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Bray bombs on as Waterford go top on score difference

Mon 11th Mar

Daragh Ó Conchúir

County, Latest

By Daragh Ó Conchúir
Waterford are in pole position to reach the Very Camogie League’s Division 1A final after their comfortable victory over Clare at Fraher Field on Saturday but only score difference separates the top four of a supremely competitive group.

Galway, Tipperary and Cork are also on six points with two wins from three outings, while Kilkenny, on three are still in the mix. Clare have still to get off the mark and must do so if they are to avoid relegation to Division 1B.

Lorraine Bray was named Very Player of the Match after her trademark all-action contribution that included three points from play in a 2-16 to 0-8 triumph for last year’s All-Ireland finalists, as the running game that suits the lithe dynamo’s athleticism clicked into gear in the second half.

While not happy with Waterford’s first-half efforts, when they went in leading by 1-4 to 0-4 after Mairéad O’Brien’s early goal, the Déise skipper was much more satisfied with what unfolded in the second period.

Niamh Rockett’s fortuitous goal helped open up a gap but Jerry Wallace’s squad had the upper hand over John Carmody’s young charges by then.

“We’re delighted coming out of here with the win,” said Bray. “The first half didn’t go our way but we were delighted we kicked it into gear in the second half and drove it on. We didn’t take the foot off the pedal either when we went the few points ahead; we drove it on and kept the scoreboard going.

“We’ve been working on that running game all along, coming through the middle. You could see the amount of scores on the board just from running off the ball.

“We’re delighted with the points we have on the board and we’re going to drive it on for the next game (away to Galway). It’s a really happy camp. Jerry and the lads want to have the craic along the way as well but when we have to get down to business, we got down to business. They’re a joy to work under.”

Cork went into this series on top of the table but two late goals from Eimear McGrath and Niamh Treacy gave Tipperary a second statement success in as many rounds and sees them placed third, with the Rebels falling to fourth as a result of the 2-10 to 1-10 final score at Páirc Uí Rinn.

Amy O’Connor scored 1-6 for the home team, who overcame a three-point interval deficit to lead entering the final minute of regulation period. But McGrath drilled a powerful shot to the net after good work from Róisín Howard and then Treacy stabbed another goal in injury time, after fellow sub Karen Kennedy’s shot had been saved.

Kennedy’s return from injury was a significant boost for manager Denis Kelly, who gave an update on the future of another multiple All-Star Cáit Devane, who got married later on Saturday.

“With five minutes to go it didn’t look likely we’d get the win but the girls stayed fighting and we made a few changes and thankfully we came up trumps,” Kelly declared. “We threw the kitchen sink at it and luckily it worked today.

“There’s great character in this team and it’s been building over the past few years. They really never say die. Some girls weren’t playing great but in the last five or ten minutes they put their shoulder to the wheel and brought us back into the game.

“They’re the kind of games you want. There’ll be some games are a little easier, but playing the All-Ireland champions are the kind of games you find out where you are and a lot of girls put their hands up today.

“(It was) great to have Karen in there. She’s busting for road for a while. She’s had a niggly groin injury and she got a half an hour today and she was a huge plus. We still have Aoife McGrath, Julianne Bourke (to return), Mary Ryan was sick today and Clodagh Quirke is on bridesmaid’s duty today (for Devane) and I’m sure she was watching on in her bridesmaid’s dress ready to go.

“We’re not sure about Cáit. She said she was getting married and building a house. She’s busy. She hasn’t retired but she’s just pulled back for the year but we hope she has a great day and we hope this was a small present for her on the day. She has been a stalwart for us and we wish herself and Denis the best.”

McGrath, who picked up the Very POTM award for the second round in a row after scoring 3-7 in the defeat of Galway a fortnight previously, felt that the strong finish was an illustration of the Premiers’ development.

“We’ve come down here on a few occasions and put ourselves in the position to win these kinds of matches and let it slip so to dig out the win the way we did was hugely satisfying.

“We let them get a run on us in the second half. There was a bit of a breeze but se stuck at it and just had to be patient. We knew if we stuck at what we were doing it would come eventually and thankfully it did.

“We’ve come out the wrong side of a few tight fixtures over the last couple of years, especially at the business end of the season. We’re just trying to improve every day we go out. Getting a strong finish was important. The last day against Galway we kind of faded out of the game so to keep the performance going to the end was very satisfying.”

Galway are still in the hunt for a three-in-a-row as a result of their 1-12 to 0-9 defeat of Kilkenny in Loughrea. The teams shared eight points in an uneventful first half but Cathal Murray’s side hit their opponents for 1-5 straight after the resumption, Aoife Donohue’s goal ensuring that there was no way back for the Cats.



Division 1A

Cork 1-10 Tipperary 2-10

Galway 1-12 Kilkenny 0-9

Waterford 2-16 Clare 0-8


Division 1B

Dublin 1-14 Limerick 0-9

Antrim 2-15 Kerry 0-11

Down 0-5 Wexford 2-11


Division 2A

Cavan 0-5 Offaly 3-22

Derry 1-12 Meath 0-7

Westmeath 2-9 Carlow 0-7


Division 2B

Cork 2-12 Clare 0-7

Galway 0-13 Wexford 0-8

Kilkenny 2-10 Tipperary 0-16


Division 3A

Armagh 0-11 Kildare 1-3

Roscommon 0-7 Laois 2-9

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