BY AISLING CLERY
BRIEGE Corkery showed that class really is permanent after she captained Munster to Interprovincial honours under lights in Waterford IT Sports Arena, stopping Ulster’s bid for seven-in-a-row.
Ten-time TG4 All Star Corkery (31) was playing her first competitive football at elite level since the 2016 TG4 All-Ireland senior final victory for Cork over Dublin.
The 11-time Brendan Martin Cup winner accepted Pat Sullivan’s invitation to link up with the Munster squad – and skippered the province to glory.
This was Corkery’s first taste of Interprovincial football since 2013 – and she made it a comeback to remember.
The warning signs were there from the outset as Munster and Ulster battled it out in the opening round of the prestigious competition, with Tipperary’s Aishling Moloney instrumental in ensuring their first meeting finished all square, 0-13 to 2-7.
Munster then went on to record a 4-11 to 0-7 win over Connacht before also defeating Leinster by 3-13 to 2-3 to ensure their spot in the cup final. Ulster had also defeated Connacht and Leinster setting up a second meeting with their Round One opponents.
There was a strong Cork representation on the Munster team as, along with Corkery, Clonakilty’s Martina O’Brien, Beara duo Áine Terry O’Sullivan and Niamh Cotter, Dohenys’ Melissa Duggan, St Colum’s Libby Coppinger, Hannah Looney, Shauna Kelly, Orlagh Farmer, and Aisling Hutchings were all named on the panel.
The final, under lights, was played at electric speed, with Munster leading by 1-8 to 0-2 at the break. Kingdom duo Sarah Houlihan and Hannah O’Donoghue hit the net for Munster’s goals in the second half and there was no way back for the reigning champions as the new won 3-13 to 2-5.