After points from Ciara Holden and Miriam Walsh pushed Kilkenny three points clear, they looked set to make it a fifth title in eight years at the grade until Orla Cronin saved Cork with a goal at the death.
It was deflating for Kilkenny, but manager Damien Walsh is taking a philosophical view.
“It could have easily been the case that we were just two points up and a goal for Cork would have put us in big trouble, so at least we have the second chance,” he said.
“Some of the girls didn’t hit form the last day and hopefully they can make the most of this opportunity.”
Walsh and his selectors opted not to engage in too much of a post-match debriefing, with the boss pointing out that there is enough experience in the side for the players to know how to approach today’s replay.
“We didn’t say too much,” he said. “The best thing to do was leave them to set themselves on their own, there are four or five on the team for whom it was a third All-Ireland and some have won schools All-Irelands too, so they know themselves what to do.
“We’ve had two sessions each week, and in fairness everybody turned up. We wouldn’t go any more than that as we’d be in trouble with the parents because a lot of the girls are in the Leaving Cert, and anyway it was just a case of keeping things ticking over.
“They are well able to focus so we just let them alone, there’s no point getting them too worked up before the game.”
CORK: A Lee (Na Piarsaigh); S Ring (Brian Dillons), L Treacy (Killeagh), A Curtin (Douglas); E Kavanagh (Douglas), L Callanan (Glen Rovers, captain), S O’Leary (Valley Rovers); J Hennigan (Ballincollig), H Looney (Killeagh); C Murphy (Kilbrittain/Timoleague), O Cronin (Enniskeane), K Hickey (Blackrock); A O’Connor (St Vincent’s), L Collins (Courcey Rovers), R O’Shea (Carrigaline).