The only thing better than Cora Staunton's scoring tally is her breathless interview 1 year ago

The only thing better than Cora Staunton's scoring tally is her breathless interview

She must've been taking it easy enough on Saturday, just the 1-9 in the end.

Cora Staunton is a serious, serious competitor.

It's hard to explain precisely the scale of what Mayo achieved in the semi-final when they ousted Cork and set up an All-Ireland final with Dublin no less.

We're talking about a county who've won the last six ladies championship titles. We're talking about a Rebel outfit who've clinched 11 of the last 12 gongs. We're talking about one of the greatest teams Ireland has seen, in any sport.

 

So when a side like Mayo come along - starved of All-Ireland success since 2003 - and upset the odds and then some, it's huge.

When they dethrone the champions in a thrilling 3-11 to 0-18 win, it's verging on historic.

When Cora Staunton hits 1-9 of those 3-11 and when 1-7 of those come from play, it's... actually it's just business as usual.

Cometh the hour, cometh The Staunton. This is just what she does.

Despite losing to Galway in the Connacht championship at the start of July, Mayo have rallied the whole way back to a first final in a decade where they'll now meet the capital for a shot at the big time on September 24.

Cora Staunton has scored 3-33 in four games in this championship campaign.

And it was her goal against the might of Cork in the semis that led the way and proved to the westerners that this was within reach.

Afterwards though, Staunton was as classy as ever, hailing Cork and the champions they have been.

"Fair credit to Cork. They're a team that we aspire to be for the last 10 years," she said as Mayo natives jumped up and down in the background and her lungs continued the struggle to inhale enough air for the work she was putting her body through.

"We have massive respect for the team and for a lot of the girls on the team."

Last year, Cora Staunton sat beside Corkonian Anna Geary as the pair discussed the importance of female role models for female athletes.

You'd only need to look at one second of one clip to see that Cora Staunton, whether she'd accept the praise or not, is doing the same thing for thousands of women all over Ireland that Sonia O'Sullivan did for her when she grew up.

This is an athlete completely uninhibited by circumstance. She's a footballer completely uninhibited by logic and every day she steps onto a pitch, she inspires another batch to believe in themselves and to believe that greatness is possible.

It's crazy to think that she's considered inter-county retirement before. Now, here she is back in the big time and it's only right that Croke Park will host such a hero once more.