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Champions Cork make big statement as camogie’s final six confirmed

Sat 29th Jun

Daragh Ó Conchúir


By Daragh Ó Conchúir
Glen Dimplex All-Ireland senior camogie champions Cork appear to be hitting form at the right time on the evidence of a stunning 2-16 to 1-7 victory over previously unbeaten Galway at SuperValu Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

The win means Ger Manley’s side earn top spot in Group 2 and advance to the semi-final at UPMC Nowlan Park on July 27 with a 100% record.

It was a similar story for League victors Tipperary, who finished Group 1 with five successes from five attempts by virtue of inflicting a first defeat of the campaign on Kilkenny in a far more competitive affair at The Ragg that finished 1-15 to 0-15.

With last year’s runners-up Waterford and Dublin securing the final qualifying positions thanks to easy wins against Derry (3-15 to 0-6) and Down (4-19 to 0-6) respectively, it means that next weekend’s quarter-final pairings are now known.

The games, taking place as double-headers with the All-Ireland hurling semi-finals at Croke Park, will involve the Dubs crossing swords with Kilkenny at 12.30pm on Saturday, while Galway and Waterford will clash in a mouth-watering contest at 1.30pm on Sunday.

Limerick survived a furious fightback by Antrim to retain their senior status by virtue of a 2-17 to 3-12 scoreline at Mick Neville Park in Rathkeale. As bottom team in Group 1, Antrim will be playing intermediate camogie next year along with Group 2 basement side, Down.

It was cagey enough in the first half on the banks of the Lee. A couple of points from rampaging half-back Laura Hayes gave the hosts the edge and a 23re minute goal from Katrina Mackey really sent the Rebels on their way.

Participating in her 16th senior championship, the Douglas dynamo showed foot skills worthy of the European Championships by clipping the sliotar with her left peg to the far corner of the Galway net, following a pass from Saoirse McCarthy that had failed to go to hand.

Points from Ashling Thompson and Orlaith Cahalane pushed Cork eight points clear but Carrie Dolan (pictured above being challenged by Thompson) managed to halve that by the interval to 1-9 to 1-5, grabbing a sensational solo goal. Dolan following a good show of strength to gather possession and see off the attentions of Méabh Murphy and rifle a rocket to the net from a tight angle.

Amy O’Connor, who registered 1-5, had the Galway net rippling 19 seconds after the restart, following good work by Aoife Healy, and Galway never recovered.

For much of the encounter between Tipp and Kilkenny, Denis Kelly’s charges seemed set fair for a resounding win and with Beth Carton’s 2-8 helping Waterford improve their score difference significantly at Walsh Park, the Cats were in danger of losing second seeding.

Glen Dimplex Player of the Match, Róisín Howard (Tipperary) puts pressure on Kilkenny’s Tiffanie Fitzgerald (INPHO/James Lawlor)

The home team shot the first six points, half of them coming from Eimear McGrath. Karin Blair goaled just before the interval and when Grace O’Brien slotted her third point of the half quickly after, it was 1-10 to 0-3 at half-time.

Kilkenny resumed with six of the next seven points however, Aoife Prendergast supplying four of them and the deadly Dicksboro sharpshooter concluded with nine points.

Tipp showed plenty of grit into the elements in the closing ten minutes and points from O’Brien, McGrath and Mary Bourke ensured they kept their noses in front.

In the day’s other game, a youthful Clare concluded on a high, grabbing their second win of the campaign by 1-15 to 1-11 against Wexford.

In the Glen Dimplex All-Ireland Premier Junior Championship, the quarter-final pairings involve Armagh v Roscommon, and Tyrone v Cavan, with both taking place next Saturday. Tipperary and Laois await the winners in the semi-finals.

Mayo and Wicklow will contest the Nancy Murray Cup final.

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