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Cotter key in Cork's defeat of Clare

Champions Cork had their grip on the Division 1 league crown loosened by a mighty Clare effort in Kilmallock.

However, with Orla Cotter putting in an inspirational shift, they showed just enough nous to progress to the final with a hard-fought victory of 0-14 to 0-11 after extra-time. They will be joined in the decider by Wexford, who chiselled out a 1-10 to 1-5 triumph over Kilkenny.

Ursula Jacob was in trademark accurate form and four consecutive points from Eimear O'Sullivan, Briege Corkery, Cotter and Sile Burns propelled Cork to a 0-8 to 0-4 half-time lead.

It will be a repeat of last year's final as Jacob's goal after 90 seconds was the significant moment in the other semi-final, where Wexford came out the right side of a 1-10 to 1-5 scoreline. The sharpshooter provided 1-7 of her side's tally and had 1-4 on the board as Wexford led by 1-5 to 0-0 after 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, Limerick will play Kildare in the Division 2 final, after victories over Kilkenny (4-12 to 0-12) and Waterford (0-12 to 0-8).

Kilkenny and Cork will meet in the All-Ireland minor 'A' final. The Kittens continue to give the impression they are moving in the right direction with a narrow 1-13 to 1-12 defeat of Galway in Nenagh.

A third-quarter purple patch was the key for the winners and Lydia Fitzpatrick's seven points edged her side ahead.

A gritty Cork outfit shaded a tough battle with Tipperary in Kilmallock by 1-10 to 0-10. Orla Cronin was the star of the show for the Rebelettes. The Enniskeane teenager scored seven points, with three of them coming from play.

Irish Independent