Cliona O'Callaghan and Joanne Casey hit 4-13 as Cork power past Kildare

An emphatic victory at Páirc Uí Rinn sent Trever Coleman's side directly into the Glen Dimplex Intermediate Championship
Cliona O'Callaghan and Joanne Casey hit 4-13 as Cork power past Kildare

Goalscorer Cliona O'Callaghan blasts in the opener against Kildare at Páirc Uí Rinn. Picture: Larry Cummins

Cork 5-21 Kildare 2-5 

THE result was never in doubt in this Glen Dimplex Intermediate Championship clash in Páirc Uí Rinn as Cork overpowered a Kildare side seeking their first victory in the group series. 

Cork were stronger in all sectors as they picked off scores at will. They played with one eye on the Derry-Wexford clash and thanks to a better scoring difference it is Cork who go straight to the semi-final on July 23 with Derry and Meath in the quarter-finals. Meath thanks to their 3-13 to 0-11 victory over Kilkenny, knocked out the Cats by a point more scored.

Four goals from Cliona O'Callaghan and 13 Joanne Casey points propelled Cork to the last four and it was no more than they deserved. 

They led 1-13 to 0-1 at the break an O'Callaghan goal on 11 minutes after she cleverly disposed Maria Doyle and fired to the net settling Cork who were leading 0-3 to 0-1 after Rachel Harty and Joanne Casey had early Cork points, while Leah Sutton had what turned out to be Kildare’s only score of the opening half.

Holding the upper hand in all areas Cork were totally dominant and content to pick off points always being mindful that it could come down to scoring difference in the finish. Casey showed her class she fired over some excellent scores, Hayley Ryan and Michelle Murphy were also on target as Cork set a solid foundation for victory and led by 15 points at the break.

 Lauren Homan in action for Cork against Kildare. Picture: Larry Cummins
Lauren Homan in action for Cork against Kildare. Picture: Larry Cummins

Casey and Lauren Homan continued the scoring trend on the resumption with points, before Roisin Costello denied O'Callaghan with a superb save only for the in-rushing Murphy to finish.

Cork were now in full flight and they piled on the pressure, five-point in a row stretching their lead before Kildare enjoyed a brief spell of dominance, Sutton converting a free before two goals from Rosin Forde momentarily rocked Cork. 

They rallied as only we would expect them to do, two Casey points and two goals from the excellent O'Callaghan ensured the top spot was secured long before Ciara Egana and Niamh Hegarty had Kildare scores. 

Casey fired over three further points before fittingly it was O'Callaghan who had the final say with her fourth goal as Cork marched on to the last four.

Scorers for Cork: C O'Callaghan 4-0, J Casey 0-13 (0-8 f), M Murphy 1-3, L Homan 0-3, R Harty, H Ryan 0-1 each. 

Kildare: R Forde 2-0, L Sutton 0-3 (0-2 f), C Egan, N Hegarty 0-1 each.

CORK: S Ahern; A Moloney, N O'Leary, G Hannon; J O'Leary, K Kilcummins, L O’ Sullivan; L Callanan, R Harty; J Casey, M Murphy, S Hutchinson; L Homan, H Ryan, C O'Callaghan.

Subs: Doyle for J O'Leary (45), A O'Callaghan for K Kilcommins (51), R O'Shea for H Ryan (51), K Falvey.

KILDARE: R Roche; E Barry, M Doyle, G Noone; C Corcoran, N Malcomson, E Morgan; D Byrne, S Mulligan; A Stynes, R Forde; N Hegarty, E Kielty, L Sutton, C Egan.

Subs: A Costello for R Roche (inj 37), G Keegan C Corcoran (40), N Jenkins for S Mulligan (40), S O'Brien for D Byrne (43). 

Referee: Conor Quinlan (Galway).

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