By DECLAN ROONEY
Cork ignited their hopes of reaching the Lidl National Football League Division 1 semi-final after they soundly defeated Monaghan at a sodden Inniskeen.
Orla Finn was the chief scorer with a 1-8 haul, while further goals from Áine Terry O’Sullivan, Libby Coppinger, Ciara O’Sullivan and Doireann O’Sullivan gave Cork the three match points.
Finn was untouchable at times in this game, and all of the first five scores fell to the dangerous attacker. After a dominant opening period Cork held a 3-6 to 0-0 lead and Monaghan’s first score didn’t arrive until the 38th minute when Muireann Atkinson kicked her first of four frees, but even at that stage there was no hope of salvation for the home side.
Ephie Fitzgerald will be delighted with this win, which came after last week’s last gasp home defeat to Tipperary. The Cork boss brought back four of his Mourneabbey contingent for this game, and two of them Doireann and Ciara O’Sullivan hit the net inside a minute of their second-half introductions.
With Finn on song Cork raced into a 1-4 led, but she was ably assisted by Áine Terry O’Sullivan at right half-forward, and she cracked Cork’s second goal after 21 minutes, before she laid on their third for Coppinger seconds later.
Cork made huge inroads into Monaghan in that period, and several of their scores came from winning Monaghan kick-outs, with Áine Terry O’Sullivan particularity effective.
Fifteen points clear at the interval, Finn added two more quick scores after the restart, while Coppinger made it 3-9 to 0-0, before Atkinson’s point got Monaghan off the mark.
Rosemary Courtney hit a good goal for Monaghan after 38 minutes, but it made little impact. In the last 20 minutes Fitzgerald emptied his bench and introduced nine subs in all, while one of those, Riona Ní Bhuachalla got in on the act with four quick points for her side.
The O’Sullivan sisters added a goal each in the 50th and 51st minutes, while the outstanding Áine Terry O’Sullivan fittingly rounded off the scoring in the final minute for Corks’ second away win of the competition.
Scorers – Cork: O Finn 1-8 (4f), A O’Sullivan 1-3, R Ní Bhuachalla 0-4 (3f), L Coppinger 1-1, C O’Sullivan 1-0, D O’Sullivan 1-0, D Kiely 0-1.
Monaghan: M Atkinson 0-4 (4f), R Courtney 1-0.
Cork: L Crowley; H Looney, S Kelly, A Kelleher; E Kiely, A Hutchings, M Duggan; D Kiely, N Cotter; A O’Sullivan, M Cahalane, O Farmer; L Coppinger, S O’Leary, O Finn.
Subs: E Scally for O’Leary (21), R Ní Bhuachalla for Coppinger (37), C O’Shea for S Kiely (37), E Meaney for Kelleher (40), M Ambrose for Looney (40), L Cleary for Finn (48), C O’Sullivan for Farmer (48), M O’Callaghan for Cahalane (48), D O’Sullivan for D Kiely (48).
Monaghan: G McKenna; L Flynn, S Boyd; H McSkane, A McAnespie, R Courtney; S Coyle, M Atkinson; C McBride, C Courtney, E McAnespie; E Woods, L Maguire, C McAnespie.
Subs: A McCarey for Flynn (29), B McAleer for Maguire (h-t), E Treanor for C Courtney (38), R Hughes for McSkane (49), A McCarey for McKenna (51), N McGurk for C McAnespie (56).
Referee: G Corrigan (Down)