high notes but still had more than enough class and experience to take care of Mayo.
The Westerners stuttered past Westmeath by just a single point last weekend and Cork were simply a bridge too far.
Mayo were just a point behind early in the second half when leading scorer Cora Staunton kicked two early scores in the second half but that was the cue for Cork to open up with four points without reply, three of them from prolific inside forward Valerie Mulcahy.
Player of the match Rena Buckley was also on target for the Leesiders and while Mayo responded with two further points, to cut the deficit back to three, Cork stepped on the gas once again to get the job done.
At the end of a disappointing first half, Cork led by 0-07 to 0-04, having battled into the wind in the first half.
The match-up between these two heavyweights developed into a real war of attrition and it was Cork who coped best as rain began to sheet across the pitch before half-time.
Cork seemed intent on scoring a first half goal but Mayo, to their credit, defended in numbers.
Goalkeeper Yvonne Byrne’s kickouts provided some difficulty for her teammates but after one loose delivery, Cork failed to capitalise in the fourth minute as Helena Lohan managed to scramble Grace Kearney’s effort off the line.
Mulcahy had kicked the opening score of the game and by half-time, the Rockbán star had four points to her credit, including two frees.
At the other end, it was star forward Staunton, locked in a battle royale with Angela Walsh, who was causing Cork most problems.
Staunton scored three first half points from play, including one sensational effort off the outside of her right boot.
That score tied the game at 0-04 apiece but Cork finished the first half well, as Walsh stormed forward to fist a superb 23rd minute point, before Mulcahy converted two close-range frees.
Cork: M O’Brien; R Phelan, Angela Walsh (0-01), B Stack; V Foley, D O’Reilly, G O’Flynn (0-01f); R Buckley (0-1), B Corkery; Annie Walsh, C O’Sullivan (0-01), O Farmer; V Mulcahy (0-07, 5f), G Kearney, E Farmer (0-01).
Subs: O Finn for E Farmer (40), A Barrett for Foley (44), E Scally (1-0) for Kearney (48), N Cleary (0-01) for Mulcahy (52), A.M. Walsh for O Farmer (0-02) (54).
Mayo: Y Byrne; M Corbett, H Lohan, A Bell; C Connelly, S Tierney, M Carter; C Egan, K Sullivan; G Kelly (0-02), F McHale, N Kelly; P Coyle, C Staunton (0-07, 3f), S Rowe.
Subs: F Doherty for N Kelly (26), A Herbert for Coyle (38), A Touhy for F Doherty (49), D Doherty for G Kelly (50).
Referee: G Corrigan (Down).