There were 22 years between their last and latest victories, but the Kilkenny senior camogie team took charge of the O'Duffy Cup with real style in Croke Park today.
The Cats stopped Cork's bid for an All-Ireland three in-a-row with a commanding 1-13 to 1-9 victory, and at the same time completed a League/Championship double for themselves.
“This success was the culmination of a lot of hard work by a lot of people, but it was a great way to take back the cup,” insisted team manager, Ann Downey.
It took Kilkenny a long time - there were six All-Ireland final defeats since that last victory in 1994 - to register what was a 13th All-Ireland win but they did so by out-running, out-working and out-playing vaunted opposition.
The winners took charge virtually from the start when Meighan Farrell pointed after being put in space by Shelly Farrell.
Although backed by the wind, Cork couldn't get hold of the game. They were hounded when in possession all over the field, and at the break they trailed by 0-6 to 0-8.
Five minutes before the rest Cork were awarded a penalty. Goalie Aoife Murray came up the field to take it, but her well drilled shot was turned over the bar by Ann Dalton on the 'line.
Kilkenny upped the pace after the turn, and with Denise Gaule brilliant on frees and Julie Ann Malone even better as a possession winner and maker of serious plays, the Leesiders were put under severe pressure.
The Cats struck for home in the 41st minute when a three girl move involving Malone and Katie Power ended with Shelly Farrell planting the ball in the net.
The gap jumped to 1-11 to 0-7. Later Cork were reduced to 14 players, but the game was gone on them after that goal.
Malone was named as the Player of the Game afterwards.
Kilkenny - Emma Kavanagh; Jacqui Frisby, Davina Tobin, Colette Dormer; Claire Phelan, Edwind Keane, Meighan Farrell; Anna Farrell, Ann Dalton; Denise Gaule, Julie Ann Malone, Katie Power; Michelle Quilty, Miriam Walsh, Shelly Farrell. Subs - Kelly Ann Doyle for A. Farrell; Aisling Dunphy for K. Power.
Cork - Aoife Murray; Pamela Mackey, Laura Treacy, Leanne O'Sullivan; Meabh Cahalane, Gemma O'Connor, Rena Buckley; Orla Cotter, Ashling Thompson; Hannah Looney, Orla Cronin, Eimear O'Sullivan; Amy O'Connor, Briege Corkery, Katriona Mackey. Subs - Libby Coppinger for L. O'Sullivan; Jennifer Hosford for O. Cronin.
Referee - Eamon Cassidy (Derry).
The Cats completed the senior/intermediate double when the latter team beat Cork by 3-6 to -11 to claim their second All-Ireland title.
Caption - Kilkenny manger Ann Downey.
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