Cork produced a late, late surge to see off Galway in this thrilling All-Ireland senior camogie championship semi-final at Nowlan Park on Saturday.
On 57 minutes Cork led 1-10 to 0-12 before midfielder Jennifer O’Leary powered forward to set up Katríona Mackey for a goal which looked to have killed off the Galway challenge.
But, two minutes later, the Connacht girls drove downfield but somehow Aislinn Connolly and Veronica Curtin contrived to miss a gilt edged opportunity.
Then, deep into added time, Síle Burns landed a third Cork goal, after good work by Órla Cotter, to seal their place in September’s decider with Wexford.
It had all begun so differently. On nine minutes, following a brilliant point by Curtin, Galway looked confident leaders at 0-6 to 0-2, facing the wind. They were quicker to the ball but struggled to convert possession into scores.
Galway failed to score in the first-half after the 17th minute. A tenacious Cork midfield came more and more into matters, while centre-back Gemma O’Connor got to grips with the menacing Níamh McGrath. Up front Briege Corkery had the game’s opening goal in the 22nd minute, when she latched onto a breaking ball and fired past Susan Earner.
Four minutes later, Corkery added a point as the Rebels led 1-8 to 0-8. The second-half was neck and neck, with Galway still profligate in front of goal. Then a wonderful brace of points from Níamh Kilkenny in the 38th and 39th minutes re-invigorated their challenge at 1-9 to 0-10. They threatened to break through, but never did better than paring the margin to the minimum. Cork stayed resolute. Everything was right in the balance until O’Leary broke forward on that crucial run which Mackey cooly finished. Galway are left to rue those missed chances and so unproductive a second quarter.
CORK: A Murray, J Duffy, R Buckley, J O’Callaghan, P Mackey, G O’Connor 0-1, E O’Sullivan, J O’Leary 0-4 (3f), O Cotter, J Casey, L Dorgan, K Mackey 1-2, S Burns 1-1, B Corkery 1-1, K Buckley 0-1.
Subs: A Geary for Buckley (36), R Curtin for Dorgan (46), F Neville for Casey (60+1).
GALWAY: S Earner, S Tannian, S Dervan, L Ryan, S Cahalan, T Maher, R Glynn, N Kilkenny 0-2, AM Hayes, A Connolly 0-2, N McGrath 0-3 (2f), B Hanney, V Curtin 0-3, M Conroy 0-1, O Kilkenny 0-1. Subs: E Haverty for Glynn (44), N Coen for O Kilkenny (58), O McGrath for Conroy (58).
Referee: A Lagrue (Kildare).
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