Amy O’Connor’s hat-trick of goals less than two second-half minutes sealed Cork their 29th All-Ireland senior camogie title.
O’Connor registered 3-7 as Cork won out 5-13 to Waterford 0-9 in a mis-match of a final writes Daragh Ó Conchúir. Waterford were dealt a key early blow with the loss of their best marker. Vikki Falconer through injury after three minutes.
Falconer has been among the most effective defenders in the land and though Seán Power could call on the vastly experienced Iona Heffernan. Waterford needed the limpet-like Tramore player.
Waterford also needed to take most of their opportunities and it just didn’t happen, with the brilliant Beth Carton unfortunately astray with some frees. The Deisie had two outstanding goal chances. The first in the 20th minute, when the deficit was just four points.
Lorraine Bray ran onto Niamh Rockett’s ball across goal. With Amy Lee advancing however, the Waterford captain failed to get a touch.
Then with almost the first-half’s last action, Libby Coppinger dragged back Annie Fitzgerald for a penalty. Carton hit her shot powerfully and with an undercut, causing the sliotar to slide away from Lee but too far, the wrong side of the upright.
— The Camogie Association (@OfficialCamogie) August 6, 2023
It was 1-9 to 0-3 at the interval and a goal would have put a different complexion on matters. Cork had been very good however, in particular O’Connor, who had put her hand up for player of the match even before the second-half heroics.
O’Connor had four of her team’s first five points, including four from frees. Sorcha McCartan, who was adding a senior medal to the intermediate one garnered with her native Down in 2020, doubled to the net after Katrina Mackey timed her hand-pass perfectly.
Second-half goal fest
Waterford would have talked about working themselves back into the game during the break. Instead, they were playing for pride before they knew where they were.
Fiona Keating set up O’Connor for her first goal little more than two minutes after the restart. The St Vincent’s star was in oceans of pace to score her second and less than two minutes later, she was sliding another home, Katrina Mackey again drawing the last defender.
Keating provided Cork’s fifth goal. It had to be difficult but Waterford kept on even though their dreams had been dashed. Carton, scoring as good a point as you’ll see. Niamh Rockett also landed a fine score, as did this year’s minor skipper Laoise Forrest.
It was a first All-Ireland final in 78 years for Waterford and they will aim to return but the day was all about Cork. It was Cork’s first success since 2018 and no could doubt it.
Cork: A Lee, P Mackey, L Coppinger, M Cahalane, A Healy, I O’Regan, L Hayes, H Looney, C Sigerson, F Keating, S McCarthy, A O’Connor, K Mackey, S McCartan.
Subs: C Healy for Hayes (44), O Cronin for McCartan (47), A Thompson for McCarthy (51), O Cahalane for Sigerson (52), M Murphy for P Mackey (53)
Scorers: A O’Connor 3-7(0-5fs); S McCartan 1-1; F Keating 1-0; K Mackey 0-1; H Looney, C Sigerson (f), O Cahalane 0-1 each.
Waterford: B O’Regan, L Forrest, K Lynch, K Corbett Barry, V Falconer, O Hickey, C Carroll, A Flynn, L Bray, M O’Brien, M Power, B Carton, N Rockett, R Walsh, A Fitzgerald.
Subs: I Heffernan for Falconer inj (4), B Bowden for Power (ht), T Power for O’Brien (41), C Griffin for Carroll (42), S Fitzgerald for Lynch (54)
Scorers: B Carton 0-7(5fs); N Rockett, L Forrest 0-1 each.
Referee: John Dermody (Meath).