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Cork hold off gutsy Offaly and book place in Semi Final

Cork held off a gutsy performance from Offaly, but not before they were pushed all the way in this Liberty Insurance All Ireland Senior Camogie Round 4 fixture played at a blustery St. Brendan’s Park, Birr on Saturday July 15th.

Aided by a strong breeze and showing good movement and accuracy in front of goal, Offaly raced into a four point lead within 6 minutes of the opening whistle.  Ann Marie Guinan split the posts before setting up Siobhan Flannery to point her first of six over the course of the hour.  Flannery slotted over a placed ball on 30 metres followed shortly after with a fine effort from play, before the Cork response came seven minutes into the game through an Ashling Thompson point.  Flannery pointed from a dead ball just outside the 45 metre line before Thompson responded again to see Cork trail by three on eight minutes.  Arlene Watkins picked off a great point while under pressure to see Offaly open up a four point lead once again on 11.  However, six minutes later Hannah Looney cut the deficit to just one when she made no mistake with a handpass that gave Mairead Jennings no chance in the Offaly goal.  Thompson tied up the sides on 20 when she slotted over her third point of the half from range.  Sarah Harding, making an impact on her introduction to the fray pointed, before a Cork brace through Gemma O’Connor with a surging run through the middle, and Katrina Mackey saw Cork take the lead by the slimmest of margins seven minutes from the short whistle.  With 26 minutes played Aoife Murray in the Cork goal was called upon to make a super save to deny Flannery.  Mackey and Harding traded points on 29 and 31 to see Cork lead 1-06 to 0-08 at half time.

It took seven minutes for a score to be registered upon the resumption, and it came from the stick of Orla Cronin, but not before Murray was called upon again in the Cork goal to clear her lines on 34.   An Offaly brace from Watkins and Flannery on 38 drew the sides level but Mackey pushed Cork one clear when she put over a fine effort from a tight angle to see the score at 0-10 to 1-08.  In the remaining 12 minutes Cork notched up an unanswered four points through Cotter – 2 (20 metre free, and play), Cronin after good composed teamwork upfront, and Amy O’Connor from range.  Offaly rounded off their scoring through a Flannery placed ball before Julia White who had been introduced off the bench mid-way through the second half picked off a fine score from range to seal the victory for Cork on a scoreline of 1-13 to 0-11 and make it four from four victories in group 2.

Teams:             

Offaly: M. Jennings, J. Brady (capt.), T. McDonald, L. Sullivan, R. Egan, A. Brennan, G. Teehan, O. Kirwan, M. Morkan, D. Flynn, M. Daly, A. Watkins, P. Delaney, S. Flannery, AM. Guinan. 

Subs: S. Harding for A. Brennan (19), G. Irwin for P. Delaney (46), C. Brennan for D. Flynn (54).

Cork: A. Murray, L. Treacy, R. Buckley (capt.), P. Mackey, E. O’Sullivan, G. O’Connor, C. Sigerson, L. Coppinger, A. Thompson, A. O’Connor, O. Cronin, K. Mackey, O. Cotter, L. Homan, H. Looney

Subs: J. White for L. Treacy (46)

Scorers:            

Offaly: S. Flannery 0-06 (0-03f), A. Watkins 0-02, S. Harding 0-02, AM. Guinan 0-01

Cork: H. Looney 1-00, K. Mackey 0-03, A. Thompson 0-03, O. Cronin 0-02, O. Cotter 0-02 (0-01f), G. O’Connor 0-01, A. O’Connor 0-01, J. White 0-01.

Referee:            Owen Elliot, Antrim

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