Determined Cork battle hard to see off Kilkenny
A rematch of the All-Ireland final, Cork went about their business with a steely determination against the reigning Champions in the MW Hire Training Centre, Kilkenny on Saturday last.
Katrina Mackey settled the leesiders when she struck over two frees inside the opening five minutes. It took Kilkenny nine minutes to register their opening score through a Denise Gaule free from the 45 metre line before Mackey slotted over her third free to give Cork a two point advantage on 15 minutes. Anne Dalton proving instrumental at midfield for the cats picked out Julianne Malone with a great pass which was slotted over before Dalton herself got on the scoreboard with a fine long range effort. With both defences proving tough to penetrate scores were hard earned, however, Kilkenny still carved out eight from play through seven different scorers in a formidable forward line. On 20 minutes Cork were let off the hook when Dalton found herself at the edge of the square and her batted attempt on goal went just wide of the target. Mackey pointed a fine score from a tight angle to put Cork ahead by one before Kelly Ann Doyle responded to tie the sides on four a piece. Mackey once again split the posts on 25 minutes before Chloe Sigerson pointed on 28 to see Cork two ahead. Not to be outdone Gaule split the posts with a tight angle shot to pull one back for Kilkenny before Amy O’Connor and Mackey pointed to see Cork 0-08 to 0-05 to the good at half time.
Mackey, on form from placed balls, slotted over her fourth on 37 minutes while Aisling Dunphy fired over a minute later to cut Corks lead to three. Malone cut the lead to two when she pointed on the run from 30 metres before Julia White cancelled it out with a fine effort in front of the posts. With 10 minutes remaining and a goal between the sides both teams were contributing to a tough outfield battle. Kilkenny scored from three placed balls over the hour with two of those coming from the stick of Michelle Quilty on 30 metres in the 52nd and 54th minutes. Finola Neville fresh off the bench pointed before Mackey fired over a 30 metre free on 58 minutes to see Cork a goal clear with full time looming. Miriam Walsh rounded off a fine game when she picked off two super scores on 60 and 62 to bring Kilkenny to within one of Cork but it wasn’t enough and Cork held out to secure the win.
Kilkenny: E. Kavanagh, A. Nolan, C. Foley, G. Walsh, C. Phelan, M. Farrell, M. Teehan, A. Dalton, A. Dunphy, J. Reddy, M. Walsh, M. Quilty, J. Malone, KA. Doyle, D. Gaule.
Subs: G. O’Donnell for KA. Doyle (47 mins), J. Clifford for M. Quilty (55, inj).
Cork: A. Murray, L. O’Sullivan, R. Buckley (capt.), L. Treacy, P. Mackey, A. Thompson, C. Sigerson, G. O’Connor, J. Barry, A. O’Connor, O. Cronin, J. White, K. Mackey, N. McCarthy, L. Collins.
Subs: L. Coppinger for L. O’Sullivan (45 mins), F. Neville for L. Collins (52 mins), R. O’Shea for P. Mackey, (58, inj).
Kilkenny: Miriam Walsh & J. Malone 0-02 each, D. Gaule 0-02 (0-01f), M. Quilty 0-02 (0-02f), KA. Doyle, A. Dunphy, A. Dalton 0-01 each.
Cork: K. Mackey 0-08 (0-04f, 0-0145), A. O’Connor, C. Sigerson, J. White, F. Neville, 0-01 each.
Referee: Ray Kelly, Kildare