Cork 2-19 Waterford 3-8
CORK topped Group 2 in the All-Ireland camogie championship after a win over Waterford in Páirc Uí Rínn.
They’ll have to wait until Sunday evening to find out if they are straight through to a semi-final or have a quarter-final ahead of them.
A welcome addition back to the Cork panel is All-Star Pamela Mackey. Pam had taken a year out but missed the buzz of intercounty camogie and re-joined the panel just this week.
Management obviously wanted to bring Pam back up to championship speed as quickly as possible and placed her at left half-back in place of Laura Hayes. She provides cover for Cork in a number of positions and as Cork head into August it’s a big plus for the panel to have her back.
In the preview, we mentioned that Cork were spoilt for choice up front with eight possible starters for six positions, always a healthy position to be in. On this occasion captain Linda Collins, who has been playing well, lost out on the starting 15.
That’s a further two changes to the team which lined out against Down the previous week and so Cork’s starting 15 is a moving feast.
Waterford had a resounding win over Dublin last weekend and brought that same intensity to Páirc Uí Rínn.
This time they started without star forward Beth Carton, who pulled her hamstring in the warmup. Still, they held their own with Cork and led up to the 33rd minute.
Orla Cronin named at left corner-forward raced into a third midfielder position as soon as the ball was thrown in.
Cork split Waterford’s defence on five minutes but Fiona Keating just mistimed the ball in full flight. Waterford made no mistake at the opposite end three minutes later when an astute Abby Flynn pass inside to Niamh Rockett was brilliantly finished to the net.
A recurring hamstring strain saw Izzy O’Regan replace Ashling Thompson on fifteen minutes, O’Regan coming in at left half-forward and Chloe Sigerson pushing out to midfield. Cork had four wides by the first water break as Waterford led 1-2 to 0-3.
It will be a concern for cork how their defence was so easily prised open in that opening half. Rocket had converted, Abby Flynn raced through the middle, but Shauna Fitzgerald failed to connect into the net and five minutes later Vicky Falconer again prised Cork open, running straight down the middle, and beat Amy Lee with a low shot to the corner.
The O’Connor-Mackey show kicked into action and a number of one/two’s saw the duo hit 2-2 between them to push Cork four points to the good at half time: 2-8 to 0-4.
Cork went into a 2-12 to 2-6 lead before Vicky Falconer’s pace again proved too much for Cork as she hit Waterford’s third goal. It will be a concern for Cork that they conceded three goals, a rare achievement for any side against the Rebels.
Cork pulled away to win by eight as Waterford tired. With both sides having already qualified for the knockout stages this game was another chance to learn lessons. Waterford will be relatively happy with their performance until the final quarter while Cork will focus on those goals and their scoring boots where again a number of scores went abegging.