Cork U-14 Ladies Blitz to All Ireland Success
Those were the words of the day from the players on the 12th May in a sun filled Portlaoise as the Cork U14 Ladies football team were preparing to play the first of what turned out to be five games, in the All Ireland U14 blitz of 2018.
After a disappointing performance in their Munster Final against Kerry it was a chance for the team to showcase what they can do and get a win over their near neighbours.
The first game against Roscommon in very warm heat, proved to be the curtain raiser for what would be the first of five wins for the ladies of Cork.
With a very strong scoreline at the end of the first game including 5 goals, Cork found their stride
fast with only 10 minutes a side in each game of the tournament.
Playing in Division 1A, opposition was tough and next up was Waterford.
Having played them earlier in the year pre championship, both sides knew each other from an outing they had in Youghal back in January.
This was a closer affair and proved one of the harder games with Waterford only losing by 2 pts 1-1 to 2 pts..
The team was rotating constantly so all players got to play in their last outing of the 2018 season, in a Cork jersey.
The Cork team from goalkeeper to corner forward all upped their game when they played Westmeath.
Everyone all watched them earlier in the day and knew they had a tough test ahead of them.
Needless to say yet again, these young women showed heart and resilience and dug deeper and won on a scoreline of 2-5 to -1pt.
The management team utilised their large squad through the five games as the heat was something new to all girls on every team participating.
Next up was old rivals Kerry. This was the game of the day and the Cork ladies got off the mark very fast with a fast few scores of goals and points.
From the throw in the midfields fed the forward line faster than they did in the Munster final and this direct football worked a treat. At half time they had the upper hand and Kerry had 10 minutes to change their fortunes.
On the restart the entire squad and parents roared and cheered on the girls who never looked like they would stop until the end of this, the semi final encounter,as both Kerry and Cork had won all their games at this stage of the competition.
With another long range kick pass and excellent hand passing, Cork landed their third goal of the game and ended up adding a further point to beat Kerry on a scoreline of 3-2 to 1-1 and booked a final spot.
With over 80 minutes of unbeaten football under their belt up to now, Cork had proved that their Munster final defeat was simply a bad day at the office for these heroic young ladies and they bounced back very fast.
Their effort and fight through the entire day proved what it meant to them to be playing for Cork at such a young age.
Step up Tipperary for an All Munster final. Again Tipp, had played some nice football meeting teams like Dublin in their group, they also had great results during the day.
They say that goals win games and this saying was absolutely true as Cork went onto to secure victory in the Final of the All Ireland U14 Division 1A Final.
Cork 1-3 Tipperary -3 pts and these rebelettes had done themselves proud and lifted the Cup after a fine display if football.
What lies instore for Cork Ladies football in the future? Well with players being developed and coached so professionally at club level now, the work that grass roots do means the quality of player opting to go to trials has gotten better year on year.
With names such as Briege Corkery, Rena Buckley, Deirdre O Reilly, Valerie Mulcahy, to name but a few, having been the players who won so many All Irelands between them, these are the names the U14 team of 2018 will hopefully become to be in years ahead for the county of Cork.
The future is bright, the future strong, well done to all involved!