|Cork 4-13 Monaghan 0-11 - Sunday, September 28, 2008
|Cork captured a fourth successive TG4 All-Ireland Ladies Football Championship crown as Ulster champions Monaghan were put to the sword at Croke Park.
Goal-machine Valerie Mulcahy, sent-off in the semi-final victory over Tyrone but cleared to play in the decider, bagged 3-02 as the Rebelettes defeated Monaghan by 14 points.
At half-time, just three points separated the sides, Cork leading by 1-08 to 0-08, but the magnificent Leesiders turned up the heat in the second half to ensure a senior ladies football-camogie double in 2008.
The killer goal for Cork, Mulcahy's second five minutes after half-time, was a much-debated effort as the RockbŠn ace appeared to be in the square when she fisted Geraldine O'Flynn's speculative delivery to the net.
Cork were also awarded two penalties during the game, both coolly converted by Mulcahy, and despite their obvious superiority, the winning margin flattered the victors.
Monaghan, with forwards Catriona McConnell and Edel Byrne in good form, hung in doggedly in the first half but after recording an impressive semi-final victory over Mayo, Cork proved a bridge too far.
Mulcahy provided the game's opening score, a penalty in the third minute, following Christina Reilly's foul on dual star Mary O'Connor and Monaghan trailed from that moment all the way to the finish.
To their credit, the Farney girls did get back to within a point of their much-vaunted opponents on three separate occasions, but inspired by Juliet Murphy at midfield, Cork held a three-point half-time advantage.
Mulcahy palmed home that disputed second goal five minutes into the second half to open up a 2-08 to 0-08 lead, a strike that effectively ended the Monaghan resistance.
Any faint hopes of an unlikely revival were finally extinguished seven minutes later when substitute Ciara O'Sullivan scored with her first touch of the game.
Another inspired managerial move was the introduction of Rhona Buckley, who scored two second half points, a clear indication of the strength in depth of this Cork squad.
The remarkable Briege Corkery produced a fantastic diving block midway through the second half as a mean Cork defence looked to preserve a clean sheet.
Five minutes from the end, Mulcahy completed her hat-trick of goals when she netted a second penalty after the industrious Mary O'Connor was hauled down once again, this time by Aoife McAnespie.
Cork scorers: V Mulcahy 3-02 (2 pens, 0-01f), C O'Sullivan 1-00, J Murphy 0-03f, N Cleary, M O'Connor & R Buckley 0-02 each, A Murphy & A O'Shea 0-01 each.
Monaghan scorers: E Byrne 0-03, C McConnell 0-03 (1f), T McNally 0-02, I Kierans, N Kindlon (f) & C McAnespie 0-01 each.
CORK: E Harte; C Walsh, A Walsh, L Barrett; B Corkery, B Stack, G O'Flynn; J Murphy, N Kelly; N Cleary, M O'Connor, A Murphy; V Mulcahy, A O'Shea, D O'Reilly.
SUBS: R Buckley for C Walsh (29m), C O'Sullivan for O'Reilly (41m), R Buckley for A Murphy (48m), R O'Sullivan for O'Shea (54m), S O'Reilly for Cleary (55m).
MONAGHAN: L Martin; G McNally, S Courtney, C Reilly; A McAnespie, A Lennon, F Courtney; A Casey, I Kierans; C McConnell, N Kindlon, T McNally; C McAnespie, E Byrne, N Fahy.
SUBS: L Connolly for Lennon (44m), C Courtney for McConnell (48m), E McCarron for Fahy (51m), U McNally for Reilly (54m).
Referee: K Tighe (Dublin).