By Eoghan Cormican, Croke Park
Cork 0-12 Dublin 0-10
A superb Eimear Scally block in the final seconds secured Cork a 10th All-Ireland ladies football final title in 11 years.
Trailing by two-points, Dublin threw the kitchen sink at their opponents in the closing minutes, but a superb defensive effort kept Cork at the summit of ladies football for another 12 months.
Having opened up a four-point advantage at the start of the second-half courtesy of three Valerie Mulcahy white flags (two frees) and a Doireann O’Sullivan effort, Cork never managed to fully tighten the noose, neither, however, did they allow their opponents back on level footing.
Dublin closed the gap to the minimum on 52 minutes (0-11 to 0-10), but a Mulcahy free and Scally’s block completed the county’s second five-in-a-row.
The teams were level on five occasions in the first-half and, indeed, were deadlocked at 0-5 apiece heading back down the tunnel after an error-strew first period.
Dublin, employing a most negative approach, set-up with two sweepers and at various periods in the opening thirty minutes, there were only two blue shirts in the Cork half of the field – Lyndsey Davey and Niamh McEvoy.
It was these two forwards, alongside with Noelle Healy, who caused the Cork rearguard most trouble and numerous fouls on the three Dublin footballers allowed Carla Rowe kick four first-half frees.
For Cork, Valerie Mulcahy opened their account with two frees, Ciara O’Sullivan, Rena Buckley and Doirean O’Sullivan adding to their tally to ensure Dublin weren’t allowed out of sight.
On 25 minutes, Eamonn Ryan’s charges had the best goal chance of opening period – Sorcha Furlong clearing Mulcahy’s shot off the line. Come 5.30pm, it mattered little. They had prevailed again.
Scorers for Cork: V Mulcahy (0-7, 0-6 frees); D O’Sullivan (0-2); C O’Sullivan, R Buckley, E Scally (0-1 each).
Scorers for Dublin: C Rowe (0-6, 0-5 frees); N Owens, N McEvoy, L Davey, S McCaffrey (0-1 each).
Cork: M O’Brien; M Ambrose, B Stack, G O’Flynn; V Foley, D O’Reilly, A Barrett; R Buckley, B Corkery; C O’Sullivan, A Connolly, A Walsh; V Mulcahy, A O’Sullivan, D O’Sullivan.
Subs: R Phelan for O’Flynn (15 mins, inj), E Scally for A O’Sullivan (38), O Finn for Hutchings (41), R Ní Bhuachalla for A Walsh (48).
Dublin: C Trant; O Carey, M Ní Scanaill, F Hudson; S Furlong, S Finnegan, S Goldrick; M Lamb, N Healy; C Barrett, A Connolly, H Noonan; L Davey, N McEvoy, C Rowe.
Subs: K Flood for Noonan (HT), N Owens for Barrett (39), N Collins for Hudson (47), S McCaffrey for Connolly (49), N Rickard for Lamb (56).
Referee: J Niland (Sligo).