Cork edge Galway by slimmest of margins

Galway’s Emily Lawless  does her best to dispossess Cork’s Emma Honohan camogie's U16A decider at  UPMC Nowlan Park, Kilkenny.    Photo: ©INPHO/Ken Sutton

Galway’s Emily Lawless does her best to dispossess Cork’s Emma Honohan camogie's U16A decider at UPMC Nowlan Park, Kilkenny. Photo: ©INPHO/Ken Sutton

The Galway U16 team’s dream of winning the All-Ireland U16A Championship final was dashed on Saturday when they lost to Cork by 0-11 to 1-7 in UPMC Nowlan Park in Kilkenny.

Having led for a large period of the game, Galway can be proud of their performance. And having bounced back from defeat in the group stages to Cork by 14 points, they came so close to causing an upset in the decider.

Cork started the brightest with a point from star forward Rachel Murphy in the opening minute before Emily Lawless replied two minutes later. Laura Walsh added her name to the score sheet in the eighth minute before three Cara O’Brien points - two frees and a 45m free between the 9th and 20th minutes - put Galway two points clear as they entered the final ten minutes of the half.

Galway’s scoring spree continued when Katie Lawless struck her first point before Murphy and O’Brien exchanged scores. When Catherine Murphy had the final say of the half for Cork, Galway were two in front, 0-6 to 0-4.

Galway needed a big second-half performance, not helped by playing into a stiff breeze. Scores were hard to come by in the opening few minutes but on the 40th Emily Lawless broke through the Cork defence before being taken down in the Cork square. Katie Lawless stepped up to take the resulting penalty, striking the ball into the back of the Cork net.

This goal, however, sparked a fire in Cork as they took hold of the game in the final quarter, scoring seven points without reply.

Five points, three frees from player of the match Murphy, a point from Walsh and a point from substitute Clara Murphy between the 45th and 58th minutes left Cork two points clear heading into the final few minutes.

Galway's Katie Lawless was able to claw back a free to leave the minimum between the sides, and although Galway put huge pressure on Cork in added time, the Cork backs held firm to deny Galway the equalising score.

The Rebels have become a real powerhouse in the underage scene as they are now pursuing a fourth successive triumph at this grade. Last year’s success was a 16th, putting them one clear of Galway at the head of the roll of honour. The county’s run started with defeat of the Maroons in 2019 - the 2020 competition having been lost to Covid - and that in turn prevented Galway completing a record-breaking five-in-a-row.

GALWAY: L Horan, C Fahy, A Morgan, M Ní Lionsaigh, E Dillon, R Kilkenny, R Gardiner, L Behan, K O’Driscoll, M Rodgers, K Lawless (1-2, 1-0Pen, 0-1F ), C O’Brien (0-4, 0-2F, 0-1 45m ), E Lawless (0-1 ), M B Cosgrove, E Barrett. Substitutes: E Ryan for Ní Lionsaigh (h-t ), K Flaherty for O’Brien (51 ), C Burke for Barrett (55 ), A Morrissey for Rodgers (60 ).

CORK: E Honohan, S Cunningham, A Cagney, C Ryan, M Lombard, A Cussen, L O’Shea, A McAuliffe, A Cottrell, R Murphy (0-7, 0-2F, 0-1 45m ), K O’Sullivan, Catherine Murphy (0-1 ), M O’Brien, A Mulkerrins, L Walsh (0-2 ). Substitutes: Clara Murphy (0-1 ) for O’Sullivan (h-t ), T Goulding for Catherine Murphy (39 ), J Murphy for O’Brien (50 ).


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