DISAPPOINTMENT for Cork as the bid for three Tesco All-Ireland minor titles in a row fell short aginst a superb Kilkenny side in the LIT Gaelic Grounds on Sunday evening.
Despite making the early running with the game’s opening two scores, Cork only got to the tempo of the game in the third quarter when they played with the confidence we had seen in their previous outings. Kilkenny dominated the opening half and their movement and passing was outstanding.
Cork boss Jerry Wallace who had done huge work with Cork minor sides in leading them to titles in 2018 and 2019 before Covid put a stop to the 2020 campaign was the first to heap praise on the Cats.
“They are a fine side and we have no complaints, they were the better side on the day and no matter how hard we tried we just couldn’t get back level. We did have a chance when we cut their lead to a point but the water break gave them a chance to regroup and they came out and closed it out in the final quarter.
“Our girls battled to the finish and we can have no complaints they have been wonderful through this campaign we as a management could not have asked for more.”
Wallace also hailed his opposite number, Kilkenny manager Michael Wall.
“I knew when Michael was back at the helm that this would be a very good Kilkenny side. The last time they won this title Michael was at the helm and he is a superb guy and the work he put into any team he is in charge of is huge.
“They had a great win over raging favourites Galway and they went all the way to extra time and got themselves over the line and this was a great help to them, I suppose they were determined today after losing out to Cork in the senior last week.”
Wall said he always had faith in his side’s ability to get over the line and he praised their composure as Cork hit back in the third quarter.
“At the second-half water break we told them to keep calm and hold their shape, our main thing was not to panic, we were ahead and it was important that once we got ahead we never lost the lead, I think that was the big thing for us.
“All we really said was keep doing what we’re doing and we knew if we held our shape we’d hold out.”
Hold out they certainly did and the star of the show Player of the Match Emma Barcoeis a name we will no doubt be hearing lots more of in the years ahead.
Notching up 1-4 of her sides total she showed touches of class, swift and classy with a superb first touch and lightning pace she was a thorn all day in Cork sides as Kilkenny took their first title since 2015.