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2022 Glen Dimplex All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship Final – Kilkenny 1-13 Cork 1-12
Kilkenny defeated Cork by 1-13 to 1-12 in the Glen Dimplex All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship Final on Sunday August 7th at Croke Park.
Gaule and Dwyer snatch the cream for the Cats
by Daragh Ó Conchúir at Croke Park
Kilkenny 1-13 Cork 1-12
A pointed free from 45m by Denise Gaule in the second minute of extra time snatched a dramatic victory for Kilkenny in a pulsating Glen Dimplex All-Ireland Senior Camogie Final played in front of a bumper attendance of 23,426.
Gaule made no mistake, despite not having her normal accuracy over placed balls this year and ceding responsibilities to Katie Nolan for much of this game.
Cometh the hour.
There were countless other heroes of course. The Walsh cousins, Grace and Miriam were magnificent leaders at the edge of either square.
Grace made clearance after clearance and came up with a remarkable last-ditch block to deny Katrina Mackey a potential goal in the first half.
Miriam continued her stellar campaign with three points, two out of the top drawer in the first half. She also was fouled for two frees including the winner.
It was also the full-forward’s shot that was blocked that led to the critical 58th minute goal. The ricochet sent the sliotar looping up into the air and forcing Cork skipper Amy Lee to back-pedal furiously, having advanced to close the angle for the shot.
All the ‘keeper could do was bat it out as she fell backwards, into the path of advancing super sub Sophie Dwyer, who built on the good impression she had made in quarter-final and semi-final cameos by registering the score that breathed life back into the Stripeywomen.
Cork had moved two points ahead for the first time three minutes earlier via an Amy O’Connor free, after Hannah Looney had given them the lead following another rampaging run from the electric Fiona Keating.
It felt like the Rebels were just gradually asserting the dominance they had been showing for most of the previous 40 minutes or so on the scoreboard.
They had begun with a similar lethargy displayed in the semi-final against Waterford and did not get on the scoreboard until the 20th minute, when Keating slammed home a brilliant goal after galloping away from the cover after picking up possession just inside the 45.
Up to then, it was all one-way traffic in the other direction, as Kilkenny broke from the traps in devastating fashion. They were winning all the 50-50s and as proceedings wore on, didn’t even have to do that as they seemed to have time in possession wherever they were.
Tiffanie Fitzgerald pointed from the very first play, before the teams had a chance to move into game configuration, which was the only reason she found herself in an advanced position. She and sister Steffi were the first starters the Young Irelands club have ever had in a senior final and Tiffanie quickly sprinted towards the full-back line.
Nolan and then Walsh’s brilliant brace followed. Gaule slotted two in 30 seconds and it was 6-0 with 15 minutes played.
Cork were in the horrors but Keating’s goal certainly buoyed them and they began to play with more confidence. From there to the end of the game, they at least held their own and for large swathes of affairs, held the upper hand, troubling Kilkenny with their pace where Keating and Mackey certainly had the sirens sounding. Hannah Looney thundered into the fray too.
Keating and Mackey supplemented two frees by O’Connor and though Michaela Kenneally had pointed for Brian Dowling’s outfit, in the click of the fingers, the teams were level 0-7 to 1-4. Mackey’s equaliser told of the new-found confidence in Matthew Twomey’s team, coming at the end of a triangle of passes from Chloe Sigerson and Sorcha McCartan.
Half-time came and you had to think it was Kilkenny that wanted it more given how the tide had turned now that the Rebels were matching their work rate and making inroads with their running game. Méabh Murphy and Laura Treacy were composed in defence too.
But Kilkenny had their ferocious industry, evidenced by Nolan and Katie Walsh among others. And this is a storied rivalry that is rarely one-sided so no one was surprised that they were level five times in a wonderful second half.
Cork led for the first time thanks to an O’Connor free, a second for a foul on Ashling Thompson, but Miriam Walsh and Nolan, from a foul on the powerful Tullaroan attacker, got Kilkenny back ahead.
