Leeside minors make major camogie history

Leeside minors make major camogie history
Cork celebrate with the trophy. Picture: INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Cork 0-18 Galway 1-11

THE wait is finally over, as Cork recorded their first victory in a minor All-Ireland final since it was changed to U18 from U16 in 2006.

On Saturday in McDonagh Park, Nenagh, they faced a huge challenge with Galway bidding for back-to-back titles with a side sprinkled with All-Ireland medal holders from last season, as well as U16 All-Ireland winners. The victory was carved out thanks to a superb team performance where Cork showed passion and determination as they bounced back with five unanswered points after Galway had opened up a two point lead 10 minutes into the second half.

Cork's Saoirse McCarthy and Ciara Helebert of Galway. Picture: INPHO/Ryan Byrne
Cork's Saoirse McCarthy and Ciara Helebert of Galway. Picture: INPHO/Ryan Byrne

There were plenty of heroes and to single out any few is hard but in Saoirse McCarthy and Laura Hayes, Cork had two standout players. At centre-back Hayes was a tower of strength whilst McCarthy worked tirelessly all through and contributed six points, three from play and three from frees.

Cork settled and took an early lead after Ciara O’Sullivan had opened their account. Niamh Niland levelled for Galway from a free, but points from Cliona Healy, Emma Murphy and Hannah O’Leary stretched it in Cork’s favour but not before Galway keeper Sarah Healy had denied Healy with an excellent save.

Hannah O'Leary and Katie Mannion do battle. Picture: INPHO/Ryan Byrne
Hannah O'Leary and Katie Mannion do battle. Picture: INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Galway were quickly back on level terms, Chloe Reilly firing home an unstoppable shot after a pin-point pass from Siobhán McGrath. Boosted by this Galway hit the front, Niamh Horan hardly breaking her stride as she swung over a sweet point. 

Cork responded with Saoirse McCarthy landing a long range free between the posts. It was score for score from here to the break, as twice Cork hit the front, only for Galway to respond. At the interval it was level pegging 0-8 to 1-5.

Cork hit two in-a-row on the resumption, McCarthy and captain Moira Barrett edging them two clear but Galway, growing in confidence, hit four without reply.

All credit to Cork who responded magnificently as they upped the pace and found another gear. Helped by the introduction of a fast moving Rachel O’Regan they regained control. 

Barrett and Fiona Keating had them back level before O’Regan confidently struck two in-a-row before laying off to Keating for Cork’s fifth point in- a-row without reply.

As the game entered the final quarter it was still there to be won and the champions were not going down without a fight. Both sides were guilty of a missed opportunities from before Siobhán McGrath took over the free-taking for Galway and slotted over to narrow the gap. Barrett replied from play and twice McGrath slotted over as Galway continued to chase the game towards full time.

Cork finished with a flourish with final act left to Player of the Match Saoirse McCarthy who pointed a free to ensure the title was finally heading to Leeside after a 12-year wait.

Picture: INPHO/Ryan Byrne
Picture: INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Scorers for Cork: S McCarthy 0-6 (0-3 f), M Barrett 0-3, C Healy 0-2 (0-1 f), F Keating, R O’Regan 0-2 each, H O’Leary, E Murphy, C O’Sullivan 0-1 each.

Galway: C Reilly 1-1, S Mc Grath 0-3 f, N Horan 0-3 (0-1 f), N Niland 0-3, S Canning 0-1.

CORK: S Ahern; O Keating, M Cotter, E Buckley; L Doyle, L Hayes, E O’Regan; S McCarthy, H O’Leary; F Keating, M Barrett (c), C O’Sullivan; C Healy, E Murphy, A Hurley.

Subs: R O’Regan for C O’Sullivan (40), S Bateman for H O’Leary (40), O Cremin for C Healy (45), C Murphy for L Doyle (56).

GALWAY: S Healy; K Moran, L Burke (c), E Lesley; P Finnerty, A Kelly, K Screen; N Horan, T Canning; K Mannion, C Helebert, M Dillon; N Niland, S McGrath, C Reilly.

Subs: S Cannon for K Moran (45), R Hanniffy for K Mannion (46), N Keogh for T Canning (50).

Referee: Eamonn Cassidy (Derry).

More in this section

Sponsored Content