Friday 9 December 2016

Cats pounce on double in dream day at Croker

Kilkenny win camogie title for first time in 22 years

Published 12/09/2016 | 02:30

All-Ireland-winning Kilkenny camogie players Stacey Quirke (left) and Aoife O’Carroll celebrate after defeating reigning champions Cork at Croke Park yesterday. It’s the first time in 22 years the O’Duffy Cup has returned to Kilkenny. Photo: Sportsfile
All-Ireland-winning Kilkenny camogie players Stacey Quirke (left) and Aoife O’Carroll celebrate after defeating reigning champions Cork at Croke Park yesterday. It’s the first time in 22 years the O’Duffy Cup has returned to Kilkenny. Photo: Sportsfile

Michelle Quilty was just a toddler when Kilkenny last won the All-Ireland Senior camogie finals 22 years ago, and she wasted no time celebrating the county's double victory over Cork.

  • Go To

Beaming from ear to ear as she hoisted the O'Duffy Cup, the 25-year-old senior team captain and native of Mullinavat was ecstatic as she shook the trophy in victory following the Cats' second trouncing of the Rebelettes in a nail-biting afternoon at Croke Park.

Michelle Quilty lifts the O’Duffy Cup. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Michelle Quilty lifts the O’Duffy Cup. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Not only are the Cats the All-Ireland senior camogie champs after beating Cork by 1-13 to 1-9, the intermediate girls in black and amber also won their final - also against Cork - by 3-6 to 1-11.

As Taoiseach Enda Kenny and President Michael D Higgins looked proudly on, Ms Quilty said: "It's a privilege for me to accept the O'Duffy Cup after a 22-year absence."

"What can I say to this tremendous group of players? Your hard work has paid off," she said to thunderous cheers that reverberated throughout the stadium and beyond.

Read more: Brace of goals from Keeva Fennelly helps Kilkenny to intermediate camogie title

Kilkenny fan Leah Maher (14) at Croke Park. Picture: Arthur Carron
Kilkenny fan Leah Maher (14) at Croke Park. Picture: Arthur Carron

She also paid tribute to "legendary" team manager Ann Downey, who captained the senior side the last time the Cats lifted the trophy.

"It was a great game today," she said before offering their staunch opponents a boisterous triple cheer.

For Terri O'Flynn (33) from Tullaroan, Co Kilkenny, who brought her daughter Victoria and her friends to the match, it was a well-deserved win.

"They played really well. They deserved it. They've been unlucky the last couple of years but they have done really well today."

Julie Ann Malone of Kilkenny in action against Gemma O’Connor of Cork during the All-Ireland senior camogie final. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Julie Ann Malone of Kilkenny in action against Gemma O’Connor of Cork during the All-Ireland senior camogie final. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Jessie Maher (16) from Thomastown said it was a fantastic day for both the intermediate and senior teams.

"It's brilliant. It was really good for both teams to win. Cork put up a pretty good fight, but they weren't good enough," she said.

Kilkenny senior players celebrate after their win in Croke Park. Photo: Sportsfile
Kilkenny senior players celebrate after their win in Croke Park. Photo: Sportsfile

Irish Independent

Read More

Promoted articles

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport