Tipperary succumbed to a late Cork surge in an entertaining Munster Intermediate Camogie Championship final played at Charleville on Saturday evening. Bill Mullaney’s team faced into the decider with confidence having recently won the Littlewood’s Ireland National Camogie League division two title and although Tipperary tied the game entering the final quarter thanks to a battling display the Rebels responded brilliantly to the challenge posed and out-scored the Premier County 0-6 to 0-2 when it mattered most.
Camogie Championship Final
Cork 1-12 Tipperary 1-8
You simply could not fault Tipperary for their efforts on this occasion, but Cork proved themselves the slicker outfit with player of the match Kate Dooley making a huge impact on proceedings once moved to the middle third of the field. Indeed, the composure of the Rebels under pressure and their smart tactical approach was noteworthy.
For Tipp Ciara Ryan, Claire Stakelum, Shauna Quirke and Andrea Loughnane shone brightly.
Cork got off to a blistering start and led 1-2 to no-score after just seven minutes. Hayleigh Ryan and Rachel Harty helped themselves to the points while Ciara Hayes and Erin Looney combined in the seventh minute before Kate Dooley raced through, shortened and finished smartly off her left.
Jenny Grace (free) got Tipperary off the mark in the eighth minute and the Premier County were fortunate not to concede a second goal in the 11th minute when Nora O’Riordan’s shot was deflected out at the expense of a converted ’50.
Despite facing a stiff breeze Jenny Grace did well to set up Shauna Quirke for an excellent point in the 13th minute and then eleven minutes later a smart Grace free picked out the run of Andrea Loughnane and the Thurles Sarsfields star swung over a point which left four between the sides. Jenny Grace and Hayleigh Ryan traded late frees and the sides retired with four between them at the break (0-4 to 1-5).
Another Hayleigh Ryan free opened a five-point gap four minutes into the second half, but a terrific Shauna Quirke effort roused Tipperary in the 38th minute. And, a minute later Andrea Loughnane’s cross-field delivery found Grace O’Toole; the midfielder mis-controlled the ball initially, but then buried a left-handed pull to spark this contest into real life.
With the gap down to one and playing with the breeze Tipperary were now a very real force in this contest and, especially, in the 44th minute when Clodagh McIntyre landed the equaliser (1-6 apiece).
The response from Cork was highly impressive - in the 45th, 47th, 49th and 54th minutes the Rebels earned frees which Hayleigh Ryan converted to help her side into a four-point lead. An excellent Kate Dooley effort left five between the sides with five minutes to play and although Dooley’s score was noteworthy in its own right the placed balls are worthy of further discussion.
Both sides conceded twenty frees each in total, but Cork conceded the majority of theirs in the Tipperary half of the field while the Premier County coughed the vast majority of theirs inside the scoring zone. Ultimately, Cork scored 0-8 from placed balls and Tipperary 0-3; such game craft can make a big difference.
Tipperary rallied with late efforts from Jenny Grace (free) and Sinéad Meagher while Meagher also went for goal in the 64th minute, but ‘keeper Stefanie Beausang saved well at her near post - that effort represented Tipperary’s only clear cut goal-scoring opportunity of the evening.
Cork: Stefanie Beausang, Áine Crowley, Ciara Daly, Gráinne Hannon, Emma Flanagan, Rachel Sheedy, Ciara Hayes, Ashling Moloney, Katie O'Mahony, Izzy O'Regan, Rachel Harty (0-1), Erin Looney (0-1), Hayleigh Ryan (0-9, 0-7 frees, 0-1 ‘50s), Nora O'Riordan, Kate Dooley (1-1). Subs: (HT) Fiona Keating for Rachel Harty, (47th) Aoife Hurley for Nora O’Riordan.
Tipperary: Ciara Houlihan (Burgess-Duharra), Beth Ryan (Knockavilla Kickhams), Christina Brennan (Drom & Inch), Ciara Ryan (Silvermines), Claire Stakelum (Holycross-Ballycahill), Sabrina Larkin (Shannon Rovers, captain), Emma Carey (Thurles Sarsfields), Shauna Quirke (Toomevara, 0-2), Grace O'Toole (Newport-Ballinahinch, 1-0), Áine O’Dwyer (Cashel), Jenny Grace (Burgess-Duharra, 0-3, 0-3 frees), Nicola Loughnane (Thurles Sarsfields), Sarah Delaney (Boherlahan-Dualla), Andrea Loughnane (Thurles Sarsfields, 0-1), Ciara McKeogh (Burgess-Duharra). Subs: (HT) Clodagh McIntyre (Lorrha-Dorrha, 0-1) for Nicola Loughnane, (36th) Eimear McGrath (Drom & Inch) for Sarah Delaney, (52nd) Sinéad Meagher (Kiladangan, 0-1) for Áine O’Dwyer, (57th) Laura Shinnors (Kilruane MacDonagh’s) for Jenny Grace.
Referee: Kevin O'Brien (Limerick).
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