2008 Allstars 3-11
2009 Allstars 1-11
By Jackie Cahill at Pairc na nGael, Treasure Island....
MAYO ace Cora Staunton was the jewel of Treasure Island as the 2008 O’Neills/TG4 Ladies Football Allstars defeated their 2009 counterparts in San Francisco on Saturday.
Staunton bagged a sensational individual haul of 2-5 as the selection managed by Cork’s Eamon Ryan ran out winners by six points at the magnificent Pairc na nGael venue.
Staunton racked up her matchwinning tally before she was withdrawn with 18 minutes remaining and an attendance in the region of 1,000 people afforded the four-time All-Ireland senior medallist a rousing reception as she left the field of play.
The Carnacon attacker, who scored 2-2 from play, was the star of the show in an attacking sense but goalkeeper Elaine Harte was also in superb form and pulled off a succession of top class saves.
Another of Cork’s travelling contingent, Nollaig Cleary, also caught the eye with a hard-working display while Angela Walsh was a tower of strength at full-back for the winners.
For the 2009 Allstars, Cork’s Geraldine O’Flynn performed effectively in a defensive role before moving further up the field while Mayo’s Emma Mullin pulled the strings from centre forward.
The 2009 selection was managed by Deirdre Murphy, who masterminded Clare’s All-Ireland intermediate success last year, but she had to play second fiddle to Ryan’s team, who started with six of Cork’s senior champions.
Among them was Briege Corkery, who travelled from Australia just for this game, while O’Flynn was joined by Norita Kelly in the 2009 team.
Staunton showed her class with an early goal to set the 2008 winners on their way but the 2009 Allstars hit back with three unanswered points to tie the scores at 0-3 to 1-0 with nine minutes on the watch.
Staunton, who hit 2-3 in the first half alone, took over after that and an unanswered run of 1-3 from the 27-year-old, including a brilliant 14th minute goal, sent the 2008 Allstars into a 2-3 to 0-3 lead approaching half-time.
At the break, the 2009 Allstars trailed by 0-5 to 2-3 and their task was made even more difficult within a minute of the restart when Down ace Michaela Downey lashed home a fine goal off the underside of the crossbar.
But in an entertaining encounter, the 2009 Allstars fought back and were given a lifeline by Ciara McAnespie in the 38th minute when the Monaghan forward found the net.
With ten minutes remaining, the 2009 Allstars had reduced the deficit to just three points, trailing by 1-9 to 3-6, but the 2008 Allstars rallied with a run of four successive points to make the game safe.
At a post-match reception, Ladies Gaelic Football President Pat Quill thanked officials from San Francisco GAA and the Western Divisional board for their warm welcome to sun-kissed Treasure Island.
He also announced that a new Ladies Football club is being established in Los Angeles, on the back of the success of this tour.
Scorers for O’Neills/TG4 2008 Allstars: C Staunton 2-5 (0-3f), M Downey 1-0, P Dennehy 0-2, N Cleary, C Little, E Hanley & D Murtagh 0-1 each.
Scorers for O’Neills/TG4 2009 Allstars: C McAnespie 1-0, S Aherne 0-3 (1f), J Donnelly 0-3 (1f), G O’Flynn, A.M. McDonagh, N Earley, E Mullin (f) & L Henchy 0-1 each.
2008 O’Neills/TG4 Allstars: Elaine Harte (Cork). Linda Barrett (Cork), Angela Walsh (Cork), Sharon Courtney (Monaghan). Briege Corkery (Cork), Brid Stack (Cork), Neamh Woods (Tyrone). Caroline Little (Fermanagh), Amanda Casey (Monaghan). Nollaig Cleary (Cork), Niamh Kindlon (Monaghan), Michaela Downey (Down). Patrice Dennehy (Kerry), Cora Staunton (Kerry), Edel Hanley (Tipperary).
Subs: Kathy Conway (Derry), Sinead McLaughlin (Tyrone), Denise Murtagh (Longford), Angela McDermott (Tipperary), Rebecca McPhilbin (Galway).
2009 O’Neills/TG4 Allstars: Cliodhna O’Connor (Dublin). Noelle Tierney (Mayo), Noelle Comyn (Dublin), Geraldine O’Flynn (Cork). Aoife McAnespie (Monaghan), Martha Carter (Mayo), Siobhan McGrath (Dublin). Denise Masterson (Dublin), Norita Kelly (Cork). Anne Marie McDonagh (Galway), Emma Mullin (Mayo), Noelle Earley (Kildare). Ciara McAnespie (Monaghan), Sinead Aherne (Dublin), Una Carroll (Galway).
Subs: Derval Toal (Armagh), Eliza Downey (Down), Louise Henchy (Clare), Joline Donnelly (Tyrone), Aine Kelly (Clare).
Referee: Keith Tighe (Dublin).