A POWERFUL second-half display, in which they overturned a four-point interval deficit, saw holders Cork book their place in the All-Ireland minor final after they beat Kilkenny in WIT on Saturday.
A first-minute goal by Roisin O’Keeffe gave Kilkenny a dream start and, aided by the strong wind, they came at Cork and, with the sides trading scores, Kilkenny led 1-9 to 0-8 at the interval.
With Afton Grace unerring from frees and Ciara O’Keeffe, Tara Ronan, and Therese Donnelly all finding the range, Kilkenny held the advantage.
Cork worked hard with Clodagh Finn, Emma Murphy, Fiona Keating, and Ellen Murphy all on the score-sheet to stay within touching distance at the break.
After the re-start, Casey Coleman and Emma Murphy fired over two points for Cork and with Finn forcing a great save from Elizabeth Phelan, Cork kept their foot on the pedal.
Finn and O’Keeffe traded points and when sub Cliona O’Leary fired over a free, a point separated the sides.
Emma Murphy brought Cork level with a long-range effort, but Therese Donnelly edged Kilkenny in front again.
Cork upped the pace and took the lead. Their when O’Leary pointed a 45 before nailing a free.
Kilkenny drew level when Grace fired over with 10 minutes remaining.
The champions showed their class and experience when Keating hit two points before grabbing an excellent goal and followed up with a point to put Cork 1-18 to 1-12 in front.
Kilkenny got one back, but two in a row from Emma Murphy had Cork seven clear in injury-time. Again the sides swapped points, but it mattered little as Cork progressed to meet Clare in next Saturday’s final in Nenagh.
The Banner beat a highly-rated Tipperary side in the other semi-final.