A strong final quarter showing advanced Inniscarra on Saturday to a fifth consecutive Cork senior camogie final. Next weekend's
decider against Courcey Rovers is a repeat of the 2018 decider which Inniscarra won.
The vanquished Barrs will look back on this semi-final with sizeable regret, the city side failing to push on after opening up a three-point advantage - 0-8 to 0-5 - five minutes into the second half.
They would manage only one further score from play during the remaining 25 minutes of action and were outscored 1-6 to 0-3 during this period.
Parking the result momentarily, the game itself was a superb advertisement for club camogie in Cork. Referee Cathal McAllister played his part in allowing as much as possible to let proceedings flow. He certainly couldn’t be accused of being whistle-friendly, a complaint regularly thrown at camogie officials.
The Barrs had fine individual showings from corner-back Aoife O’Neill - what a battle she had with Ellen Murphy in the first period - and young Orlaith Cahalane, while, for Inniscarra, Rena Buckley mopped up a significant amount of ball in the second period. Joanne Casey deserves mention too, the former Cork senior was withdrawn at half-time but when reintroduced after the second-half water break, she had a hand in the game-deciding Inniscarra goal and also chipped in with two late points.
The game’s sole major arrived on 54 minutes, the goal originating from a scorable Barr’s free which dropped short at the other end of the pitch. Inniscarra worked possession up the field, with Ellen Murphy providing the finish. The green flag moved last year’s beaten finalists 1-8 to 0-8 in front, quite a turnaround after finding themselves 0-8 to 0-5 in arrears earlier in the half.
Orlaith Cahalane, daughter of Niall, and Gemma O’Connor (free) narrowed the deficit to the minimum thereafter, but a pair of Casey points edged Inniscarra across the finish line.
The winners had made much the brighter start, Claudia Keane, Murphy, Casey, and Katie O’Mahony shoving them four in front after seven minutes. The Barrs settled thereafter though and Inniscarra would add only one further point to their first-half tally, that a Niamh Dilworth free.
The Barrs, in a bid to curb the influence of Rena Buckley at centre back, played the wings to great effect, with Cahalane and Rachel Myers troubling the Inniscarra full-back line every time they were fed.
Myers, Cahalane, and Keeva McCarthy were on target in nudging them into a 0-6 to 0-5 interval lead and while they widened this gap upon the change of ends, they were unable to keep their noses in front as the game entered the closing stretch.
E Murphy (1-2); N Dilworth (0-2 frees, 0-1 45), J Casey (0-3 each); K O’Mahony, T McCarthy, C Keane (0-1 each).
: K McCarthy (0-4, 0-3 frees); O Cahalane (0-3); G O’Connor (0-2 frees), R Myers (0-2 each).
: S Walsh; A O’Regan, A Kavanagh, R Quigley; A Sheehan, R Buckley, R O’Mahony; K O’Mahony, J Casey; J Burke, C Ring, C Keane; E Murphy, N Dilworth, T McCarthy.
: E O’Reilly for Burke, R Keane for Casey (both HT); J Casey for Ring (50).
C Hurley; S Punch, A Egan, A O’Neill; M Cahalane, G O’Connor, R Finn; L O’Connell, A Shannon; C Golden, E Olden, C Sargent; O Cahalane, K McCarthy, R Myers.
: E Wigginton Barrett for Olden (39); G Cahalane for Sargent (47); E Ryan for Myers (50); N Olden for Golden (54).
: C McAllister.