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The last time Cork and Kilkenny met in an All Ireland final was in 1995. Denise Cronin captained the Rebels to a 4-8 to 2-10 victory. The Kilkenny side included Ann Downey – both players are now managers of their respective teams.


Kilkenny have not qualified for the All Ireland final since 2001 – that year they shipped a heavy defeat to Tipperary, 4-13 to 1-6. Emily Hayden was the Tipp skipper.


1994 was the year Kilkenny won their last All Ireland – none other than Ann Downey was their captain that year.


Five of the Kilkenny 15 that started against Galway on Saturday are under the age of 20.


Cork, remarkably, are appearing in their eight consecutive All Ireland final.


1985 -1991 Kilkenny dominated the All Ireland series claiming seven-in-a-row. Are we about to see a repeat?


Ann and Angela Downey have 12 senior All Ireland medals each.


Two of Cork‘s players – Mary O’Connor and Jenny Duffy are Camogie Development Officers.


Rachel Moloney is Cork‘s top scorer with 0-20. Emer O’Farrell is next with 5-1.


Aoife Neary is Kilkenny’s main scorer with 0-19.


Cork remain unbeaten in this season’s Gala All Ireland championship.


Marie O’Connor who came on as a sub and scored Kilkenny’s crucial goal is a niece of Bridie McGarry who starred with the Cats during the 70s/80s.


Cork and Kilkenny have emerged from the same group to qualify for their date with destiny on September 13.


Offaly and Waterford (for the first time) will join Cork and Kilkenny in Croke Park next month. They contest the junior final. This year marks the 75th anniversary of the first All Ireland final played in Croke Park.


Let’s have a more in-depth look at how Kilkenny threw the form book out of the window on home ground on Saturday to knock hot-favourites Galway out of the Gala All Ireland senior championship.


Entering the fourth minute of injury time and her side trailing by two points Kilkenny looked to be saying goodbye to their championship hopes. Most punters said it would take another year for this young side to leave their mark. The Cats had other ideas.


Outstanding wing back Elaine Aylward parted to substitute Marie O’Connor who blasted an unstoppable shot to the right corner of the net to give her team the lead for the first time. The big crowd were awe-struck when a minute later Katie Power sealed the deal with her point to give the Black and Amber a sensational victory, 1-13 to 1-11.


Key to this win was Kilkenny’s unyielding spirit. Even though they never led last year’s beaten All Ireland finalists until added time they were able to claw back a five-point difference. Galway were in front 0-9 to 0-7 at the interval, Therese Maher and Aislinn Connolly amassing six points between them. And the favourites were looking good.


However, after the changeover Galway‘s back line came under pressure as the Cats were making of the most of the wind. They looked to be weathering the storm though with captain Sinead Cahalan, Ailbhe Kelly and Regina Glynn turning over a lot of ball. And when full forward Orla Kilkenny opened up a five point lead following her goal on 38 minutes it appeared Galway was on its way.


Unbelievably, the Maroon and White only scored one more point as Kilkenny tightened up. Jacqui Frisby was powerful at corner back while Collette Dormer and skipper Ann Dalton worked tirelessly at midfield. Points from All Ireland minor medallist Denise Gaule, and Aoife Neary cut the margin to two. And when Neary picked out O’Connor with the clock ticking down, her point reduced the deficit to one.


Brenda Hanney increased Galway‘s lead and it seemed like normal business was resuming. But the Tannoy announced four minutes of injury time – the respite brought a welcome sigh from the home following. Then came the drama with O’Connor firing past Susan Earner who moments earlier had picked up an injury but bravely stayed on, and then amidst tremendous excitement Power stretched the gap with her fine point.


The second semi-final was always going to be a hard act to follow with what had preceded it. Yet, we started out with the National League champions taking the game to Cork. The All Ireland champions were forced to overturn a half-time shortfall of 1-5 to 0-6 to go on and triumph over Wexford, 2-13 to 1-10.


The Slaneysiders were full value for their interval advantage holding the upper hand in vital sectors. Leaving Cert student Kartrina Parrock was impressive in the half forward line and it was her shot which was initially saved by Aoife Murray that was eventually finished over the line by Ursula Jacob on 19 minutes.


However, and probably after a stern telling off from manager Denise Cronin, Cork emerged a different team for the second 30 minutes. Playing into the wind, they had to survive a tough opening five minutes before finding top gear themselves. Wexford moved 1-8 to 0-7 ahead, but Cork were able to up the gears.


The lion-hearted Briege Corkery roared into action. Her surge forward on 40 minutes which yielded Cork‘s first goal levelled matters, 1-8 apiece. Three minutes later following good work by Rachel Moloney and sub Julia White, Emer O’Farrell whipped home their second goal.


From there to the end the Rebels outscored Wexford four points to two and in the final quarter there was really only the one team in contention. So, now it is Cork and Kilkenny – some clash to look forward to!




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