Last Sunday marked a monumental day for sport as the Cork ladies footballers recorded their fifth All-Ireland title in as many years. The Rebelettes won out 0-12 to Dublin’s 0-10 in a tightly contested encounter at Croke Park as they managed to hold off a late Dublin search for a goal to retain their two point lead and take the trophy home.
This win sees Cork earn their tenth Championship title since 2004, just one of the last eleven opportunities to lift the cup evading the Cork ladies in an unprecedented run of success for ladies football. The occasions was made all the more special by a bumper attendance of 31,083 to see Captain and UCC graduate Ciara O’Sullivan lift the Brendan Martin Cup in Dublin.
Cork made their largest impact on the game straight after half-time through four unanswered points which ultimately proved the difference in a mostly defensive and reserved affair. Former UCC student Valerie Mulcahy provided three of the points during this period following a 0-5 0-5 deadlock at half-time adding to her total to come out as the matches top scorer with 0-7. Current UCC student Doireann O’Sullivan also got herself on the scoreboard twice with two well taken points, her contribution making up for her last minute sin-binning. Eimear Scally, another current UCC student, also earned a point for Cork after coming onto the field just after half-time on the thirty-ninth minute.
In total UCC had thirteen current students lining out for the Rebelettes from a thirty strong panel to highlight the strong association between the College and county team. This included Emma Farmer, Orlagh Farmer, Aine O’Sullivan, Jennifer Barry, Marie O’Callaghan, Vera Foley, Laura Crowley, Marie Ambrose, Roisin Phelan, Emer Meaney, Maeve O’Sullivan as well as the aforementioned Scally and O’Sullivan. Roisin O’Sullivan, sister of captain Ciara, and Aine Hayes both graduated from UCC also.
The Cork ladies are also coached by UCC lecturer and former Cork Men’s football Manager Eamon Ryan as well as several members of UCC’s own coaching ticket. Pat O’Leary, Shane Ronayne and Grace Kearney are all involved with the Cork coaching setup. The Rebelettes association with UCC through their coaching team and squad as well as Cork’s use of UCC’s sporting facilities at the Mardyke and Curraheen show clearly the key role the College plays with the team.