Over and back they went from there, Keating levelling after good work from Sigerson and Mackey, and then Mackey sending one soaring over from right on the Cusack Stand sideline 44m out, only for Nolan to equalise again from a free.
Then it was Saoirse McCarthy on the run and Nolan keeping Kilkenny in touch. The diminutive St Martin’s dynamo did the needful once more when O’Connor had thumped a free over at the other end, but then came the period when one thought Cork had separated themselves, ever so slightly, by establishing that two-point buffer.
They don’t call it the most dangerous lead in the world for nothing. Dwyer made no mistake from off the sod for the goal but then Mackey, as dynamic as her first day in the squad in the early part of the last decade, sped away from four defenders and batted over right on the hour.
Even after Gaule’s winner, there was still one final chance for Cork as Thompson advanced to about 55m out and shot off her left. The Milford talisman’s effort, after 65 minutes on a sweltering day, was just tugged marginally however, and though having the distance, dropped marginally wide.
The puckout was the last play and a game for the ages had finished in Kilkenny’s favour.
KILKENNY: A Norris, M Teehan, G Walsh, T Fitzgerald, N Deely, C Phelan, S Fitzgerald, L Murphy, K Power, D Gaule, M Kenneally, J Malone, M Walsh, D Gaule, K Nolan
Subs: S Dwyer for Kenneally (47); A Prendergast for O’Connell (55)
CORK: A Lee, M Murphy, L Coppinger, M Cahalane, L Treacy, C O’Sullivan, L Hayes, H Looney, A Thompson, K Mackey, F Keating, S McCarthy, C Sigerson, S McCartan, A O’Connor
Subs: E Murphy for McCartan (51); C Healy for Murphy (54); O Cahalane for Sigerson (60+2)
SCORERS FOR KILKENNY: K Nolan 0-5(2fs); M Walsh, D Gaule (1f) 0-3 each; S Dwyer 1-0; T Fitzgerald, M Kenneally 0-1 each
SCORERS FOR CORK: F Keating 1-2; A O’Connor 0-5(fs); K Mackey 0-3; S McCarthy, H Looney 0-1 each
REFEREE: Ray Kelly (Kildare)
RTÉ has earlier this year reaffirmed its commitment to Camogie coverage launching a new multi-year deal. As a result, the 2022 Glen Dimplex All Ireland Senior, Intermediate and Junior finals will be live on RTÉ2 and RTÉ Player from Croke Park on Sunday 7th August 2022.
Tickets for all games will be sold online in advance.
Tickets are on sale from ticketmaster.ie. Ticket prices are: €30 for Adults, Family (2 adults/ 2 kids) €60, OAP €20, student €15, €5 for Children.
CORK (Senior v Kilkenny): A Lee (C), M Murphy, L Coppinger, M Cahalane, L Hayes, L Treacy, S McCarthy, H Looney, A Thompson, K Mackey, F Keating, C Sigerson, C Healy, S McCartan, A O’Connor
Subs: M Lynch, E Murphy, C O’Sullivan, O McAllen, K Wall, K O’Mahony, I O’Regan, O Cahalane, A Egan, M Ring, A Hurley, A Smith, E Flanagan, A O’Neill, H O’Leary
KILKENNY (Senior v Cork): A Norris, M Teehan, G Walsh, T Fitzgerald, N Deely, C Phelan, L Murphy, S Fitzgerald, K Power, D Gaule, M Kenneally, J Malone, M O’Connell, M Walsh, K Nolan
Subs: E Kavanagh, A Prendergast (C), M Bambrick, S Dwyer, C Phelan, A McHardy, S Crowley, L Fennelly, S O’Keeffe, A Curtis, R Breen, C O’Keeffe, L Norris, C Comerford, M Corcoran
This is the 15th meeting of Cork and Kilkenny in a Glen Dimplex All-Ireland senior final but the first since 2018, when Aoife Murray received the O’Duffy Cup on behalf of the Rebels.
