Late point from Linda Collins helps Cork set up All-Ireland final clash with Galway

Defending champions Kilkenny lose out in the last seconds at Croke Park

Cork’s Linda Collins scores the winning point against Kilkenny in the All-Ireland camogie semi-final at Croke Park. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Cork’s Linda Collins scores the winning point against Kilkenny in the All-Ireland camogie semi-final at Croke Park. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

 

Cork 0-15 Kilkenny 1-11

Cork captain Linda Collins shook off the disappointment of being left out by scoring a sensational winning point just seconds from the end to book a place in the All-Ireland senior camogie final against Galway.

Not for the first time this year, champions Kilkenny mixed the good with the bad and had been second best for most of proceedings but Mary O’Connell’s 44th-minute goal after Miriam Walsh’s excellent assist having gathered Claire Phelan’s delivery breathed life into Brian Dowling’s outfit.

They had their best period thereafter, hitting four of the next five points to move two clear. Denise Gaule, who was hampered by a finger injury in the closing stages, landed three frees and Katie Power a stunning score and it looked for all the world that we were in for a third consecutive Kilkenny-Galway decider.

But that was to reckon without the character of this youthful Cork side. Though it was the likes of the experienced Ashling Thompson, Pamela Mackey and Hannah Looney that drove them on in that definite period, Saoirse McCarthy was a revelation at half back too and points from Orla Cronin from a free and Fiona Keating brought them level just before the end of regulation time.

Keating’s score came after Meighan Farrell came from nowhere to deny Katrina Mackey a goal, after Collins, who had come on in the 50th minute for 19-year-old Ciara O’Sullivan, put her in.

There was a sting in the tail though when Cronin was sent off in the wake of the equaliser for what seemed like a push into the faceguard of Grace Walsh.

Not even that could deny the Rebels roar however, and it was Collins who came up trumps in the most dramatic fashion.

CORK: A Lee; P Mackey, L Coppinger, M Cahalane; L Hayes, L Treacy, S McCarthy (0-1); H Looney, A Thompson; C Sigerson (0-5, one free), F Keating (0-1), C O’Sullivan; A O’Connor, O Cronin (0-6, five frees), K Mackey (0-1).

Sub: L Collins (0-1) for O’Sullivan (50 mins).

KILKENNY: A Norris; M Teehan, C Dormer, D Tobin; K Doyle (0-1), M Farrell, C Phelan; D Gaule (0-7, seven frees), G Walsh; M Walsh, K Nolan (0-1), M O’Connell (1-0); S Fitzgerald, K Power (0-2), A Doyle.

Subs: L Murphy for Fitzgerald (38 mins), N Deely for Teehan (48), M Kenneally for A Doyle (55).

Referee: John Dermody (Westmeath).

Galway’s Orlaith McGrath is tackled by Karen Kennedy of Tipperary during the All-Ireland camogie semi-final at Croke Park. Photograph: Evan Treacy/Inpho
Galway’s Orlaith McGrath is tackled by Karen Kennedy of Tipperary during the All-Ireland camogie semi-final at Croke Park. Photograph: Evan Treacy/Inpho

Galway 1-13 Tipperary 0-12

Galway had to withstand a heroic effort by Tipperary but a fortuitous goal right on the hour by Orlaith McGrath finally gave them the breathing space to advance to the decider on September 12th.

They will be sweating on the availability of excellent corner back Dervla Higgins, who was sent off by referee Ray Kelly three minutes before that following the intervention of his umpires but manager Cathal Murray indicated afterwards that they will be pursuing a case of mistaken identity to ensure her availability for the decider.

Galway led 0-8 to 0-4 at the change of ends and that was a fair reflection of a half that never really took off, though Niamh Kilkenny’s second score after deadening a difficult ball brilliantly and then moving effortlessly to her right before finishing from 50 metres was a real highlight.

It was never free-flowing but Tipperary’s belief was growing visibly and they were the better team in the second half, with Mary Ryan and Julieanne Bourke leading from the back, the touch now sure and Galway the ones looking a little shaky.

The blue and gold contingent will regret getting no return from three further goal opportunities all involving the lightning-quick Clodagh McIntyre.Galway had their opportunities too, Caoimhe Bourke doing brilliantly twice to deny Siobhán McGrath and then force the Sarsfields attacker to pop over from close range.

Unfortunately for the goalkeeper though, she allowed a shot for a point from Orlaith McGrath to drop from her hand into the net in a horrible repeat of Áine Slattery’s mistake that cost Tipp in the league semi-final, and that ended the hopes of Bill Mullaney’s game crew, though they kept driving forward to notch up points from Grace O’Brien and Devane.

GALWAY: Sarah Healy; Shauna Healy, S Dervan, D Higgins; S Gardiner, E Helebert, C Cormican; N Hanniffy, N Kilkenny (0-2); C Finnerty, S Spellman (0-1), A Donohue (0-3); S McGrath (0-1), O McGrath (1-2), A O’Reilly (0-4, three frees, one 45).

Subs: N McGrath for Finnerty (39 mins), R Hennelly for Hanniffy (49), N Coen for Spellman (56), AM Starr for S McGrath (59), M Cooney for O’Reilly (60+1)

TIPPERARY: C Bourke; M Ryan, M Eviston, J Bourke; E Loughman, K Kennedy, A McGrath; E Fryday (0-1), C Devane (0-6, five frees); E McGrath, N Walsh (0-1), O O’Dwyer (0-2); C McIntyre, R Howard, G O’Brien (0-1).

Subs: M Campion (0-1) for E McGrath (42 mins), K Blair for Fryday inj (51), S Delaney for Eviston (59)

Referee: Ray Kelly (Kildare)

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