Cork ladies claim five in a row

Cork 1-09 Dublin 0-11

Cork held onto the Brendan Martin Cup by the skin of their teeth as the Rebelettes were pushed to the pin of their collars by Dublin in the TG4 All-Ireland Senior Ladies Football final at Croke Park this afternoon.

The experience and guile of Eamon Ryan's charges stood to them. Cork played down the clock with a string of hand-passes in the closing stages to ensure they took victory and a historic five in-a-row of All-Ireland titles.

The eventual winners did not have it all their own way in this game as a determined Dublin outfit craved a first ever crown.

Centre-forward Amy McGuinness was central to the Dublin charge with TG4 Player of the Match Mary Nevin also in superb form.

Dublin dominated possession in the opening stages with Sinead Aherne slotting wide of the posts and also having the first goal chance of the game saved with the opening two minutes.

However, the Jackies quickly made amends with quick-fire points from Lyndsay Davey and Nevin, ensuring a 0-2 to 0-0 lead after two minutes.

Cork's scoring chances were limited in the opening half, but they took their first score in impressive fashion.

Following a Juliet Murphy wide, the Rebelettes continued to push hard at the Dublin rearguard and were eventually rewarded when Nollaig Cleary drilled the ball to the net, with Valerie Mulcahy supplying the scoring pass.

Dublin kept up the pressure with Aherne, McGuinness and Elaine Kelly taking vital scores to give them a one-point lead with seven-and-a-half minutes remaining in the opening half.

Cork kept their composure with a Murphy point, although Dublin had the final say of the first half with a Nevin point handing them a 0-6 to 1-2 interval advantage.

Cork pushed in front within five minutes of the restart, thanks to scores from Mulcahy and team captain Mary O'Connor.

Dublin continued to press hard with Lyndsey Peat, Aherne and defender Siobhan McGrath impressive.

But Cork's greater experience shone through in the end, with Mary O'Connor accepting the Brendan Martin Cup after the game and giving one of the most memorable and lengthy winning speeches in Croke Park history.

CORK: E Harte; Rena Buckley, A Walsh, G O'Flynn; C O'Sullivan, B Stack, B Corkery; J Murphy (0-1, 0-1f), N Kelly; N Cleary (1-1), D O'Reilly, A O'Shea; M O'Connor (0-2, 0-1f), V Mulcahy (0-4, 0-3f), R Ni Bhuachalla.

Subs used: L McMahon for O'Shea, L Barrett for Ni Bhuachalla, M Kelly (0-1) for O'Connor.

DUBLIN: C O'Connor; A Cluxton, N Comyn, M Kavanagh; C Barrett, S Furlong, S McGrath (0-1); D Masterson, N McEvoy; M Nevin (0-2), A McGuinness (0-2), E Kelly (0-1); L Davey (0-1), S Aherne (0-3, 0-1f), L Peat (0-1).

Subs used: L Kidd for Cluxton; K Flood for McEvoy (blood sub), N Hurley for Kelly, E Travers for Barrett, R Byrne for Nevin.

Referee: Declan Corcoran (Mayo)

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