ON their first visit to the new Páirc Uí Chaoimh last Saturday, the Cork senior camogie team had it nearly all their own way as they overcame Tipperary to secure another Munster title.
After their league final loss to Kilkenny, they got back on track here in what was a fairly one-sided encounter.
Tipperary’s cause was not helped with the dismissal of two players, wing-back Mary Ryan and midfielder Errena Fryday in the second-half for second bookable offences, both deemed to be a little harsh by some observers.
It’s not too often that the Cork girls get to play in the county’s main stadium and they certainly made full use of it here.
The management might have been a little disappointed that they did not breach the Tipperary defence for a goal but it mattered little in the end.
Some of their point-taking was first-class with Ashling Thompson leading the way with five superb efforts, all from open play.
The Milford midfielder oozed class throughout and put in a very strong shift here.
Katrina Mackey from Douglas rifled over a few tasty scores as well as did Linda Collins, Amy O’Connor and Orla Cronin.
Defensively, Cork stood firm too although Tipp might have got in for a goal or two in the opening half.
Centre-back Gemma O’Connor marshalled the forces in that sector very well making sure that Aoife Murray between the sticks had a fairly quiet afternoon.
Tipperary, to give them credit, battled bravely throughout and the loss of the two players was unfortunate although it was clear from a long way out that this was going to be Cork’s day.
Cait Devane did nearly all of the scoring for the Premier County team and their only other contributor on the board was Orla O’Dwyer.
They were in the contest in the early sequences and it was two points apiece after six minutes after Devane had cancelled out Cork scores from Collins and Thompson.
However, as the first-half aged, Cork became far more assertive and they registered some fine scores thereafter.
Thompson, last season’s All-Ireland final winning hero, Julia White, Cronin, Katrina Mackey and Collins all slung over points and approaching half-time the gap between the sides had widened considerably.
It was 0-12 to 0-3 at the half-time break and it was inevitable at that juncture that there was only going to be one outcome here.
Tipp lost Mary Ryan early in the second-half and Cork embellished their advantage with further points from Katrina Mackey, Thompson and Cronin.
The Tipp ‘keeper Sarah Quigley denied Niamh McCarthy with a smart save and then the visitors lost Ereena Fryday.
Tipp centre-back Karen Kennedy took the ball off the line from Amy O’Connor as the home team marched towards their first piece of silverware of the season.
Tipp had just one scorer in the second-half, the Clonoulty-Rossmore girl Devane and as the game drifted to its inevitable conclusion Cork fired over points from Chloe Sigerson, Pamela Mackey and Amy O’Connor.
Tipperary had a penalty effort from Devane put out for a 45 and it all ended fairly tamely as the Cork girls became the first home team to lift a trophy in the redeveloped stadium.
They will face tougher tests in the weeks ahead when the All-Ireland championship gets underway and they’ll encounter Tipp in that too, travelling to play them on their home patch in the Tagg after they open up the campaign against Wexford.
But, on this occasion, Paudie Murray’s team were in total control.
Scorers for Cork: A Thompson (0-5), O Cronin (0-4, 0-3 45s, 0-1 free), K Mackey (0-3), L Collins and A O’Connor (0-2 each), P Mackey, C Sigerson and J White (0-1 each).
Tipperary: C Devane (0-5, 0-2 frees, 0-1 pen), O O’Dwyer (0-1).
CORK: A Murray; L O’Sullivan, L Treacy, L Coppinger; H Looney, P Mackey, C Sigerson; G O’Connor, A Thompson; J White, K Mackey, A O’Connor; L Homan, L Collins, O Cronin.
Subs: N McCarthy for L Homan (15), N O’Callaghan for L Collins (50), S McCarthy for J White (50), A Sheehan for C Sigerson (56), S Hutchinson for H Looney (61).
TIPPERARY: S Quigley; L Loughnane, G Grace, C Walsh; C Quirke, Mary Ryan; K Kennedy; R Cahill, E Fryday; Megan Ryan, O O’Dwyer, S Fryday; G O’Brien, C Devane, C Hennessy.
Subs: C Maher for Megan Ryan (30 + 3), S Buckley for R Cahill (30 + 3), C Mullaney for S Fryday (half-time), J Kelly for G O’Brien (47), A McGrath for C Quirke (49).
Referee: Fintan McNamara (Clare).