Caitriona Collins Second-Half Goal Sets Cork Up for Double Delight!!!
All fairy tales must come to an end, and this afternoon in Croke Park, the camogs of Down, unfortunately, had to close the book on a wonderful 2018 campaign, with defeat in the Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Intermediate Camogie Final, at the hands of Cork.
In a tight opening half, it was the Mourne Women who started brightest. Points from Sara-Louise Carr and Saoirse Sands inside five minutes settled Tina Rooney’s charges and despite a riposte from Saoirse McCarthy, Down dominated the first quarter of the game, with Niamh Mallon (2) and Paula Gribben tagging on great scores from play.
Eventually, Cork would gain a foot hold in the game, and in Caitriona Collins, suddenly found a scoring outlet. The Ballinhassig corner-forward scored three points in two minutes to haul the Rebels level at five points apiece.
They would soon hit the front, when Caroline Sugrue finished off a lovely team score and went into the break with a two point advantage when McCarthy took her personal tally to three points.
Down would draw first blood in the second half, as a Niamh Mallon free reduced arrears to the minimum, before a magnificent Saoirse Sands score off her left side brought the sides level.
Collins would edge Cork back in front with two well struck frees before Caroline Sugrue put three points between the sides when she broke clear of the Down defence to tap over an easy score.
The killer blow came ten minutes into the second half. Fionnuala Neville sliced through the Mourne rearguard before handing off to Collins to bury the sliotár past Maria McNally in the Down goal.
To their credit, Down responded immediately. The impressive Niamh Mallon scoring a magnificent raking point from long range.
But, in a mirror image of the first half, Down seemed to lose their early momentum as Cork reasserted their control on proceedings as the half wore on.
Collins added a further point from play to put six points between the size, before Down’s talismanic Sara-Louise Carr was sent off for a second bookable offence.
Saoirse McCarthy and Fionnuala Carr traded scores with ten minutes of play remaining, before Cork sub Cliona Healy landed a beautiful free not long after being introduced by double-seeking manager Paudie Murray.
And that’s the way things would end, with a Cork side showing their superior class and experience in the end, running out victors on a scoreline of 1-13 to 0-09