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Dublin: 6 °C Saturday 20 December, 2014

Mayo and Cork reach Ladies football league decider – Clare win in Munster MFC

Cora Staunton hit 1-10 for the Mayo ladies in their semi-final victory while Valerie Mulcahy struck 3-5 for the Cork ladies side.

Mayo's Cora Staunton.
Mayo's Cora Staunton.
Image: INPHO/Donall Farmer

CORA Staunton scored all of Mayo’s 1-10 as Peter Clarke’s side stunned Monaghan in Sunday’s Tesco Homegrown Ladies National Football League Division 1 semi-final in Ballinamore.

Staunton, arguably the greatest player in the history of Ladies football, produced yet another vintage display as last year’s Division 1 champions lost their grip on the title.

Monaghan won all seven of their group games in the top flight this year but Gregory McGonigle’s Ulster champions lost out by 1-10 to 0-9 against a Staunton-inspired Mayo.

At half-time, Monaghan led by 0-6 to 0-3 but eight-time Allstar Staunton was on fire in the second half as wind-assisted Mayo recovered to claim a famous win.

Meanwhile, Cork booked their place in a ninth Division 1 final in ten seasons with a comfortable 4-12 to 2-8 victory over Laois at Sean Treacy Park in Tipperary town.

Valerie Mulcahy scored 3-5 for the Leesiders as they set up a showdown with Mayo at Parnell Park on Saturday, May 11th. Mulcahy had 3-2 on the board by half-time as the Rebelettes, despite playing against the wind from the start, led by 3-5 to 0-4 at half-time.

Cork’s Valerie Mulcahy.
Pic: INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Laois had beaten Cork earlier in the season but with a final place at stake, the All-Ireland champions turned on the style to hand the O’Moore County a ten-point defeat.

Laois drew the second half and that was an achievement in itself as Tom McKittrick’s side trailed by 14 points on two separate occasions. 17-year-old forward Ciara Burke scored two second half goals for Laois, with Rhona Ní Bhuachalla belting home a stunning 44th minute goal for Cork.

Division 2

Elsewhere, a late free from Edel Concannon sealed a 2-9 to 2-8 victory for Galway in an entertaining Division 2 semi-final in Banagher on Sunday.

All four goals were scored in the first half, with Aoibheann Daly and Concannon on target as the beaten 2012 Division 2 finalists opened up an early 2-3 to 0-1 lead.

But Kildare hit back with goals from Gillian Behan and Maria Moolick and at half-time, Galway led by 2-3 to 2-2.

On Saturday, last year’s beaten All-Ireland senior finalists Kerry had a facile 3-16 to 0-6 victory over Westmeath at Sean Treacy Park in Tipperary town.

Mags Fitzgerald, Louise Galvin and Louise Ní Mhuircheartaigh raised green flags for William O’Sullivan’s rampant Kingdom, who were 1-12 to 0-2 in front at half-time. Kerry and Galway will now fight it out for promotion to Division 1.

Meanwhile, Armagh and Down will contest an all-Ulster Division 3 final after coming through their semi-finals against Tipperary and Longford respectively on Sunday.

Armagh, with goals from Caroline O’Hanlon, Mairead Tennyson and Cailin Duffy, beat Tipperary by 3-8 to 3-6 at St Loman’s GAA club, Mullingar.

And there was a dramatic finish in Clones as Down scored 2-1 in the final two minutes to clinch a 3-9 to 3-8 victory against Longford. Natasha Ferris scored the winning point for the Mourne County with a free in stoppage time.

Tesco Homegrown Ladies National Football League
Division 1 semi-finals

Mayo 1-10 Monaghan 0-9
Cork 4-12 Laois 2-8
Division 2 semi-finals
Galway 2-9 Kildare 2-8
Kerry 3-16 Westmeath 0-6
Division 3 semi-finals
Armagh 3-8 Tipperary 3-6
Down 3-9 Longford 3-8

Munster MFC

Clare 1-12 Limerick 0-9

Clare will face Kerry for the right to contest this year’s Electric Ireland Munster MFC semi-finals after the Banner got the better of Limerick in Cusack Park in Ennis tonight by six points.

Clare bounced back from their opening round loss to Tipperary by 1-10 to 0-8 at the same venue while Limerick bowed out of the championship after earlier losing to Waterford by 3-10 to 3-9.

The winners lead by 1-5 to 0-4 at half-time with Barry Keating excelling as he grabbed the only goal of the game and also kicked some neat points. Clare staved off the challenge of Limerick in the second-half to ensure they ran out victors by a six-point margin.

The Banner will now go forward to face Kerry in Tralee next Saturday in the playoff to see who faces Waterford at the semi-final stage on May 15th. Kerry lost out to Cork by 3-6 to 0-10 in last Friday night’s replayed encounter.

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