The current All Ireland champions are in the final once again after seeing off a game Tipperary side at Semple Stadium.
The Rebels were highly fancied to advance to the final against Kilkenny, but were made to work for it at times on Saturday evening.
Orla Cotter got Cork off to a good start with a brace of points, as Amy O’Connor looked threatening in adding to their early lead. Tipperary were yet to score from play, but they stayed in touch at 0-5 to 0-3 down.
Cait Devane was starring for Tipperary in the final third of the pitch, scoring four first half points as Tipp fought to hold off sustained attacks from Cork.
An attempt from Katrina Mackey almost dropped below the Tipp crossbar for the best goal chance of the half, but keeper Caoimhe Bourke was able to pull off the save.
Before the conclusion of the half, the Premier County had a pair of chances that could have led to a potential goal, but they took two scores to make it 0-9 to 0-6 at half time in favour of the champions.
The underdogs continued their good play after the restart, and had some chances to really make Cork sweat, but Orla Cotter’s sixth and seventh points of the game were among those scores unanswered by Tipp, who now trailed by seven points. They did get their first score of the half 40 minutes in, but they now needed a goal to get back into contention.
Scores, let alone goals, were hard to come by though, as Cork’s fitness and experience started to tell. The two Mackeys, Pamela and Katrina, were among those who bolstered their lead, with Cork now up by eleven points with the final ten minutes still to come.
There wasn’t much goalmouth action in the last act, but the introduction of Briege Corkery from the bench was a real highlight, with the 17 time All Ireland winner across both codes returning after having a child as recently as April. It was her first appearance since the 2016 All-Ireland final defeat to Kilkenny.
She may well play a larger role in the final.
— RTÉ GAA (@RTEgaa) August 18, 2018
The game finished 0-21 to 0-09, and Cork now look to retain the O’Duffy Cup against Kilkenny on September 9 at Croke Park.