LAST Saturday’s overwhelming victory for Cork over Donegal in the TG4 All-Ireland senior ladies football quarter-final yet again emphasised the dramatic gulf in class evident among ladies football today.
Yes, it is believed that Donegal were understrength and fielded a depleted side in Saturday’s game, but with the final score reading 8-27 to 0-2 in favour of the Rebelettes, even their strongest possible team would surely have struggled to overhaul such phenomenal scoring.
To be honest, it was almost uncomfortable viewing towards the end of the encounter, with Eamonn Ryan’s girls simply sauntering through the Donegal defence and scoring at ease. Following such a devastating performance, it would be extremely tough for the Tir Chonaill ladies to pick themselves up from this.
But this sheer annihilation suffered by Donegal at the hands of the Rebelettes certainly portrayed an unarguable gap in class present in ladies football today. Should this be allowed to happen?
Well, unfortunately for Donegal, it was just bad timing. Up to this, the Tir Chonaill ladies had impressed in this year’s championship, but this wasn’t the case on Saturday last, as they were outplayed completely in every sector of Dr Hyde Park in Roscommon.
Even at half-time you could predict the inevitable; Cork led 3-13 to 0-2 at the short whistle, with West Cork ladies Nollaig Cleary and Laura McMahon impressing in particular upfront. Despite their weak opposition, the ladies in red sent out a strong statement of intent, and will undoubtedly take some beating in their upcoming semi-final clash with Monaghan.
Monaghan, on the other hand, will be hugely optimistic of defeating the Cork ladies, following their impressive win over Mayo last weekend in the last of the quarter-finals.
Cathriona McConnell finished with a personal tally of 3-3 as her side ensured their path to the semi-finals, and set up what should be a fascinating and intriguing clash with Cork, who have won six of the last seven All-Ireland senior ladies football titles.
In the other upcoming semi final, Galway and Kerry go head to head in what should be another pulsating encounter, and is fixed for Saturday, September 1 in Birr.