It will come as no surprise to followers that the old rivals are deadlocked on seven triumphs apiece in the seasonal climax, so whoever has their head in front on the line this time around, will have just a few more bragging rights as well as the most important silverware.
Though Cork won their first two meetings, in 1970 and 1972 as the Rebels registered a four-in-a-row, it was all about the black and amber for a lengthy spell with six consecutive final defeats of the Leesiders, the sixth arriving as Kilkenny completed an overall seven-in-a-row in 1991. That team was captained by Angela Downey, who along with another former All-Ireland-winning skipper, Breda Holmes is a part of the current team’s backroom group, having being brought in by Angela’s twin, Ann – herself an All-Ireland-winning captain and manager.
Linda Mellerick’s last-gasp goal to snatch victory in 1995 heralded the Reds’ comeback against the Stripeywomen in deciders and they have inflicted more late torment with the injury-time winning points of Julia White and Orla Cotter in 2017 and 2018. Cork have won five of the last six final pairings now, 2016 being the odd one out when Michelle Quilty became the first Kilkenny skipper to get her hands on the O’Duffy memorial since her manager, the aforementioned Ann Downey.
This is the first time in more than a decade that Paudie Murray isn’t boss of Cork, one of his former lieutenants Matthew Twomey taking over and illustrious hurling manager Davy Fitzgerald taking over the coaching duties.
The blood and bandage reached the League final but fell short to Galway, who had also proven a tad too good in last year’s All-Ireland final. They cruised through the group stages until being stunned by Tipperary in the final tie, but that didn’t impact on their direct progression to the semi-final, where they survived a huge challenge from Waterford before prevailing by a flattering five points.
They will need to be a lot better than was the case for at least 40 minutes of that game if they are to beat Waterford, particularly in attack. Ashling Thompson had a major impact upon her introduction, while Libby Coppinger and Saoirse McCarthy also stood out and Amy O’Connor did the business from placed balls. Emma Murphy also made some big plays when brought on in the second half.
Kilkenny remain unbeaten all season in competitive games, only failing to reach the League final on score difference after Cork’s Chloe Sigerson pegged them back with a very late pointed free from distance to nab a draw in the group. They then claimed provincial honours and manager Brian Dowling has spoken about how seriously they took that competition this year.
They scored heavily through the group stages, before again, just losing out on score difference, this time for the direct semi-final route, thanks to Áine Keane’s stupendous equaliser for Galway in a game for the ages at Kenny Park. The rematch was set-up by a comfortable win over Dublin in the quarter-final and colossal workrate, allied with four big saves from Aoife Norris and Laura Murphy’s brilliant goal gave the Noresiders a four-point win.
Miriam Walsh has been operating at her very best levels as the attacking focal point, while Julianne Malone’s return after a three-year absence has added class and a regular scoring return to the forward division. Katie Nolan is perpetual motion, with or without the ball, while Claire Phelan’s reading of the play and the marking of Michelle Teehan and Grace Walsh have been vital to their side’s progression.
Both teams are missing influential figures from last year’s semi-final, when Cork edged the verdict. Orla Cronin, Pamela Mackey and Laura Collins are significant losses for Cork but Kilkenny have been harder hit, Davina Tobin, Collette Dormer, Meighan Farrell, Kellyann Doyle and Aoife Doyle all out of the loop through retirement, travelling and injury.
But Kilkenny have the likes of Tiffany Fitzgerald, Steffi Fitzgerald and Michaela Kenneally that have capitalised on the increased opportunities, while for Cork, Méabh Murphy, Clíona Healy are Katie O’Mahony among those to have established themselves as regular first-team starters while former Down star, Sorcha McCartan has been a wonderful addition.
Cork are in pursuit of a 29th title from what is a landmark 50th appearance in the Glen Dimplex All-Ireland senior camogie final. If Kilkenny were to prevail it would be a 15th success from 25. So even in terms of strike rate, there is nothing between the teams. Don’t expect a lot to separate them at the final whistle either.