Kildare 0-7 Cork 1-15
CORK got their All-Ireland Intermediate Camogie Championship Group Two campaign off to the perfect start with an emphatic victory against Kildare at Hawkfield on Saturday afternoon.
Powered by the attacking triumvirate of Aoife Hurley, Kate Wall and Rachel O’Shea, Mark McCarthy’s outfit dominated from early on and proceeded to send out a serious statement of intent for this year’s competition.
Playing with the breeze at their backs, Cork moved into an early two-point lead courtesy of scores from inside forwards O’Shea and Wall (free).
Hurley rounded off a patient move to ensure the entire Cork full-forward line was on the scoresheet by the eighth minute and the St Catherine’s ace subsequently added her second to give the visitors a 0-4 to 0-0 lead at the first half water break.
The Lilywhites finally opened their account with a Deirbhile Byrne point on 18 minutes, but it only proved to be a brief respite. O’Shea and midfielder Jacinta Crowley both converted placed-balls in quick succession before a speculative strike by Wall slipped through the fingers of Kildare netminder Tanya Johnson for a 23rd-minute goal.
While Lea Sutton’s pointed free at the opposite end disrupted this sequence, wing-back Lauren Callanan and Wall propelled Cork into a convincing 1-9 to 0-2 interval cushion.
Carrigaline’s O’Shea enhanced her personal tally on the resumption, in advance of Kildare putting together back-to-back scores for the first time in the game. A powerful presence in the half-forward line, dead-ball specialist Sutton added two points in the space of 60 seconds to give the hosts some form of solace.
Nevertheless, Cork remained in control and three points in succession by O’Shea (two) and Hurley handed them an unassailable 1-13 to 0-4 lead inside the final quarter.
Kildare had their brightest spell in the closing minutes with Emma Kielty, Ciara Egan and Emer Reilly all finding the range. O’Shea and Hurley points were the only Cork scores in this juncture, but they had done enough to claim the spoils by then.