League final glory for Cork after slick display against Kilkenny

Lauren Homan and Cliona O'Callaghan grabbed second half goals for the Rebels
League final glory for Cork after slick display against Kilkenny

Joy for Cork after winning the Intermediate Camogie Final Division 2B replay at the Ragg. Picture: Brendan Gleeson

Cork 2-15 Kilkenny 0-13 

A much-improved performance by Cork saw them take the replayed Division 2B Very national league title against Kilkenny in The Ragg on Saturday afternoon. 

It was a different game this time around compared to the dour draw in Clonmel last week, played at a much faster pace, on a better pitch it must be said, with some lovely hurling played.

After trailing 0-6 to 0-7 at half time Kilkenny pounced on Cork after the restart only for a brilliant Stephanie Beausang save to deny them. Outstanding play by Niamh O’Leary, Leanne O’Sullivan and Laura Doyle instigated Cork’s push back and they hit 1-3 inside eight minutes to lead by 1-11 to 0-8 from which they never looked back.

From the throw-in Cork looked different; hungry and confident. Lauren Homan came out on the 40 and alongside Doyle and Lucy Allen were covering good ground and spreading it well. The inside line were finding it difficult against Kilkenny’s Niamh Leahy, Jenni O’Dea, and Jane Case, guilty at times of being too static until the ball was actually struck into them.

It was level pegging four times in the opening thirty minutes. Tit for tat on points before Cork took a two-point advantage on 21 minutes 0-5 to 0-4, Lucy Allen hitting two, only for Danielle Morrissey to reply with a free. Homan again from a free before two on the trot from Kilkenny had it level entering the closing minutes of the half; wayward distribution gifting Laura Greene a score before Morrissey added another free.

Cork finished the half one up after a great team move and point from play by Homan.

Cork’s goal on 43 minutes was a brilliant move. Doyle to Allen to Cliona O’Callaghan who billowed the net. End-to-end stuff from there, three points for the Cats to two for Cork and five points separated the sides on 54 minutes. Full-forward O’Callaghan who had become prominent hit her second point and she passed to Homan a minute later who struck the net, and the cup was coming to Cork. 

Substitute Fiona Nelligan came in, on the 40, and with her first touch made space to score before two consolation points for Kilkenny closed matters.

It was an important win for Cork and a win that should do their confidence the world of good heading into the All-Ireland series.

Scorers for Cork: L Homan 1-5 (0-3 f), C O’Callaghan 1-2, L Allen, R Murphy, C O’Leary (f) 0-2 each, R Harty, F Nelligan 0-1 each.

Kilkenny: D Morrissey 0-7 (0-5 f), C Doheny, C Kennedy 0-2 each, L Greene, T Donnelly 0-1 each.

CORK: S Beausang; A Moloney, N O’Leary, E Flanagan; L O’Sullivan, M Ring, L Doyle; A Cashman, R Harty; L Homan, L Allen, C O’Leary; C Dooley, R Murphy, C O’Callaghan.

Subs: I Sheehan for A Cashman (41), F Nelligan for C Dooley (53), C Keane for R Murphy and A O’Callaghan for Leanne O’Sullivan (58), E O’Donovan for A Moloney (60),

KILKENNY: C Murphy; N Leahy, J O’Dea, J Cass; K Byrne, R Phelan, H Scott; L Greene, M Kennedy; D Quigley, E Gunner, D Morrissey; C Doheny, C Kennedy, E Mulhall.

Subs: T Donnelly for E Mulhall (38), E Leahy for D Quigley (53), K McCluskey for M Kennedy (54).

Referee: Mike Ryan (Tipperary).

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