Galway kept their dreams alive of winning this year's double when they produced a performance of steel to return to the Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship Final for the first time in four years.
With National League honours under their belt this season, they will be both keen and confident for a first championship success since 2013. In doing so they put an end to Cork’s reign and their three-in-a-row dreams.
Their final opponents are Kilkenny, who powered past Tipperary, and their pedigree is unquestionable as they advance to a sixth final appearance in seven season.
However, Galway will take a lot from their one-point win over the reigning champions, and no one is more pleased than manager Cathal Murray.
"A super performance from the girls,” Murray said. “After beating Waterford, we didn’t think we got enough credit for that performance. We were outstanding in the second half.
“We talked the last two weeks about bringing that momentum forward into this match. The girls were super. We were in a good position at half-time. The breeze was strong, but we were happy to go in a point up.
“The second half was all about work rate, huge intensity, huge physicality in the tackle. and we were just brilliant, thank God.
“Cork are a super, super team. They were going for three in a row, they were going for five out of six All-Irelands. They were champions for a reason and I think in the second half they battled and showed why they were champions.
“It’s brilliant to beat Cork but our feet are very firmly on the ground now. We’ve nothing won. Kilkenny are the form team of the championship. They beat us in ’16 in the semi-final, they beat us in ’17 in the group, they beat us twice last year, they beat us again in Athenry this year.
“They’re a super team and we’re up against in the final, but we’re delighted to be there and looking forward to it now.”
Cork manager Paudie Murray believed Galway wanted it more.
"They were probably more physical than us, sharper than us,” he said. “They are a very good team. I’ve been saying that all along. I’ve great time for Galway GAA in general: hurling, football, ladies football, camogie. They’ve always had good teams and every now and then they come with a very good one. I just thought that they showed more desire than us.”
It was always going to be a tight game, but it was Galway who led by 0-10 to 1-6 at half-time despite having fallen two points behind early on. However they responded well to Julia White’s 18th minute goal, outscoring Cork by six points to one to take a lead they would never relinquish.
The intensity lifted again in the second half. Hanniffy hit an inspirational point on the hour despite shipping a heavy tackle by Laura Treacy and though O’Connor made it a one-point game again with two minutes of injury time still remaining, Galway held firm.
GALWAY SCORERS: C Dolan 0-5(3fs ); N Kilkenny 0-3; A Donohue, C Cormican 0-2 each; N Hanniffy, A O’Reilly 0-1 each
CORK SCORERS: A O’Connor 0-4; O Cotter 0-3(fs ); J White 1-0; O Cronin, K Mackey, L Collins 0-1 each
CORK: A Murray, L Treacy, P Mackey, L Hayes, H Looney, G O’Connor, C Sigerson, L Coppinger, B Corkery, K Mackey, O Cronin, O Cotter, J White, L Collins, A O’Connor Subs for Cork: N McCarthy for White (53 ), K Hickey for Corkery (54 ), L Homan for K Mackey (56 )
GALWAY: Sarah Healy, Shauna Healy, S Dervan, T Kenny, L Ryan, E Helebert, H Cooney, A Donohue, N Kilkenny, A O’Reilly, S Spellman, C Dolan, N Hanniffy, N Coen Subs for Galway: C Finnerty for Coen (48 ), R Hennelly for Spellman (60+3 )
REFEREE: Liz Dempsey (Kilkenny ).