Compiled by Daragh Ó Conchúir
CORK withstood some nervy moments and a valiant effort by last year’s Premier Junior champions Laois to establish a Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Intermediate Final pairing with Kilkenny that will match the pairing of the subsequent Senior decider on September 11th.
The Leesiders always held the upper hand but an early goal by Sarah Ann Fitzgerald asked a question, that they looked to answer pretty well until Joan Dollard netted in the second half to put the game in the melting pot.
But ultimately, they had too much scoring power, with eight different contributors to their 19-point tally, including six multiple scorers, that ensured they could pull away once more and look forward to a clash with Kilkenny.
Laois got a perfect start when one of the legends of Laois camogie Fitzgerald goaled after four minutes.
Cork did not panic however, as Rachel O’Shea converted a couple of points and Linda Collins finished well from a tight angle to edge them ahead.
Sarah Fahy added a brace of her own while O’Shea and Caroline Sugrue also found the target to make it 0-9 to 1-3 at half time.
O’Shea converted a pair of frees early after the resumption but a limpet-like Laois would not be cowed, Niamh Dollard and Fitzgerald slotting points to stay within four at the three-quarter mark.
Collins and Jacinta Crowley made it a six-point game but that was two when Joan Dollard found the net 10 minutes from time.
The Laois contingent at MacDonagh Park were really making their voices heard now but Cork took the air out of their sails really well, with five consecutive points that has them dreaming of All-Ireland glory.
SCORERS FOR CORK: R O'Shea 0-6(fs); S Fahy 0-3; L Collins, C Sugrue, C Sigerson, J Crowley 0-2(fs) each; F Neville, L Lynch 0-1 each
SCORERS FOR LAOIS: SA Fitzgerald 1-4(0-2fs); J Dollard 1-0; N Dollard, L O'Mahony 0-1
CORK: A Lee, L Coppinger, L Weste, N O’Keeffe, J Crowley, S Buckley, S Harrington, C Sigerson, J Barry, K Hickey, S Fahy, F Neville, R O’Shea, L Collins, C Sugrue.
Subs: L Lynch for O’Shea (54), K McCarthy for Sugrue (58), N O’Callaghan for Collins (59)
LAOIS: L Dunne, M Burke, Aisling Burke, A Hyland, S Creagh, E Mahony, O Parkinson, S Burke, E Ryan, N Dollard, L Mahony, SA Fitzgerald, Aoife Burke, J Dollard, S Moylan
REFEREE: J McDonagh (Galway)