The tight affair anticipated between Cork and Galway in the opening All-Ireland semi-final materialized, despite what the final scoreline might imply.
Spectators saw a terrific contest, where a gutsy Cork side rode their luck at times in defence and ultimately came good down the home straight, winning 3-10 to 0-12.
On 57 minutes, with the Southerners a point ahead at 1-10 to 0-12, their tireless midfielder Jennifer O’Leary powered forward.
Eventually she offloaded to Katríona Mackey, who netted precisley from close range.
Even so, Galway found a gilt-edged goal chance two minutes later. However, Aislinn Connolly and Veronica Curtin contrived to baulk each other with the posts at their mercy.
Deep into added time, Síle Burns landed a third goal, which made the margin emphatic and deceptive.
It had all been so different. On nine minutes, following a brilliant point by Veronica Curtin, Galway looked confident leaders at 0-06 to 0-02. They were quicker to the ball, sharper to use it. But their failure to score after the 17th minute, plus a Briege Corkery goal on 22 minutes, earned Cork an unlikely half-time lead of 1-08 to 0-08.
The second half was neck-and-neck, with Galway improving all the while, but still profilgate in front of goal. Everything was in the balance as Jennifer O’Leary broke forward on that crucial run.
Galway are left to rue those missed chances and an unproductive second quarter.
An improving Cork outfit will not be one bit fearful to be in Croke Park on camogie’s biggest day.
CORK: Aoífe Murray, Jenny Duffy, Rena Buckley, Joanne O’Callaghan, Pamela Mackey, Gemma O’Connor 0-1, Eímear O’Sullivan, Jennifer O’Leary 0-4 (3f), Órla Cotter, Joanne Casey, Lynda Dorgan, Katríona Mackey 1-2, Síle Burns 1-1, Bríege Corkery 1-1, Katie Buckley 0-1.
Subs: Anna Geary for Katie Buckley (36m), Regina Curtin for Lynda Dorgan (46m), Finola Neville for Joanne Casey (60+m).
GALWAY: Susan Earner, Sandra Tannian, Sarah Dervan, Lorraine Ryan, Sinéad Cahalan, Therése Maher, Regina Glynn, Níamh Kilkenny 0-2, Ann-Marie Hayes (captain), Aislinn Connolly 0-2, Níamh McGrath 0-3 (2f), Brenda Hanney, Veronica Curtin 0-3, Martina Conroy 0-1, Órla Kilkenny 0-1.
Subs: Emer Haverty for Regina Glynn (44m), Noreen Coen for Órla Kilkenny (58m), Órlaith McGrath for Martina Conroy (58m).
Referee: Alan Lagrue (Kildare).