Cork Maintain Unbeaten Record and Book Place In Final Against Rivals Kilkenny
Cork will face old rivals Kilkenny in the Littlewoods Ireland Camogie Leagues Division 1 final after they overcame a tough and determined Limerick outfit at CIT on Sunday last. Cork held a 10 point advantage on the cusp of half time, however, Limerick hit a purple patch and returned 1-03 to narrow the gap to five. The dying minutes of the game produced another haul of scores for Limerick in which they cut a seven point deficit to just three, however, Amy O’Connor struck an insurance point deep in added time to seal the victory.
Cork were four clear after five minutes courtesy of an Orla Cronin point and a well taken goal from on-form Linda Collins. Limerick registered their opening score compliments of their accomplished sharp shooter Niamh Mulcahy when she slotted over a 30 metre free.
A brace from Cotter and Julia White pushed Cork five clear, however, Rebecca Delee cut the deficit to four when she split the posts, before Cronin cancelled it out when she fired over after Collins picked her out with a pass. Two Limerick points via Caoimhe Lyons and Deborah Murphy either side of a Cotter long range effort doubled Corks lead 1-05 to 0-04 on 18. Three unanswered points from Cronin, Aileen Sheehan and Collins witnessed Cork open up a seven point lead before Collins found the net for the second time when she side stepped keeper Laura O’Neill and blasted to the net and with it extend Corks lead to 10.
Limerick rallied and what ensued saw Corks lead cut in dramatic fashion when, on 29, Mulcahy pointed a free before captain Sarah Carey found the net after a great one-two with Sophie O’Callaghan that saw Carey finish to the net with a handpass that gave Amy Lee little chance in the Cork goal. Cotter fired over a placed ball before Limericks late flurry of the half was rounded off by O’Callaghan who pointed to see Cork head to the dressing room five clear, 2-09 to 1-07.
Upon the resumption Collins pointed before Cotter pushed Cork seven clear with a placed ball. Karen O’Leary cut the deficit to six when she punished a short Cork clearance, and on 36 Mulcahy had Corks lead down to five when she pointed a 45metre free.
It was to be eight minutes before the next score was registered and it came via Amy O’Connor who made an immediate impact off the bench with a point. With 15 remaining a brace from Collins and O’Connor opened up an eight point lead for the leesiders before frees from Mulcahy and Cotter kept parity. However, Carey struck over a great long range point to see Limerick trail by seven with seven remaining.
Cotter and Aisling Scanlan exchanged points before Limerick were thrown a lifeline when awarded a penalty three minutes from time. Sharp shooter Mulcahy made no mistake when she stepped up to cut the lead to just four before pointing a placed ball in the first minute of added time to see just one score between the sides. Cork nailed the insurance point via O’Connor when she pointed deep in injury time for Cork to take the spoils 2-17, Limerick 2-13.
Cork: A. Lee, L. O’Sullivan, L. Treacy (acting capt.), M. Cahalane, A. Sheehan, P. Mackey, C. Sigerson, O. Cotter, A. Thompson, J. White, O. Cronin, H. Looney, L. Collins, N. McCarthy, L. Homan.
Subs: K. Mackey for O. Cronin (34), A. O’Connor for L. Homan (40), G. O’Connor for J. White (50).
Limerick: L. O’Neill, S. McNamara, L. McCarthy, M. Quaid, L. Scanlan, J. Mulcahy, M. O’Connell, S. Carey (c), K. O’Leary, D. Murphy, R. Delee, C. Costelloe, N. Mulcahy, S. O’Callaghan, C. Lyons.
Subs: A. Scanlan for M. O’Connell (HT), M. Creamer for S. O’Callaghan (40), K. Hennessy for L. Scanlan (44), F. Hickey for M. Quaid (51), M. O’Callaghan for K. O’Leary (54).
Cork: L. Collins 2-03, O. Cotter 0-06 (0-03f), O. Cronin 0-03, A. O’Connor 0-03, A. Sheehan 0-01, J. White 0-01
Limerick: S. Carey 1-01, N. Mulcahy 1-06 (1-00pen, 0-03f, 0-0245), K. O’Leary 0-01, D. Murphy 0-01, S. O’Callaghan 0-01, R. Delee 0-01, C. Lyons 0-01, A. Scanlan 0-01
Referee: Ray Kelly, Kelly