Second Half Cork Resurgence Not Enough To Topple Kilkenny
Kilkenny, on a quest for three-in-a row League titles, but Cork as reigning All Ireland champions had all the ingredients to serve up a thrilling Littlewoods Ireland Camogie Leagues Division 1 Final at Nowlan Park on Sunday April 8th.
However, playing with intent and a serious swagger, the Cats were quickest off the mark racing into an eight point lead courtesy of four different players. On eight they slotted over their eighth unanswered point and fourth from play from the stick of Shelly Farrell.
Denise Gaule triggered the early blitz with a brace from two placed balls inside the first minute before a further three unanswered points through Jenny Clifford, Gaule from play and Katie Power had Kilkenny on five with Cork yet to generate any inroad to the lead. Two further Gaule frees had the defending League Champions ahead with eight points on the board.
It was to be 10 minutes before Cork got on the score sheet when Orla Cotter slotted over a 20 metre free, however, three unanswered points from Miriam Walshe, Power and Clifford saw Kilkenny stretch their lead to 10 after 18 minutes of play.
Linda Collins slotted over on 21 to register Corks second point and Gemma O’Connor fired over from range to cut into the Kilkenny lead before Walshe cancelled it out when she split the posts to put nine between the sides. An unanswered Cork brace just on the cusp of half time via Cronin and Collins saw Cork head to the dressing room trailing 0-05 to Kilkennys 0-12.
On 37 Cork were thrown a lifeline when Cronin cut through the defence and her tight angled shot went past Jacqui Frisby to goal and with it see Cork narrow the lead to four. Kilkenny rallied and responded with a brace from Walshe and Aoife Doyle before Cork replied with three on the trot through Ashling Thompson, Katrina Mackey and a Cotter 20 metre free to see Cork close the gap to three with 15 to go.
With eight remaining Kilkenny were awarded a penalty after Farrell was fouled by Murray who subsequently was shown red and, as a result, Libby Coppinger had to make way for Amy Lee to take up the net minding. Gaule stepped up, but her low shot was saved on the line by Thompson and the sides remained with just a score between them.
On 59 Collins fired over to cut the Kilkenny lead to a precarious two points and two minutes into the four minutes of additional time Cotter had it down to just one when she pointed a 40 metre free. However, the Cork resurgence wasn’t sufficient and Kilkenny did enough to hold out and retain their title to be crowned League Champions for 2018 on a score line of Cork 1-11, Kilkenny 0-15.
Cork: A. Murray (c), L. O’Sullivan, L. Treacy, P. Mackey, L. Coppinger, G. O’Connor, C. Sigerson, A. Sheehan, A. Thompson, O. Cotter, O. Cronin, K. Mackey, A. O’Connor, N. McCarthy, L. Collins.
Subs: H. Looney for N. McCarthy (HT), J. White for A. O’Connor (44), L. Homan for K. Mackey (54), A. Lee for L. Coppinger (56), M. Cahalane for L. O’Sullivan (61)
Kilkenny: J. Frisby, C. Phelan, C. Foley, G. Walsh, M. Teehan, M. Farrell, D. Tobin, A. Dalton, D. Gaule, A. Doyle, K. Power, S. Farrell, M. Quilty, M. Walshe, J. Clifford.
Subs: J. Malone for J. Clifford (57), D. Morrissey for M. Quilty (57), C. Dormer for G. Walsh (59), A. Farrell for D. Gaule (61).
Cork: O. Cronin 1-01, L. Collins 0-03, O. Cotter 0-03 (0-03f), K. Mackey 0-02, G. O’Connor & A. Thompson 0-01 each
Kilkenny: D. Gaule 0-06 (0-04f, 0-0145), M. Walshe 0-03, K. Power 0-02, J. Clifford 0-02, S. Farrell & A.
Doyle 0-01 each.
Referee: Ray Kelly, Kildare