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After three years of heartbreak, Cork crowned All-Ireland intermediate champions

The Rebelettes had seven points to spare over Down.

Cork 1-13

Down 0-9

Kevin O’Brien reports from Croke Park

CORK SUFFERED DEFEAT in six All-Irelands intermediate camogie finals since 2006, including the last three years in-a-row, but they put that losing run to bed by collecting their fourth title at the grade this afternoon.

Caroline Sugrue and Clare McGilligan Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

The Rebelettes were beaten in the last three finals to Meath (twice) and Kilkenny, while they also lost three deciders in succession between 2007-09 – two of them after a replay.

But 1-6 from Catriona Collins and 0-4 from Saoirse McCarthy helped the Rebellettes past a plucky Down outfit in Croke Park. Collins’s goal in the 40th minute helped Cork into a six-point lead and from there they never looked back.

Courcey Rovers star McCarthy clipped over four outstanding scores and was deservedly named player of the match afterwards.

Down were seeking to win the trophy for the first time in 20 years and despite a good showing, they lacked the clinical edge up front to hurt Cork.

It was an impressive attacking performance from Cork, who posted 1-9 from open play, while defensively they finished the campaign without conceding a single goal.

For manager Paudie Murray there was little time to celebrate as his focused turned to the senior decider against Kilkenny.

Sara-Lousie Carr and Saoirse McCarthy Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

Down showed no early signs of nerves from the throw-in and scored from their first five shots at the target to take an early 0-5 to 0-2 lead.

Cork dominated the second quarter and scored five unanswered before the break, with corner-forwards Caroline Sugrue and Caitriona Collins edging their battles inside.

Saoirse McCarthy was Cork’s most impressive player in the first period and had three scores of the highest quality on the board by the interval.

Down were back on level terms five minutes into the second-half after efforts from Niamh Mallon and Saoirse Sands. Cork responded in devastating fashion, posting 1-3 to move five ahead by the 42nd minute. 

The goal arrived after a devastating run by Finola Neville that saw her handpass to Collins on the edge of the area. Collins spun away and rifled it into the net past the helpless Maria McNally. 

Sarah Harrington and Niamh Mallon Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

Sara-Louise Carr, daughter of two-time All-Ireland football winner Ross Carr, was one of Down’s best attacking threats but she was dismissed on a second yellow card in the 49th minute.

Carr was on a yellow from the first half when she was pulled for a charging – a call that looked harsh – and referee John Dermody produced a second yellow card before sending her off.

Sara-Louise’s sister Fionnuala fired over a free for Down, but late scores from Saoirse McCarthy and substitute Cliona Healy helped Cork to victory.

Scorers for Cork: Catriona Collins 1-6 (0-4f), Saoirse McCarthy 0-4, Caroline Sugrue 0-2, Cliona Healy 0-1 (0-1f).

Scorers for Down: Niamh Mallon 0-3 (0-1f), Saoirse Sands 0-2, Fionnuala Carr (0-1f), Paula Gribben, Sara-Louise Carr and Aimee McAleenan 0-1 each.

Cork 

1. Amy Lee (Na Piarsaigh)

4. Niamh Ni Chaoimh (Killeagh)
3. Sarah Harrington (Fr O’Neills)
6. Jennifer Barry (Bride Rovers)

7. Lauren Callanan (Glen Rovers)
2. Leah Weste (Ballincollig)
8. Sarah Buckley (Ballincollig)

9. Katelyn Hickey (Blackrock)
5. Siobhan Hutchinson (Eire Og)

10. Laura Hayes (St Catherines)
11. Finola Neville (St Catherines)
12. Saoirse McCarthy (Courcey Rovers)

13. Caroline Sugrue (Ballinascarthy )
14. Maeve McCarthy (Sarsfields)
15. Caitriona Collins (Ballinhassig)

Subs

19. Cliona Healy (Aghabullogue) for Maeve McCarthy (39)
17. Rachel O’Callaghan (St Catherines) for Sugrue (60)
20. Roisin Killeen (Ballyhea) for Callanan (62)

Down 

1. Marie McNally (Portaferry)

4. Nicole Kelly (An Riocht)
3. Allannah Savage (Ballygalget)
2. Clare McGilligan (Clonduff)

5. Blainaid Savage (Ballygalget)
7. Dearbhla (Liatroim Fontenoys)
8. Catherine Rocks (Bredagh)

9. Paula Cribben (Clonduff)
10. Deirbhile Savage (Ballygalget) 

12. Sara-Louise Carr (Clonduff)
14. Niamh Mallon (Portaferry) 
11. Aimee McAlleenan (Liatroim Fontenoys)

13. Saoirse Sands (Portaferry)
6. Fionnuala Carr (Clonduff)
16. Orlagh Caldwell (Mayobridge)

Subs

15. Orla Gribben (Clonduff) for Magee (blood sub, 14 – 28)
15. Cribben for Caldwell (29)
20. Clara Cowan (Clonduff) for McGilligan (52)

Referee: John Dermody (Westmeath)

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About the author:

Kevin O'Brien

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