Cork Book Final Spot After Edging Clare in a Strong Contest
Cork booked a place in the All Ireland Minor A Camogie Championship Final following a testing battle with Clare on Saturday April 14th in Ballyagran. A Fiona Keating goal on 18 gave Cork the impetus to battle hard and maintain a lead they did not relinquish despite a rigorous Clare effort right to the end.
In the opening quarter the lead was exchanged four times with both sides tentatively attempting to exert their dominance on the game, as well as struggling to come to terms with the strong swirling wind which favoured Cork in the opening half.
Clare set the scoreboard in motion with an Aoife Power point before Aoife Hurley quickly cancelled it out with a nifty score a minute later. Cliona Healy had Cork one ahead on 5 when she slotted over a 40 metre placed ball before Clare replied via the influential Brídin Dinan when she fired over to tie the sides on two inside six minutes. A Saoirse McCarthy 50 metre free followed by a Caoimhe Kelly point from close range had the sides level once again on three a piece before Fina O’Brien helped Clare hit the front on 14 when she split the posts.
The Clare lead was short lived, however, as Keating pounced to deftly strike a breaking ball that fell to the ground to give Rachel Daly no chance when she rattle the Clare net and put Cork two clear.
Three minutes later Ciara O’Sullivan extended the lead to three when she slotted over on 21. Two Dinan placed balls either side of a Hurley point kept Clare in touch before Moira Barrett pointed following a superb pass from the tenacious Laura Hayes to see Cork restore the three point advantage 1-06 to 0-06 and hold the lead at half time.
Hurley opened up a four point lead after the resumption before Dinan cut the deficit to three on 32 when she pointed a 35 metre free and Lynda Daly had the lead cut to two when she ingeniously hand passed over the bar on 36. It was to be almost 10 minutes before another score was registered with both sides falling foul of judging the strong wind and taking their scores, however, three unanswered points in five minutes from Keating, Healy and Barrett witnessed Cork open up a five point advantage eight from time. McCarthy rounded off Corks scoring on 55 when she pointed a 45 metre free to see Cork 1-11 to 0-08 to the good.
The closing two minutes proved tense for the leesiders as Dinan pointed a free from 50 metres to pull one back for Clare and see them lay siege to the Cork goal for remainder of the game. On 62 Clare were awarded a 20 metre free and Dinan fired towards goal. The resultant shot was blocked but a penalty was conceded. Dinan stepped up, but saw her penalty shot stopped on the line by Sarah Ahern and try as they might a gritty Clare side were unable to penetrate the Cork defence and succumbed on a score line of Cork 1-11 Clare 0-09.
Cork now face Galway in the final having already accounted for them in the group stages, however, Galway were without a number of club players who were involved in the All Ireland Club Championship Finals the previous day. Thus, the potential for a thrilling final lies in store.
Cork: S. Ahern Ballygarvan (vice capt.), O Keating Ballincollig, M. Cotter Aghabullogue, E. Buckley, Na Piarsaigh, L. Doyle Charleville, L. Hayes St. Catherines, E. O’Regan Ballygarvan, S. McCarthy Courcey Rovers, H. O’Leary Ballincollig, C. Healy Aghabullogue, M. Barrett Ballinascarthy (c), C. O’Sullivan Newcestown, F. Keating Courcey Rovers, E. Murphy Glen Rovers, A. Hurley St. Catherines.
Subs: O.Cremen Blarney for C. O’Sullivan (48), C. Murphy Carrigaline for L. Doyle (58).
Clare: R. Daly, C. Neylon, R. Minogue, M. Mescail, S. Daly, L. Ryan (c), C. Kelly, C. Carmody, R. Conway, A. Power, G. Hickey, L. Daly, F. O’Brien, S. Canny, B. Dinan.
Subs: H. McGee for S. Daly (25), S. Lenihan for S. Canny (52), G. Ryan for R. Conway (54), S. McGee for A. Power (59)
Cork: F. Keating 1-01, A. Hurley 0-03, C. Healy 0-02, M. Barrett 0-02, S. McCarthy 0-02 (0-01f, 0-0145), C. O’Sullivan 0-01
Clare: B. Dinan 0-05 (0-04f), L. Daly, F. O’Brien, A. Power, C. Kelly 0-01 each.
Referee: John Dermody, Westmeath