Cork lead the roll of honour for the All-Ireland U16A camogie championship with 13 victories, despite not claiming the honours since 2003. Having waited a decade to experience success at that level, it was no surprise that yesterday’s maiden win in the B championship was greeted with such joy on the home turf of Mallow writes Daragh Ó Conchúir.
It was very hard luck on Waterford, who actually claimed their only B crown the same year that Cork scooped their last A title, but were falling to a third narrow defeat in the intervening period.
They went behind early on though and despite their best endeavours, just could not reel the Leesiders in, finishing on the wrong side of a 4-8 to 2-10 scoreline.
Two goals in the opening quarter gave the Rebels a good foundation but Waterford grew into the game as the half ticked on. Indeed, the Déise must have been very pleased to go in at the break trailing by just the minimum (2-3 to 1-5), particularly with the wind at their backs in the latter period.
Cork managed to keep their noses in front though and their ability to find the net ensured that they remained four points to the good at the final whistle.
Keeva McCarthy gave a virtuoso performance for the champions scoring an incredible 2-4 from play to prove the match-winner. The St Finbarr’s clubwoman was well supported by Rachel Harty, who bagged the other two goals.
Beth Carton led the resistance for Waterford and finished with a goal and three points, with two of those points coming from frees. Megan Dunford also raised a green flag but Cork continued to do just enough to hold off the Siursiders.
Meanwhile, Cork senior star Jenny O’Leary has announced her retirement from the inter-county game. The Barryroe woman, who won three senior All-Irelands and six All-Stars during an illustrious career, is moving to Middletown, Co Armagh to live with her fiancé ahead of their wedding next year. O’Leary has taken up a new teaching post at St Louis Secondary School in Carrickmacross.
“I made the decision before the year began that this would be my last year with Cork, no matter what the result would be” said O’Leary in the Southern Star.
“It’s a long journey – four hours – if I were to commute. I am turning 30 in October so it’s time to hang up the old boots and start playing for fun; not to take it so seriously anymore.”