Barcoe steals the show as Cats claim All-Ireland title
by PRO on the 8th of September 2021
Magnificent Kilkenny captured the Tesco All-Ireland Minor Camogie Final with a superb display at the LIT Gaelic Grounds, Limerick on Sunday evening. It was Kilkenny’s seventh title and the first since 2015.
This was the ultimate team performance, coming one week after Kilkenny had to battle through extra time and a testing encounter against Galway to reach last Sunday’s All-Ireland Final.
To defeat Cork, Kilkenny knew that a superior work ethic would be required and at the end of a pulsating sixty minutes the efforts from the Noresiders were decisive.
The skill level from both teams was exceptional. Kilkenny were again the masters with their blocking, hooking and deft touches dispossessing their opponents time after time.
Cork dominated the opening moments of the game scoring a brace of points through Orlaith Mullins and Aimee Morgan. With Aoife Healy dominating the centre of the Cork defence, Kilkenny had to work hard to get the ball into Sarah Barcoe at full-forward.
The Thomastown star was quickest to a delivery into the Kilkenny attack on five minutes and in a flash she split the posts with a smart strike. Cork replied with a Ciara Golden point, but two minutes later the hard-working Emma Shortall narrowed the margin to the minimum.
Get the ball into Sarah Barcoe was the Kilkenny tactic and on sixteen minutes she brilliantly controlled a delivery, turned sharply and shot a great goal. This saw Kilkenny lead for the first time and the team stayed in front for the remainder of the game.
That goal gave Kilkenny added momentum and they controlled the second quarter with a dominant defensive display. The Noresiders kept their opponents scoreless during that quarter and added another point from Sarah Barcoe following a neat Emma Shortall pass. A brace of Amy Clifford pointed frees close to half-time saw Kilkenny lead 1-5 to 0-4 at the interval.
A brace of substitutions for Cork at the interval saw Eimear O’Brien and Kate Redmond introduced and they gave Cork an edge in the third quarter. An early Cork attack almost brought a goal and not for the first time a superb Kilkenny defence with Niamh Phelan and Áine Kirwan outstanding kept Cork at bay.
In spite of all the Cork pressing, Kilkenny got the first score of the second half through Emma Manogue, but the next ten minutes saw four unanswered points from the Leesiders to bring the margin back to a point.
The momentum was now with Cork, but back came Sarah Barcoe with a point following yet another Emma Shortall pass to steady Kilkenny once again. Almost immediately Cork replied through Orlaith Mullins and heading into the fourth quarter the outcome was still very much in the balance.
The game was effectively decided during the opening six minutes of the fourth quarter with Kilkenny notching 1-4 without reply, with Asha McHardy, sub Claire Doheny who made a big impact when introduced, Amy Clifford (free) and Emma Shortall pointing during a dominant period from Kilkenny.
Kilkenny had one hand on the trophy on fifty-two minutes when Emma Shortall scored Kilkenny’s second goal following a brilliant pass from Sarah Barcoe. The deadly attacking duo scored 2-6 between them (all from play) and even with Cork deploying an extra defender they could not manage the two aces in Kilkenny’s attack.
Cork battled bravely to the finish, but they could find no way through a superb Kilkenny defence and goalie Ellie O’Neill who brought off a brilliant save on the call of full time.
This was a display to savour from Kilkenny with the skill level shown by the players giving the team a decisive edge over their opponents all over the field. It was the ultimate team performance with star performers in abundance on every line.
The scoring contributions of Sarah Barcoe and Emma Shortall were key with midfielder Emma Manogue and Asha McHardy, when she moved there in the second half, giving Kilkenny a dominant edge when it mattered in this sector.
Every team needs a solid defence and when Cork pressed forward in the second half in pursuit of a goal, all six Kilkenny defenders were magnificent.
Cork, the reigning champions tried hard, and very hard at times, but their efforts could not match the Kilkenny work ethic and superior skills in a highly entertaining final as the Cats won a first title since 2015
Ellie O’Neill; Laoise Nolan; Niamh Phelan (JC); Rachel Whelan; Áine Kirwan; Mairead Corcoran; Sontae Jackson; Emma Manogue (0-1); Anna Doheny; Gráinne Glynn; Asha McHardy (0-1); Emma Shortall (1-2); Sarah Barcoe (1-4); Sarah O’Donnell (JC); Amy Clifford (0-3, 2 Frees).
Subs – Claire Doheny (0-1); Rachel Brennan.
Ciara Hurley; Avril Cashman; Miriam Healy; Cliona Lynch; Emma O’Driscoll; Aoife Healy; Olivia McAllen (C); Meabh Murphy; Ciara Golden ((0-1); Aimee Morgan (0-2); Rose Murphy ((0-1); Orlaith Mullins (0-2); Leah Hallinan; Meadbh Ring; Orlaith Cahalane (0-2).
Subs – Eimear O’Brien ((0-3, 0-2 Frees & 0-1 ’65); Kate Redmond (0-1); Grace Ryan; Jenny Doyle; Lucy McNulty.
Referee – Ray Kelly (Kildare).
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