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Garda, WIT and NUIG through to Ashbourne Cup semis
By C¾ilÝn Duffy

Garda College, Waterford IT and NUI Galway advanced to the semi-finals of Camogie’s premier third level competition – the Ashbourne Cup on Wednesday after some keenly contested encounters.

The game of the day was in Westmanstown where Garda College edged out weekend hosts UUJ by 3-7 to 2-9 in a thrilling encounter.

This game hung on a knife edge throughout with UUJ holding a 0-6 to 0-4 interval lead, with Fionnuala Carr, daughter of Down Senior football manager Ross in fine form.

However Jordanstown could have been further in front at this stage, but for some fine saves by Garda goalkeeper Vanessa O’Donnell who kept her side in contention.

A quick goal from Noelle O’Rourke put Garda College in the driving seat on the restart, but they found it hard to break away from UUJ, and not more than four points separated the sides throughout the second half.

However goals from Margaret Kelly and top scorer Marie O’Connor kept Garda in front, despite the best efforts of Ailishe Wilkinson for UUJ, who finished with 2-1.

Wexford’s Ursula Jacob was in fine form for Waterford IT as they recorded a firm 2-11 to 1-8 win over UCC.

Despite the convincing nature of the full-time scoreline, Waterford could only manage to pull away in the second half with Tipperary’s Jill Horan taking a first half goal for the visitors, while Mary and Ann Dalton along with Aoife McLoughley helped to keep UCC in touch.

Jacob fired over 1-3 in the opening half and added a further four points on the restart with Michelle Quilty snatching WIT’s second goal which ensured the win.

Elsewhere Cork’s Deirdre Twomey scored 1-4 for NUI Galway as she helped to plot Cork IT’s exit from the competition, with a close 1-9 to 1-7 victory.

Cork IT were strongest in the opening half with Katie Aherne, Colleen Long and Michelle Browne working extremely hard, however NUIG edged the way to a semi-final spot in the second half.

The third level action moves to Galway this weekend where GMIT host the penultimate stages of the Purcell Cup.

Garda scorers: M O’Connor 1-4; N O’Rourke, M Kelly 1-0 each; E O’Herlihy, M Casey (1f), S Kehoe 0-1 each. UUJ scorers: A Wilkinson 2-1; F Carr (5f, 1 45) 0-6; M Convery 0-2.
NUIG Scorers: D Twomey 1-4; L Linnane 0-3 ( 1 free 2 45s); B Hanney, C Cormican 0-1 each. CIT Scorers:M Browne 0-4; C Long 0-2;K Ahearne 0-1

Waterford IT Scorers: U Jacob (5f) 1-7; M Quilty 1-1; C Dormer, S Keane, N Flanagan 0-1 each. UCC Scorers: A McLoughney 0-5 (4f); J Horan 1-0; A Dalton, M Dalton, O Cotter 0-1 each.

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