A rip-roaring contest in the searing heat at St Brendan’s Park Birr saw Cork crowned Tesco U16A All-Ireland champions after a tough exciting battle with Kilkenny.
Level on three occasions in the opening half Cork went to the dressing rooms leading by two points 1-8 to 1-6 after the sides had exchanged goals in a 30-second spell just before the break.
With the sides tied on three points each inside the opening eight minutes Cork hit a purple patch with three points in a row from Grainne O’Mahony, Caoimhe Sheehan and Grainne Finn giving them an early advantage.
Kilkenny responded tin the challenge with points from Amy Cody and Ava Brett but two in a row from Fiona Twohig restored Cork's two point advantage.
Kilkenny hit the front with a superb rose Kelly goal but from the puck out Fiona Twohig blasted to the net and with the sides swapping points it was advantage Cork at the break.
Kilkenny won a penalty inside two minutes of the restart but a poor effort from Rachel Dowling saw Cork weather the storm and points from Finn and Hurley edged them further ahead.
Kilkenny narrowed the gap with three points as Cork replied with one and an Emily O’Donoghue goal just after the water break put Cork five ahead but Kilkenny were not going to die easily.
Ava Brett and Emily O’Donoghue swapped points and applying huge pressure Kilkenny grabbed a goal Julie Lennon setting up Lauren Ronan who blasted to the net.
Now it was Cork that were under pressure and they certainly had to stand tall as Kilkenny pushed for a winner and awarded a close in free they went for it but the Cork defence cleared their lines.
As the sides played out the injury time Kilkenny still laid siege to the Cork goal, Cork keeper Jill Connaughton had to stretch to pluck the ball out of the air as Kilkenny went for the top corner of the net, but crucially Cork cleared under huge pressure and held their line to retain the title won in 2019.
Fiona Twohig, who was superb grabbing 1-3 of the Cork tally, was named as Player of the Match.
Subs: E Duignan for E Crowley (35), A O’Neill for S Sheehan (43), M de Burca for S Hurley (63).