Cork Defeat Galway to Take Minor Title for the First Time
In a game that was nip and tuck from the outset it was Cork who shaded it when they finished with a strong surge to claim their first All-Ireland Camogie Minor A Championship at MacDonagh Park, Nenagh on Saturday March 28th.
It was Corks first Minor title since the inception of the competition in 2006 and it came after a resilient performance culminating in a four point advantage over the defending champions Galway.
Ciara O’Sullivan got the scoring underway when Ciara Healy set her up with a great pass inside the opening minute before Niamh Niland registered Galways first score on three when she put over a 35 metre free. A Healy placed ball followed by a neatly taken Emma Murphy point had the leesiders two clear on 10 before Hannah O’Leary fired over on 11 to push Cork into a three point lead.
However on 12 Galway sprung the game to life when the lively Chloe Reilly operating top of the right goaled after Siobhan McGrath set her up with a peach of pass to give Sarah Ahern no chance in the Cork goal. With the momentum swinging in their favour Niamh Horan had Galway one clear a minute later when she fired over from the left wing.
However, Saoirse McCarthy had the sides level five minutes later when she struck over her first of five placed balls but Galway nudged ahead again courtesy of Reilly when she deftly turned and pointed from close range. A Healy 20 metre free and a long range McCarthy point saw the lead exchange on 22.
Niamh Niland pulled one back for the Tribes women when her tight angled free shaded over from the left wing before McCarthy cancelled it out with a 25 metre placed ball. With the wind picking up and favouring Galway a Niamh Horan long range free on 28 had the sides deadlocked heading to the dressing rooms on a scoreline of Cork 0-08, Galway 1-05.
Two minutes into the restart McCarthy fired over a 20 metre free before captain Moira Barrett struck from play to see Cork two clear. Showing their tenacity as defending champions Galway responded and Kate Screene pulled one back on 34 before a brace from Niland had Galway in the lead by the slimmest. Tegan Canning split the posts to open up a two point advantage before Barrett responded after a great off load from impressive substitute Rachel O’Regan to see Cork trail by one.
Four unanswered points in the space of two minutes from Fiona Keating and O’Regan had Cork three clear heading into the closing quarter. With both defences working hard it was to be 10 minutes before the next score was registered and it came via McGrath when she slotted over a close range free.
Barrett ensured Cork restored their three point lead when she fired over a minute later before McGrath struck over another placed ball on 57 to cut the deficit to a precarious two points three minutes from time. However, two frees from player of the match McCarthy in the closing minutes pushed Cork four clear and with it secured Corks maiden title at this grade on a scoreline of Cork 0-18, Galway 1-11.
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, F. Keating Courcey Rovers, M. Barrett Ballinascarthy (c), C. O’Sullivan Newcestown, C. Healy Aghabullogue, E. Murphy Glen Rovers, A. Hurley St. Catherines.
Subs: R. O’Regan Carrigaline for H. O’Leary & S. Bateman Cloughduv for C. O’Sullivan (39), O. Cremin Blarney for C. Healy (45), C. Murphy Carrigaline for L. Doyle (55).
Galway: S. Healy, K. Moran, L. Burkey (c), E. Leslie, P. Finnerty, A. Kelly, K. Screene, N. Horan, T. Canning, K. Mannion, C. Helebert, M. Dillon, N. Niland, S. McGrath, C. Reilly.
Subs: R. Hanniffy for K. Mannion (45), S. Cannon for K. Moran (46), N. Keogh for T. Canning (50).
Cork: S. McCarthy 0-06 (0-05f), M. Barrett 0-03, C. Healy 0-02 (0-02f), F. Keating 0-02, R. O’Regan 0-02, C. O’Sullivan 0-01, H. O’Leary 0-01, E. Murphy 0-01.
Galway: C. Reilly 1-02, N. Niland 0-04 (0-02f), N. Horan 0-02 (0-01f), S. McGrath 0-02 (0-02f), T. Canning 0-01.
Referee: Eamonn Cassidy, Derry