Jackies Delight.

November 8, 2018

Dublin 1-10   Cork 1-09
Match Report – Dublin v Cork, 1/3/2009.

Two quality teams produced an entertaining hour’s football in the Bord Gais Energy National League at Naomh Mearnóg yesterday. Pride was very much at stake for both sides. Cork came into this game as league champions and were intent on keeping their unbeaten run intact, a run which has lasted almost a year to the day. Dublin on the other hand are unbeaten in the league to date and were the last side to inflict defeat on the Rebelettes in the same competition last year. In the end the Jackies prevailed, only just. When Valerie Mulcahy calmly slotted a penalty inside the right-hand upright in the final minute there was only one point between the sides. Dublin hearts were fluttering as injury time was played out and the referee’s whistle came as a relief to the home side and their supporters. In the overall context of the game Dublin deserved their win. In the fifteenth minute of the second half left half forward, Colleen Barrett was sin-binned for two personal fouls in quick succession under the nose of the referee. Seven minutes later Niamh McEvoy who was only on the pitch less than fifteen minutes, followed Colleen to the sinbin. In her case it may have been a case of mistaken identity by the referee. It was all hands to the pump as the Jackies battled on with thirteen players for three minutes and finished the game with fourteen.

Dublin had the advantage of the wind in the first half but yet only went in at half-time leading by five points to four. Both sides squandered possession in the final third of the pitch but Dublin were more culpable in this quarter. A well-taken point by Niamh Hurley after four minutes opened the Jackies account. A Valerie Mulcahy point from a free after eight minutes levelled matters. Further Dublin points followed from Sinead Ahearne and Fiona Corcoran. Dublin led after fifteen minutes by five points to one. Ahearne top scored for Dublin scoring seven points in all, five of whom came from frees. The Rebelettes wouldn’t score again until the the twenty-third minute when Geraldine O’Flynn ran onto to a Juliet Murphy taken free and cooly slotted over. Cork finished the half on top with Nollaig Cleary taking her two chances with great aplomb. Cleary was the one forward who looked to have the potential to cause Dublin problems. Overall the Dublin defence did a splendid job containing the Cork forwards. Yet the Leesiders will rue their missed opportunities having kicked eight wides in the first half to Dublin’s three. Valerie Mulcahy accounted for four of those.

Cork started the second half like they meant business and two quick points from Mulcahy had Cork in front for the first in the game five minutes. Dublin were not there to make up numbers and went toe to toe with their opponents. Fiona Corcoran was the heart of the Jackies surge while Lyndsey Davey was happy to run at the Cork defence. Davey was fouled on a number of occasions by the Cork defence and Sinead Ahearne duly punished all indiscretions. Davey missed a great opportunity in the seventh minnute when she fired wide from distance with keeper, Elaine Harte, beaten. The turning point of the game came in the thirteenth minute when Davey shook off the shackles of the Rebelettes defence and sent a rasper to the back of the net.
Dublin now led by 1-8 to 0-7. Juliet Murphy who had a great game in midfield for Cork kicked a point and closed the gap to three. Ahearne stretched the lead to four once again with another free. Murphy responded again but sub Amy Ring kicked a crucial point in the twenty-seventh minute. It turned out to be the winning score. Dublin remained very composed despite the sin innings. Geraldin O’Flynn hit the post as Cork attempted to close the gap and then came the penalty which came about as a result of the Dublin defence attempting to allow a high speculative ball towards the goal bounce wide. Cork managed to keep it in play and Dublin unnecessarily gave away the penalty. Dublin, however, were determined no to let this one slip and held on for a hard fought win.

All of Dublin’s defence played well on the day with Maria Kavanagh doing a good containing job on Valerie Mulcahy. Avril Cluxton and Siobhan McGrath worked their socks off for the cause. Cliodhna O’Connor was sound under the high ball and dealt comfortably with everything that came her way. Fiona Corcoran covered acres of ground from midfield while the triangle of Davey, Hurley and Ahearne kept probing at the Cork defence throughout. Juliet Murphy had another fine game for Cork while Brid Stack and Angela Walsh kept a tight rein down the centre of defence. Mulcahy and Cleary were the pick of the forwards. Rena Buckley did some splendid overlapping down the right side of midfield in the second half. Despite being down to fourteen players for fifteen minutes of the second half and thirteen for three it was the Jackies intelligent use of the ball as they worked their way out of defence and trouble that earned them the two crucial points that ultimately produced the win. Cork’s poor shooting contributed in no small way to their defeat. Twelve wides to Dublin’s four tells it own story.

Player of the Match – Fiona Corcoran.