Cork and Kilkenny must face off again after more than an hour of action failed to separate them in the Division 2B decider at the Clonmel Commercial GAA grounds, writes Daragh Ó Conchúir.
Cliona O’Leary displayed tremendous temperament and technique to slot an injury-time equaliser from a 70m free for the Leesiders to get a second bite of the cherry with it finishing 1-7 apiece, Trevor Coleman’s charges never having had their noses in front.
They got off to the worst possible start as Danielle Quigley pulled on a loose ball about 18m out for a goal with only a minute elapsed and Laura Greene extended Kilkenny’s advantage with a neat point. Playing into the wind, Cork settled into the fray with a couple of points from O’Leary but Seamus Kelly’s Noresiders moved five clear thanks to a Danielle Morrissey trio, a pair of which came from play.
Fiona Nelligan replied for Cork and the Rebels were right back in it thanks to a terrific goal from Cliona Dooley in the 28th minute, roofing an unstoppable shot after gathering possession from skipper Rachel Harty’s sideline. Kilkenny had the final say of the first half though, a Claire Doheny point making it 1-5 to 1-3 at the change of ends.
It was nip and tuck throughout the second half, with scores hard to come by. Nelligan and Emma Mulhall swapped scores but Cork had drawn level with Kilkenny by the 48th minute thanks to points from Homan and O’Leary.
Former senior player Morrissey split the posts for the fourth time to restore the Cats’ advantage but they could not extend it, and O’Leary’s nerve and striking held firm under the most intense of pressure to set up a mouth-watering replay.
A replay has been set for this coming Saturday with the time and venue expected to be 3pm again at Clonmel Commercials’ grounds in Co. Tipperary.
Listen back to KCLR’s coverage with Martin Quilty and Áine Farrell below.