Tipperary 1-13 Cork 1-17
Hungry Cork wrestled back the All-Ireland Senior Camogie title from champions Tipperary this afternoon at Croke Park as a second half comeback saw the Rebelettes power to a 1-17 to 1-13 victory.
Cork kept three-in-a-row hopefuls Tipp to just three second-half points, scoring 1-09 in the process with their goal coming somewhat fortuitously on 52 minutes.
A long, searching ball from Amanda O’Regan spun off the hand of Tipp defender Una O’Dwyer and through the legs of ‘keeper Jovita Delaney to nestle in the Tipp net.
That score put John Cronin’s side 1-12 to 1-11 in front and they never looked back as their superb fitness levels and point-taking ability saw them to the county’s 21st O'Duffy Cup win and first since 2002.
The game took on a different complexion in the first half as Tipp established a 1-10 to 0-08 buffer by the interval. Paddy McCormack’s outfit were first out of the traps as scores from Clare Grogan, Angie McDermott and Jill Horan helped them to an early 0-05 to 0-03 lead.
Tipp stretched it to three points before Cork reeled off consecutive scores from captain Emer Burke, Jennifer O’Leary (free) and Emer Dillon to trail 0-06 to 0-07.
On 27 minutes, Grogan struck for Tipp’s goal. Again, there was large amount of luck involved as a high ball from Grogan, launched in towards the Hill 16 end, fooled Cork net minder Aoife Murray, hopping in front of her before bouncing to the net with Horan in close attendance.
The sides swapped further points – Tipp hitting three from Horan, Noelle Kennedy and Eimear McDonnell, to Cork’s brace from Una O’Donoghue and O’Leary – as Tipp ended the half five points to the good.
Despite this, the champions could not have foreseen waiting a full 21 minutes before adding to their tally in the second half. Minus their usual rhythm, they hit a scoring rut.
Gemma O’Connor’s third point from play pushed Cork within two points – 0-11 to 1-10 – by the 37th-minute. Although O’Leary added another, Grogan’s fourth point seemed to steady Tipp a little, with nine minutes of normal time remaining.
Cork’s surprise goal then ensured a nervous fight to the finish, and effectively gave Cronin's charges the confidence to pull through.
Deirdre Hughes did crack over two frees – the first, levelling for the third time at 1-12 apiece.
However, closing scores from the excellent Emer Dillon, who hit four points in all, substitute Angela Walsh, the tireless Bridge Corkery and O’Leary (free) again saw Cork end their two-game losing streak in finals.
TIPPERARY: J Delaney; S Kelly, U O'Dwyer, J Kirwan; S Nealon, C Gaynor, T Brophy; P Fogarty, A McDermott; J Ryan, N Kennedy, C Grogan; E McDonnell, D Hughes, J Horan.
CORK: A Murray; R Buckley, R Holland, A O'Regan; B Corkery, M O'Connor, A Geary; V Harris, R Moloney; U O'Donoghue, G O'Connor, J O'Leary; E Dillon, S Dunlea, E Burke.
Referee: John Pender (Kildare)