Southern Star Ltd. logo
Premium Exclusives

‘Versatile’ Rebels reign in the rain to get All-Ireland title defence off to winning start

May 31st, 2024 9:00 AM

By Ger McCarthy

‘Versatile’ Rebels reign in the rain to get All-Ireland title defence off to winning start Image
Cork's Aoife Healy gets the ball away under pressure from Wexford's Anais Curran during the Glen Dimplex All-Ireland senior camogie championship opener at Páirc Uí Rinn. (Photo: George Hatchell)

Share this article

CORK 1-15



CORK got the defence of their Glen Dimplex All-Ireland senior camogie title off to a winning start by defeating Wexford at a rain-lashed Páirc Uí Rinn on Saturday.

Ger Manley’s side will travel to Down in search of their second consecutive Group 2 championship victory this weekend. Having overcome Wexford in their All-Ireland series opener, the defending champions will be eager to build momentum, especially ahead of tougher tests against Dublin, Clare and Galway.

Cork made hard work of it against a dogged Wexford team and the torrential rain but were never in danger of losing. The winners racked up 1-15 amid trying weather conditions. On top of that, Cork’s improving defence held the entire Wexford forward-line scoreless.

‘Conditions were horrendous even though the Páirc Uí Rinn pitch was perfect and they have a great job made of it,’ Manley told The Southern Star.

‘We were very comfortable all through and there was never a doubt (we would win.)

‘There were times our scoring rate wasn’t great but you have to take the conditions into account. Winning 1-15 to 1-6? We'll take it.’

Cork captain Méabh Cahalane added: ‘It was really tough out there and they were tough conditions for both sides. Wexford really went direct with their play. I thought we did really well in the first 15 minutes but then we lost a bit of a hold on the game. I suppose that was due to Wexford and the intensity they were putting on the ball.’

Wexford travelled to Leeside off the back of a positive league campaign that ended with a two-point Division 1B final defeat to Dublin. Colin Sunderland’s side were never overawed facing the reigning All-Ireland champions and matched their opponents physicality throughout.

Amy O’Connor opened the scoring from an early free. Playing into a changeable wind and driving rain, Cork settled as Katrina Mackey made it 0-2 to 0-0. A scrappy spell preceded a superb long-range Saoirse McCarthy score and a second Mackey effort. Amy O’Connor’s second free made it five-point lead after Wexford’s Linda Bolger was denied a goal by Amy Lee.

Another excellent O’Connor free pushed the All-Ireland champions further ahead as conditions worsened. Shelley Kehoe finally opened Wexford’s account after 17 minutes. Amy O’Connor made it 0-7 to 0-1 but Ciara O’Connor swiftly answered with a Wexford free. A superb Cork move ended with Katrina Mackey sending Cork in 0-8 to 0-2 ahead at the break.

O’Connor got Cork off the mark in the second period via a free. The same player extended the Rebels’ advantage from a tight angle. Wexford kept battling and were handed a lifeline with the award of a debatable penalty after 41 minutes. Ciara O’Connor found the bottom corner to make it 0-10 to 1-2 heading into the final quarter.

Saoirse McCarthy’s long-range free settled Cork nerves prior to Ciara O’Connor cutting in and scoring a fine point at the opposite end. Another converted Amy O’Connor free made it 0-12 to 1-3 with eight minutes left. Cork finished strongly with Cliona Healy splitting the posts despite a Ciara O’Connor free keeping Wexford in touch. Hannah Looney responded with a hard-earned point before, once again, a dogged Wexford answered with Shelley Kehoe scoring.

Katrina Mackey turned in front of goal and fired over Cork’s 15th point. Six minutes of injury time had elapsed when substitute Clodagh Finn finished to the net and confirmed her side’s merited 1-15 to 1-6  win.

‘It was definitely different weather conditions to what we played Waterford in the previous Sunday,’ Cork’s Laura Hayes concluded.

‘It is important that we are versatile and that the conditions don’t affect our performance(s). It was definitely something that was said before the (Wexford) game. People might accuse us of being ‘summer hurlers’ but we showed out there today that we can play in any conditions. Look, there are definitely learnings to take from it but, in the first round of the championship, that was a good enough result.

‘I think it is no secret how much we value our whole squad and how much we value the players coming on. It is important that everyone gets as much game time as possible going into the knockout rounds. The players that came on made a huge impact again so we have to be delighted with that.’



Cork: Amy O’Connor 0-7 (5f); Katrina Mackey 0-4; Clodagh Finn 1-0; Saoirse McCarthy 0-2 (1f); Cliona Healy, Hannah Looney 0-1 each.

Wexford: Ciara O’Connor (1-4, 1-0 pen, 0-3 frees), Shelley Kehoe (0-2).


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

Subs: Cliona Healy for O Cahalane (38), Hannah Looney for S McCartan (47), Clodagh Finn for N O’Callaghan (47), Orlaith Mullins for A O’Connor (52, inj).

Wexford: Laura Brennan; Karen Tomkins, Ciara Storey, Miriam O’Dowd; Laura Dempsey, Sarah O’Connor, Roisin Cooney; Shelley Kehoe, Ciara O’Connor; Anais Curran, Chloe Foxe, Kate Kirwan; Emma Tomkins, Joanne Dillon, Linda Bolger.

Subs: Emma Dempsey for A Curran (45), Orla Sinnott for L Bolger (45), Clodagh Jackman for K Tomkins (55), Ailish Neville for R Cooney (55).

Referee: Aaron Hogg (Clare).

Tags used in this article

Share this article

Related content