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Cork see off Galway in tough Championship opener

Cork got their championship campaign off to a strong start in a wet and windy Charleville with a win over Galway in the Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Intermediate Championship.  With the weather conditions and strong swirling wind proving a challenging element to master, it was Galway who registered the opening score with a Michelle Skehill point.  Keeva McCarthy pointed Corks first of the afternoon before a Rachel O’Shea point put Cork one ahead inside three minutes.  Galway responded through Catherine Finnerty to draw the sides level, however, three unanswered points from Cork through McCarthy and two from O’Shea one from play, and a placed ball from 20 metres saw Cork three clear on 22.  A Siobhan McGrath 20 metre free on 26 pulled Galway back to within two as both defences proved difficult to penetrate, and combined with the elements the game was proving difficult for both sides to get any real run of play.  Amy Lee safeguarding the Cork goal was kept busy in the run up to half time, however, she capably cleared her lines to see Cork hold a two-point lead 0-05 to Galways 0-03 at half time.

Upon the resumption, a placed ball through McCarthy put Cork three clear.  The game was still in the balance however, on 37 O’Shea gave Cork the momentum when she collected on the 30 metre line and showed a clean pair of heels to rattle the back of the Galway net and put Cork six to the good on 38.  Galway responded through the lively McGrath when she split the posts a minute later, however, Collins cancelled out the effort with a point at the opposite end.  Galway proved resilient and their hard work earned them a penalty when Caroline Finnerty was fouled in the small square. Cork were left off the hook when Daly came forward from goal to take the penalty, however failed to connect and a scramble ensued.  Galway earned themselves a 20 metre free which Skehill converted to see the tribeswomen trail by five on 42.  A fine McGrath effort kept the Galway scoreboard ticking over, but it was Caroline Sugrue who finished off the game as a contest when she unleashed an unstoppable shot to the top corner from 20 metres to open up a seven point lead heading into the final quarter.  Jennifer Barry pointed, before McGrath and Lisa Lynch exchanged points from placed balls.  McCarthy split the posts on 54 to see Cork nine ahead, before McGrath picked off two fine efforts from play to close out the scoring for the tribeswomen.  A Sugrue point and O’Shea free from 25 metres on 61 finished Corks haul to see them win 2-12 to Galways 0-09.

Teams:             

Cork: A. Lee, Na Piarsaigh, L. Weste, Ballincollig, S. Harrington, Fr. O’Neills, N. Ní Chaoimh, Killeagh, L. Lynch, Cloughduv, S. Buckley, Ballincollig, M. Lynch, Newcestown, L. Callanan, Glen Rovers, J. Barry, Bride Rovers, K. Hickey, Blackrock, K. McCarthy, St. Finbarrs, M. McCarthy, Sarsfields, R. O’Shea, Carrigaline, L. Collins, Courcey Rovers, C. Sugrue, Ballinascarthy.

Subs: H. Ryan, Blackrock for M. McCarthy (52), J. Crowley, Courcey Rovers for M. Lynch (56), L. Kelly, Sarsfields for J. Barry (57), N. O’Callaghan, Sarsfields for L. Collins (59).

Galway: C. Daly, M. Howley, C. Brennan, M. Mannion, E. Gilmore, M. Connaughton, S. Keaveney, R. Black, M. Dunphy, M. Skehill, D. Higgins, C. Finnerty, S. McGrath, P. Manning, C. Murphy.

Subs: L. Casserly for S. Keaveney (26), T. Rutledge for M. Dunphy (38), E. Porter for M. Mannion (53), K. O’Brien for P. Manning (54).

 Scorers:            

Cork: R. O’Shea 1-04 (0-02f), C. Sugrue 1-01, K. McCarthy 0-04 (0-01f), L. Collins 0-01, J. Barry 0-01, L. Lynch 0-01 (0-01f).

Galway: S. McGrath 0-06 (0-02f), M. Skehill 0-02 (0-01f), C. Finnerty 0-01

Referee:            Liz Dempsey, Kilkenny

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