By Eoghan Cormican
Cork 1-13 Galway 0-09, Croke Park
Cork joined Dublin at the head of Camogie’s roll of honour with their 26th All-Ireland crown captured this afternoon.
The defining moment of this final arrived on 54 minutes, Briege Corkery pouncing on a poor clearance by Shauna Healy to net the contest’s sole goal.
Corkery’s strike opened up a 1-10 to 0-7 advantage for the reigning champions. They could have bagged another in the ensuing play, Susan Earner pushing away Amy O’Connor’s low drive.
It mattered little, Cork finishing in a blaze of glory. Ashling Thompson and Katriona Mackey notched over two points in quick succession to see Paudie Murray’s side home with seven to spare.
Galway had opened the second period brightly with Niamh McGrath hitting three frees to reduce the deficit to the minimum, 0-8 to 0-7. The equaliser they could not find and Orla Cotter had Cork’s first score in 19 minutes when capitalising on a mistake by Niamh Kilkenny.
Cotter added her fifth free thereafter and when Corkery’s goal arrived, it was game over.
Cork returned to the dressing-room 0-8 to 0-4 ahead and should have been further clear such was their dominance in the opening 30 minutes.
The reigning champions operated with a two-woman full-forward line comprising of Briege Corkery and Amy O’Connor. Hannah Looney, though starting in the corner, quickly retreated out the half-forward line, with Julie White moving to midfield. Orla Cotter was the spare Cork player around the middle and the rangy St Catherine’s midfielder hit five first-half points, four from the place ball.
Orla Cronin, Ashling Thompson and Briege Corkery also got in on the act, but it was the other end where Cork were most impressive – Gemma O’Connor, Pamela Mackey and Méabh Cahalane excellent in limiting Galway to a single point from play in the first-half.
Niamh McGrath was the provider, and what a fine a score it was after six minutes. The Galway centre-forward also nailed three first-half frees, her forward colleagues struggling to impose themselves.
Their inability to trouble the Cork defence, they finished with just two scorers, ultimately, proved their downfall.
Scorers for Cork: O Cotter (0-7, 0-5 frees); B Corkery (1-1); A Thompson (0-2); K Mackey, A O’Connor, O Cronin (0-1 each).
Scorers for Galway: N McGrath (0-8, 0-7 frees); A Donoghue (0-1).
Cork: A Murray; P Mackey, L Treacy, L O’Sullivan; R Buckley, G O’Connor, M Cahalane; O Cotter, A Thompson; J White, O Cronin, K Mackey; H Looney, B Corkery, A O’Connor
Subs: E O’Sullivan for Looney (35 mins), M Walsh for L O’Sullivan (61).
Galway: S Earner; T Manton, S Dervan, H Cooney; S Coen, S Healy, L Ryan; N Kilkenny, C McGrath; A Donoghue, N McGrath, F Keely; C Finnerty, M Dunne, A O’Reilly.
Subs: J Gill for Finnerty (HT), S Cahalan for Healy (57), R Hennelly for C McGrath (61), M Cooney for Dunne (62).
Referee: R Kelly (Kildare).