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‘The All-Ireland championship is our main focus,’ insists Fiona Keating after Cork conquer Munster

May 23rd, 2024 5:00 PM

By Ger McCarthy

‘The All-Ireland championship is our main focus,’ insists Fiona Keating after Cork conquer Munster Image
Courcey Rovers' Fiona Keating highlights the All-Ireland title as Corks main goal.

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CORK 1-16



AMY O’Connor’s haul of 1-6 was instrumental in helping Cork defeat Waterford at a sweltering Semple Stadium in Thurles on Sunday afternoon.

A scoring spurt midway through the first half plus excellent contributions from their bench were the elements that backboned Cork’s 60th camogie senior provincial title.

Thoughts quickly turned to this weekend’s All-Ireland camogie championship encounter with Wexford. The short turnaround meant Cork had little time to bask in the glow of defeating Waterford as evidenced by Fiona Keating’s after-match comments.

‘The All-Ireland championship is our main focus,’ the Courcey Rovers star said.

‘The Munster championship still means an awful lot to us, so it was great to get over the line against Waterford. It is great for the likes of Clodagh Finn and Ciara O’Sullivan, coming back for a cruciate injury.

‘I think that shows the strength of our panel. We are always on about the fact it takes more than 15 players to finish a match. I think today, we proved that.’

Beth Carton opened the scoring from an early free as both teams took time to settle amid sweltering conditions. Niamh Rockett quickly added the Déise’s second but an Amy O’Connor free eased Cork nerves and halved the deficit after seven minutes.

Carton restored Waterford’s two-point advantage from a free as an entertaining final’s high tempo continued. It was 0-4 to 0-1 in the Déise’s favour once Carton converted her second free after 10 minutes.

That was Cork’s cue to move up a gear however, and reel off four unanswered points. Saoirse McCarthy, Laura Hayes, Sorcha McCartan and Fiona Keating efforts turned a three-point deficit into a one-point Cork lead by the quarter hour. Amy O’Connor’s second free of the final made it 0-6 to 0-4 before a scrappy spell saw both sides waste scoring opportunities.

Grainne, Orlaith and Meabh Cahalane celebrate winning the Munster camogie title on Sunday.
(Photo: @CastlehavenGAA)

That ended with a marauding Laura Hayes run from deep in Cork’s half that ended with a pass to release Amy O’Connor. The Cork forward still had plenty to do but cut in from the left and bravely fired into the net before shipping a heavy tackle from goalkeeper Brianna O’Regan.

Beth Carton converted a badly-needed Waterford free but Katrina Mackey responded with the Rebels’ seventh and eighth points. Another Carton placed ball reduced the deficit before Orlaith Cahalane got her name on the Cork scoresheet.

A physical but engaging opening half ended with Carton adding two (one free) to make it 1-9 to 0-8 at the break.

An Amy O’Connor free got Cork off the mark early in the second half and followed that up with her side’s 11th point shortly after. Beth Carton responded via two converted frees and a majestic effort whilst hugging the left side-line to make it 1-11 to 0-11 after 39 minutes. Waterford went in search of a levelling goal but Cork’s defence remained solid during a difficult spell.

Niamh Rockett added a disputed score that required HawkEye to confirm. Cliona Healy replied for Cork to leave a goal between the teams after 45 minutes. Beth Carton took her tally to 0-11 and Amy O’Connor to 1-5 as Cork remained three clear, 1-13 to 0-13, with five minutes to go.

Carton’s ninth free gave Waterford hope but replacements Clodagh Finn and Orlaith Mullins provided immediate answers to move the Rebels four ahead. The impressive Finn added another score in injury-time to round off a workmanlike victory ahead of tougher tests in the All-Ireland championship.

‘I thought we played very well at times today. Waterford are a very good team. Camogie has levelled off an awful lot in the last couple of years and I think that showed today. There is very little between the top six or seven teams right now,’ Cork manager Ger Manley commented.

‘We got four points off of our subs today as well. Look, that’s an important thing. We have a big game against Wexford next weekend. There is very little between Wexford, Down, Dublin, Galway and ourselves.

‘Cork had that extra bit of quality today and that’s what we are hoping will work for us in the coming weeks.’



Cork: Amy O’Connor 1-6 (4f); Katrina Mackey, Clodagh Finn 0-2 each; Saoirse McCarthy, Laura Hayes, Sorcha McCartan, Fiona Keating, Orlaith Cahalane, Cliona Healy, Orlaith Mullins 0-1 each.

Waterford: Beth Carton 0-12 (9f); Niamh Rockett 0-2.


Cork: Amy Lee; Meabh Murphy, Meabh Cahalane, Pamela Mackey; Izzy O’Regan, Aoife Healy, Laura Hayes; Ashling Thompson, Saoirse McCarthy; Hannah Looney, Fiona Keating, Sorcha McCartan; Amy O’Connor, Katrina Mackey, Orlaith Cahalane.

Subs: Cliona Healy for H Looney (ht), Ciara O’Sullivan for S McCartan (52), Clodagh Finn for O Cahalane (54), Orlaith Mullins for K Mackey (58).

Waterford: Brianna O’Regan; Keeley Corbett Barry, Laoise Forrest, Iona Heffernan; Tara Power, Clodagh Carroll, Bevin Bowdren; Lorraine Bray (captain), Orla Hickey; Mairead O’Brien, Beth Carton, Niamh Rockett; Alannah McNulty, Kate Lynch, Rachel Walsh.

Subs: Annie Fitzgerald for A McNulty (33), Sarah Lacey for M O’Brien (54), Roisin Kirwan for B Bowdren (58), Aoife Landers for R Walsh (63).

Referee: Aaron Hogg (Clare).

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