Kilkenny Edges Cork in Camogie Final

Cork suffered All-Ireland senior camogie final heartache for the second year in a row as a late Sophie O’Dwyer goal and a Denise Gaule point pushed the title beyond their grasp and into grateful Kilkenny hands with a 1-13 to 1-12 win at Croke Park on Sunday.

Denise Gaule wins the All-Ireland title for Kilkenny with a late free.

It was tight, dramatic, and the Cats win by the tightest of margins.

— The Sunday Game (@TheSundayGame) August 7, 2022

Beaten by Galway last year, Cork were undone by a Kilkenny side determined to lift the O’Dwyer Cup in front of the fans after Covid-19 denied them an audience when they last won it in 2020 against Galway.

“It was just unbelievable to win the match, it was nip and tuck,” Dowling told RTE Sport. 

“I was sure it was heading for a replay there. We needed a goal, we were trying to claw Cork back. We’d a great start but Cork kept plugging away like the great team that they are.

“Look, we found a way. This year, we’ve been doing that. The character of them girls, I’m so proud of them. They’re an unbelievable bunch of girls. It’s really special. We lost so many experienced players. But look at the character, Tiffany Fitzgerald, her first All-Ireland final and she goes up and scores the first point and she’s a corner-back.

“That’s the character these girls have. We had a meeting on Friday night. It was one of the best meetings I was ever involved in as a player or manager. It was just powerful. I told my wife when I came home that there was no way we were going to lose this match. Look, I probably thought differently with a couple of minutes to go. But fair play to Sophie O’Dwyer. That’s why we need subs coming in and she won the game for us.”

Asked about the presence of fans at this year’s final, Dowling added, “Our families weren’t here the last year. They were the people who were there when Kilkenny lost three in a row. We really wanted to do this for the Kilkenny supporters, our family, our friends and we’re so happy they get to share this with us today.

“We won it in 2020, we had to leave the O’Duffy Cup here. We didn’t get it home for about five months. But we’re going to bring it home tonight and by God, we’re going to celebrate this one!”

A poor start and finish to the game, they were six points down and didn’t score until the 20th minute, cost Cork dearly, and manager Twomey was at a loss to explain their lethargy even if they led by two points going into the final minutes before substitute O'Dwyer’s goal knocked the wind from their sails.

“In the 54th I looked up at the clock and we were two points up, and you are kind of saying, is this our day,” said Twomey whose side missed a late, late chance to force a replay. 

“Fair play to Kilkenny they are an awesome team when they get into a position like that. We just find it very disappointing.

“I can’t understand the start to go 20 minutes without scoring, there is no logical reason because we thought it was a freak thing against Waterford in the semifinal. The thing we can’t fathom ourselves is the start again. I don’t know, we didn’t do it all year and to do it in a semi-final and All-Ireland final is just unreal.”

After a second final defeat in a row, Twomey admitted, “It’s no consolation. We were told this last year and we’re here again. We don’t know what we have to do to get a flipping win. The players, they are just immense and I am so proud of them. I’m extremely proud to be their manager.”

Galway won the intermediate final, beating Cork by 0-13 to 0-11 while Antrim beat Armagh by 5-5 to 0-13 in the junior decider at Croke Park.

Tipp Shock Over Death

Tipperary players, management and fans alike are in mourning following the shock death of young county player Dillon Quirke after he collapsed during a club game with Clonoulty/Rossmore at Semple Stadium last Friday evening.

Quirke, just 24, took ill late in the first half of their game and was moved to Tipperary University Hospital by ambulance where he passed away. An All-Ireland winner at minor and under-21 levels, Quirke was a nephew of former Tipp player Declan Ryan.

Quirke made his senior Tipperary debut in 2020 against Limerick in the National League, with his Championship following later that year as a substitute in a qualifier against Cork. He soon established himself in the senior panel and started all four of Tipperary's Championship games this year.

“Tipperary GAA extends its heartfelt and sincere sympathies to Dan, Hazel, Shannon, Kellie and the extended Quirke family. Also, to the Clonoulty Rossmore GAA Club and his teammates on the sad and tragic passing of Clonoulty Rossmore and Tipperary hurler Dillon Quirke,” said a statement from the Tipperary County Board on Friday night.

“Dillon became ill during Friday evening’s county senior hurling championship game between Clonoulty Rossmore and Kilruane MacDonaghs in Semple Stadium and was taken to Tipperary University Hospital in Clonmel where he passed away. Tipperary GAA wish to thank all those who attended to Dillon in Semple Stadium and in Tipperary University Hospital this evening.

“As a mark of respect to Dillon, Tipperary GAA have called off all games due to take place in the county hurling championships this weekend.”

Irish President Michael D. Higgins paid tribute on social media and said, “As president of Ireland, I wish to express my deepest sympathies on the passing of Dillon Quirke. This is an inestimable loss not only to his family and friends but to his entire community to which he was making such a contribution. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.”

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said, “I am shocked and saddened by this news. My deepest sympathies to all his family, friends, his teammates, and all the community in Tipperary.”

GAA president Larry McCarthy said, “There is a huge sense of shock across the GAA community at the tragic loss of Dillon who had already achieved so much in his young life. He was a young man in his prime with so much potential and promise and on behalf of the GAA family I would like to extend my sympathies to Dillon’s parents, Dan and Hazel, and his sisters, Shannon and Kellie, at what is an unimaginably difficult time.”

— Tipperary GAA (@TipperaryGAA) August 7, 2022

Davy Exits Cork

Clare legend Davy Fitzgerald is back in the frame for a return to inter-county management after quitting his role as coach to the Cork senior camogie team in the wake of Sunday’s All-Ireland final defeat to Kilkenny.

The Irish Examiner broke the story in the aftermath of the game when the former Clare, Wexford and Waterford boss confirmed, “A hard one to take today. I couldn’t say enough about the girls, they were unreal. I enjoyed my time in Cork, it was deadly. I said I would give it one year, Matthew Twomey knew the story so I’ll just be moving on.

“We won Munster but we were right there in that game. Fair play to Kilkenny, they took advantage but that’s one we had a chance to win. It was some game. The girls were incredible right up to the end and all you can ask of any team is that they fight on their backs for you and them girls couldn’t have done anymore.

“I was in Cork over 80 times, we trained around 90 times. I have to say being a coach is different to being a manager and fair play to Matthew Twomey, he did an unbelievable job. It wasn’t easy all the time. He had one or two lads giving him a bit of jib when they shouldn’t have been giving him a bit of jib because he doesn’t deserve it, but he stuck to his guns. He’s a strong man and I wish him and the girls all the best. I will never forget the year.”

GAA Shorts

Derek Lyng has been handed the chance to prove there is life after Brian Cody for the Kilkenny senior hurlers, the six-time All-Ireland winner appointed as the Cats new manager on a three-year deal . . .

Darren Gleeson has agreed on a two-year extension as manager of the Antrim hurlers.

*This round-up first appeared in the August 10 edition of the weekly Irish Voice newspaper, sister publication to IrishCentral.

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