Two goals in the space of a minute in the third quarter mean that Cork remain on target for a second consecutive Liberty Insurance All-Ireland senior camogie title after a stirring response to a dreadful start.
Despite being champions, the Leesiders were definitely the underdogs as a result of the huge turnover of players in the past 12 months and only emerging from their group in third position.
By contrast, Kilkenny had blitzed everyone in their way in securing direct qualification to the semi-final and looked likely like they might do the same to Cork as they thundered into a 1-6 to 0-2 lead mid-way through the first half.
Remarkably though, the Stripey Women only managed another four points while it was Cork that went goal crazy, registering four goals and eight points to set up a final date with Galway.
This will be a repeat of the League final, which the Tribeswomen won by three points.
Orla Cotter got the opening score for Cork but when Michelle Quilty struck for a Kilkenny goal in the third minute, it marked a period of domination that propelled the Noresiders to a commanding lead.
Katie Power and Denise Gaule shot a couple of points each as Kilkenny moved inexorably clear but Cork’s blend of youth and experience began to prosper, as Amy O’Connor slotted a pair of points before Cotter’s free found the net off the stick of Emma Kavanagh. Another Cotter point and Cork were in the lead at half time, 1-7 to 1-6.
Gaule and Miriam Walsh put Kilkenny back in front but Katrina Mackey levelled and then struck a massive blow when finding the net. When Cotter goaled from the next attack the Rebels were suddenly five points ahead.
When O’Connor shook the rigging five minutes later, Kilkenny’s goose was cooked and with Pamela Mackey in player-of-the-match form in the Cork defence, they never looked like bagging the goals they needed to get back into the game.
Scorers – Cork: O Cotter 2-3; A O’Connor 1-2; K Mackey 1-1; J White, B Corkery 0-2 each
Kilkenny: D Gaule 0-4; M Quilty 1-1; K Power 0-2; C Phelan, M Walsh, A Dalton 0-1 each
Cork: A Murray, P Mackey, L Treacy, L O’Sullivan, R Buckley, G O’Connor, M Cahalane, J White, A Thompson, O Cotter, O Cronin, H Looney, B Corkery, A O’Connor, K Mackey
Kilkenny: E Flanagan, S Quirke, E Keane, C Foley, C Phelan, C Dormer, D Tobin, A Gannon, A Dalton, D Gaule, M Walsh, A Connery, A Farrell, K Power, M Quilty. Sub: J Frisby for Foley
Referee: R Kelly (Kildare)