Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship Semi-Final – Cork 2-9 Galway 1-9

Cork defeated Galway by 2-9 to 1-9 in the Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship Semi-Final on Saturday August 19th at the Gaelic Grounds Limerick.


Cork withstand Galway rally to set up Kilkenny rematch

Report By Daragh Ó Conchúir

Cork 2-9 Galway 1-9

CORK withstood a frantic last-quarter rally from Galway to return to the Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Senior Camogie Final for the fourth consecutive season. Last year’s runners-up looked to be cruising when points from Katrina Mackey and Hannah Looney within two minutes of the resumption pushed them eight clear.

Astonishingly however, they went 28 minutes without a score and only managed one further point as Galway, driven forward by Aoife Donohue, edged back into proceedings. Cork lost Gemma O’Connor to an ankle injury in the 46th minute and three minutes later, Galway’s powerful sub Niamh Hanniffy goaled to reduce the margin to three.

Donohue slotted a free nine minutes from the end of regulation time and Galway were making all of the running but Cork defended magnificently, Rena Buckley, Chloe Sigerson and Ashling Thompson ensuring that the Tribeswomen would not find another goal. Katrina Mackey finally ended the Rebels’ drought right on the hour and despite five minutes of injury time, they held out for a dramatic victory.

Galway’s management pulled a rabbit out of the hat when opting to move their leading scorer Ailish O’Reilly on Gemma O’Connor to prevent the St Finbarr’s talisman from exerting her normal influence. Orla Cotter appeared to be the chief beneficiary as she got on a lot of ball, while displaying customary accuracy from placed balls.

Cork would have only had themselves to blame had they lost as they wasted four gilt-edged goal chances, including two early in the second half. In the end though, they did breach the Galway defences twice and that proved the difference between the sides. The first came as Aoife Murray sent a bullet from a penalty straight and high in the 11th minute, after Niamh McCarthy was dragged down by Rebecca Hennelly.

Cork were well on top for much of that opening period and struck a significant blow just before the change of ends when Cotter scored a splendid solo goal. The rangy St Catherine’s player reached high above Róisín Black to fetch Murray’s long delivery on the 40m line and cut inside.

She got a sliver of luck when the sliotar rebounded to her after her attempted pass to Hannah Looney was mis-hit and poked to the net to make and though O’Reilly pointed straight after, it was 2-6 to 0-6 at half time. Galway had the wind in the second half but Looney and Mackey stretched the gap to eight and seemed bound for a comfortable passage to the final. That was to reckon without the courage of the Galway players but they had left themselves too much to do.

SCORERS FOR CORK: O Cotter 1-3(0-fs); A Murray 1-0 (pen); K Mackey 0-2; O Cronin, N McCarthy, A O’Connor, H Looney 0-1 each

SCORERS FOR GALWAY: A Donohue 0-4(3fs); N Hanniffy 1-0; A O’Reilly (1f), O McGrath 0-2 each; N McGrath 0-1

CORK: A Murray, P Mackey, R Buckley, L Treacy, M Cahalane, G O’Connor, C Sigerson, L Coppinger, A Thompson, A O’Connor, O Cronin, O Cotter, H Looney, N McCarthy, K Mackey
Sub: E O’Sullivan for G O’Connor inj (46), J White for A O’Connor (48), L Homan for K Mackey (60+1)

GALWAY: Sarah Healy, S Dervan, R Black, T Kenny, L Ryan, R Hennelly, H Cooney, A Starr, O McGrath, N McGrath, A O’Reilly, N Kilkenny, S McGrath, M Cooney, A Donohue
Sub: N Hanniffy for M Cooney (40)

REFEREE: E Cassidy (Derry)


Fixture Details

The throw-in times for the Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Senior Championship Semi-Finals have been confirmed as follows:

Saturday August 19th
Gaelic Grounds, Limerick

Dublin v Kilkenny
Throw-in: 5.15pm
Referee: Ray Kelly (Kildare)

Cork v Galway
Throw-in: 7pm
Referee: Eamon Cassidy (Derry)

*Extra-time to be played in the event of a draw in either game.


Ticket Information

Admission Prices
Adults: €15
Students/OAPs: €8
12-18 year olds: €3
Under 12s: Free

#RaiseTheBar


Match Preview

Cork v Galway, Gaelic Grounds, 7pm

This is a mouth-watering prospect, with the teams meeting for the first time since the 2015 decider when Cork upset the odds, having been beaten by Galway twice prior to that in the National League Final and the group stages of the Championship.

Cork returned to the All-Ireland Final last year but found Kilkenny too strong and it is worth recording that Galway only fell to the Stripeywomen after injury time in the Semi-Final.
They are on their third manager in as many seasons, Mark Dunne taking over from Ollie Bergin, who had in turn succeeded Tony Ward. Dunne, who has included his sister Molly in his backroom staff after her retirement, as well as former Galway and Dublin hurler Niall Corcoran, is moving closer to his strongest side, although he might have preferred a sterner test from Tipperary in the Quarter-Final.

They were extremely professional in navigating the group phase but were unable to break down Kilkenny. However, having finally given long-touted Minor star Siobhán McGrath her head, they have even more speed in attack and will look to cash in on the offensive threat that is also provided by McGrath’s sisters Orlaith and Niamh, Maria Cooney and the competition’s leading scorer Ailish O’Reilly.

Cork, of course, are renowned for their ability to smother opposition attacks, the likes of Pamela Mackey, Laura Treacy and captain Rena Buckley among the stickiest of defenders in the game. In addition, All-Ireland-winning skipper Ashling Thompson has been a central figure in the game-plan with her athleticism enabling her to sweep up deep in her own half while also forcing turnovers around the field and getting forward for a score or two. Gemma O’Connor, Aoife Murray and Orla Cotter are just some other who provide plenty of experience while Niamh McCarthy represents the new breed.

Galway have a similar profile in that regard, as apart from Siobhán McGrath, Róisín Black is a newcomer who has appeared to the manor born in defence. At the other end of the experience spectrum, Sarah Dervan’s return from injury adds steel to that division, Lorraine Ryan was captain when they won the All-Ireland in 2013 and Niamh Kilkenny remains an absolute joy to watch and a pain to marshal with her runs from deep and ability to finish off either side.

If both teams turn up, this could be a game for the ages.