ANNA Galvin’s goal in Saturday’s Munster SFC tie against Cork will go down as one of the most remembered in the history of Kerry’s ladies football.
Having trailed by three points with six minutes remaining, Sarah Houlihan found the back of Martina O’Brien’s net, before Galvin added a green flag of her own. But, it was her goal that denied the reigning senior All-Ireland and Munster champions Cork, a place in this year’s provincial final.
It is the first time since 2004 that the Rebels have not reached the final, and the defeat also signalled the first time Cork suffered back-to-back championship defeats since 2003.
Galvin found herself in no man’s land on the 57th minute, and bore down on Martina O’Brien’s goal to give Kerry the lead (2-15 to 2-11), despite two consolation points from Brid O’Sullivan and top scorer Orla Finn.
“I had missed two goal chances at that point, so I said ‘Well Anna, if you don’t score this one now you may aswell hang up the boots!” admitted the UL Sports Science graduate, who this year won an O’Connor Cup medal alongside Cork’s Eimear Scally.
“After I scored the goal actually, I saw Scally driving through on our goal and I thought she was going to ruin my day, but thankfully we held them off.”
Graham Shine’s side led by five points at half-time (0-10 to 0-5) having kicked all their scores from open play as Louise Ni Mhuirceartaigh, Lorraine Scanlon and Laura Rodgers did most of the damage. They should have been up more too only for a save by O’Brien on Scanlon on the stroke of half-time, and a total of eight first-half wides.
Cork rallied brilliantly in the second, creating a nine-point turnaround, with goals from Aine Terry O’Sullivan and Niamh Cotter on the 34th and 43rd minutes.
Points from Finn and Scally gave Cork a three-point lead with 10 minutes remaining, however goals by Houlihan and Galvin denied them.
Kerry have crumbled in the past on a number of occasions against Cork’s infamous comebacks, but on Saturday in Fitzgerald Stadium, they kept their composure.
“They came back brilliantly, but something we’ve been working hard on this year is to never give up.
“We’ve focusing on ourselves a lot more now rather than on our opponents and really looking inwards. We have unbelievable talent and we haven’t utilised it all the time, so I think looking at ourselves is the primary thing that’s changed for us,” added Galvin.
Kerry will take on Waterford in a battle for the Dairygold Cup, with the Munster SFC down for decision on July 8, with a venue not yet decided. It will be a repeat of the 2003 final, which Kerry won by two points, while Cork await the draw for the Round 1 qualifiers in mid-July.
Scorers for Cork: O Finn 0-9 (0-4 frees), N Cotter and A O’Sullivan 1-0 each, E Scally 0-2, B O’Sullivan and A Walsh 0-1 each.
Scorers for Kerry: S Houlihan 1-3, L Ní Mhuircheartaigh 0-5 (0-3 frees), A Galvin 1-1, L Rogers 0-4 and L Scanlon 0-2.
CORK: M O’Brien; M Ambrose, B Stack, M Duggan; E Meaney, R Phelan, S Kelly; N Cotter, J O’Shea; M O’Callaghan, B O’Sullivan (C), A Walsh; E Scally, A O’Sullivan, O Finn. Subs: L Coppinger for M O’Callaghan (HT), A Hutchings for S Kelly (HT), O Farmer for A T O’Sullivan (55).
KERRY: L Fitzgerald; E Lynch, A Desmond, A Leonard; C Murphy, E Sherwood, S Leahy; L Scanlon, D Hallissey; A Brosnan, A Galvin, C Kelly (C); S Houlihan, L Ní Mhuircheartaigh, L Rogers. Sub: E O’Leary for Brosnan (52).
Referee: J Mullins (Limerick).