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Gala All Ireland Camogie Championship

Daragh O Conchuir


Cork‘s camogie team repeated the feat of the county’s hurlers a fortnight ago by emerging from Semple Stadium with victory over old rivals Tipperary.


The champions held off a brave second half rally from the Premier to secure a 1-16 to 0-15 win in the first round of the Gala All-Ireland senior championship.


Gemma O’Connor and Orla Cotter were amongst the stars for the champions who raced into a 0-9 to 0-4 interval lead. Maria Walsh’s goal three minutes after the resumption stretched their advantage to seven points.


Tipp rallied well after this setback though. Mary Ryan was defiant in defence and with Claire Grogan unerring from placed balls – she slotted five frees and a 45 in total to go with a good score from play – they dragged themselves back in contention.


Crucially though, O’Connor kept sniping the odd point to give her side breathing space, and she finished with a tally of five minors, four of which came from play.


The hosts gave everything they had in the dying minutes and Noreen Flanagan had a great opportunity of a goal but was fouled outside the square by Aoife Murray.


The Cork goalie received a yellow card for her troubles but she can hardly have been too concerned, as the attack yielded only a point rather than the goal that Tipp so desperately needed and it was the Leesiders who deservedly took the honours.


Last year’s runners-up Kilkenny, got their attempt to go one better off to a good start when they prevailed by 1-14 to 1-11 over Galway, who have their own designs on championship glory.


Ann Downey’s side led by 0-9 to 0-5 at half time, Michelle Quilty converting four frees and Denise Gaule hitting three of her four points from play but Galway upped the tempo after the resumption, scoring 1-4 without reply to put themselves in a strong position with 19 minutes remaining.


Team captain, Aislinn Connolly, who top-scored for the Tribeswomen with seven points (six frees, 1 45), helped draw the sides level with a couple of good scores before Brenda Hanney struck for the goal but Kilkenny showed commendable character to fight back.


Ann Dalton slotted two points in response and Quilty set up Aoife Neary for a 48th minute goal to restore Kilkenny’s advantage.


Galway pushed hard in the final minutes in search of an equalising goal but a tremendous block by Catherine Doherty denied Connolly


In the third game, Clare came away from St Peregrine’s with a 2-10 to 0-9 win over Dublin.

The home side tried hard and had one of the game’s most outstanding performers in midfielder Louise O’Hara, who shot four points from play and a couple more from frees.


Clare always had the superior attacking threat though and driven forward by centre-back Kate Lynch, they struck for their first goal in the 21st minute, Claire McMahon finishing well to help her side lead at the break by 1-6 to 0-4.


When the ever-threatening Norah Murphy slammed the sliotar to the Dublin net 12 minutes from time after a quick turn, there was no doubting the final verdict.

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