Kilkenny confirmed their place in the last four of the Irish Daily Star Camogie League Division 1 with a gutsy draw against Cork in CIT yesterday.
A hard-fought and hugely entertaining game finished on 0-10 apiece and though Cork will rue their failure to turn their last quarter superiority into scores, new manager Joe O’Brien is sure to have been pleased with the efforts of his transitional outfit.
Ann Downey will be delighted with her charges’ performance too as they dug deep to get the point they needed to reach the semi-finals.
Had Cork won, Group 2 would have had a three-way tie at the top of the table but the draw puts Kilkenny through along with Tipperary, who had a comfortable 4-10 to 0-8 win over Dublin in Rathcoole. Wexford and Galway progress from Group 1.
Kilkenny led by 0-7 to 0-6 at the interval with the excellent Marie O’Connor leading the way by scoring three points from play. Ann Dalton and Aoife Neary added scores from frees, while Cork’s response was led by two Gemma O’Connor frees and scores by SÝle Burns and Briege Corkery.
The second half was very tight and with defences very much on top, scores were hard to come by.
Katie Power, Dalton and Noelle Maher managed to escape the shackles to get on the scoresheet for the visitors but O’Connor doubled her tally with another couple of frees while Denise Cronin and Eimear O’Sullivan were also on the mark.
Cork did have a number of scoring opportunities late on, with the normally reliable O’Connor failing to convert from placed balls and so it was Kilkenny who advanced to the knockout stages.
Dublin put up an improved performance against Tipperary but the Premier outfit’s superior goal-scoring power gave them a 14-point success. Amy Kennedy struck for two of the visitors’ goals, while Jill Horan and Deirdre Dunne also found the net. With Claire Grogan slotting four frees, Tipperary were always in control.
The Dubs kept battling on though and Alison Maguire, Elaine Gallery, Fiona Hayes, Louise O’Hara and -ine Fanning rewarded their efforts with some good scores.