Cork star Briege Corkery has said that work rate throughout the year helped the Rebelettes to their record-equalling 26th All-Ireland title.

Speaking to RTÉ's Game On, Corkery said if she had been asked in January, she wouldn't have given the defending champions much chance of retaining their title.

Thirteen players left the Cork panel after last year's victory, and Corkery said at the start of the year she thought: "I'd go in, play and enjoy it and see what happens."

"The girls that stepped in, it just goes to show when you really want something and you put the head down to work, it all comes down to work rate at the end of the day."

 Speaking about the final itself, which Cork won by 1-13 to Galway's nine points, she said that the Cork "backs were outstanding."

However, despite this the game was nip and tuck for long periods.

"We should have been ahead by more, we weren't finishing them off and that was a big worry," continued Corkery.

"When they came out in the second half they got three unanswered points and it got a bit scary, but thankfully we upped the ante again and we drove on."

The corner-forward, whose late goal effectively sealed the win for Cork, had special praise for team-mate Gemma O'Connor.

"She was an absolute stalwart. She cleaned up everything – she knows where to be when the ball comes in, her positioning was unbelievable," said Corkery.

"I thought she was unbelievable and we're all delighted for her. She's put down some amount of years with Cork camogie and to still play at that high intensity is unreal."

Analysis: Cork claim 26th title

Corkery also mentioned how the panel, who surprisingly overcame Kilkenny to reach Sunday's decider, were motivated by being written off.

Corkery said: "No one gave us a chance against Kilkenny and... I definitely think that was what spurred us on.

"It goes to show, if you work hard enough, if you really want it, you can manage it.

"We all bought into the same system of hard work and making sure we don’t wait for it it happen, we make it happen ourselves."

Corkery will have a short window to enjoy the celebrations before herself and team-mate Rena Buckley both attempt to win their 16th All-Ireland title when Cork face Dublin in the football decider.