On Saturday, Wexford and Kilkenny safely secured their passage to the semi finals of the Liberty Insurance Senior Camogie Championship after convincing wins over Dublin and Tipperary respectively. Ursula Jacob was the star for Wexford in their 5-19 to 0-13 Group 1 win over Dublin in Parnell Park after she ended the game with 1-10, including six points from play. It was a game dominated by Wexford and as well as Jacob hitting the net through a long range free, Shelly Kehoe and Katie Kelly also scored first half goals as they moved into a 3-13 to 0-4 lead by half time.
Dublin certainly improved after the break but by then Wexford were already looking comfortable winners. Kelly netted her second goal midway through the second half before Stacey Kehoe completed the rout with the fifth goal five minutes from the end. Ali Twomey top scored for the disappointed Dubs from whom Mairi Moynihan also impressed.
Meanwhile, in Group 2, Kilkenny had little bother in seeing off the challenge of Derry in Clara in a 4-16 to 1-5 win. Michelle Quilty and Katie Power evenly shared the Kilkenny goals between them and left onlookers with a tough decision between which of the forwards had turned in the better performance. Quilty’s all round display perhaps giving her the nod over her team mate on this occasion. Kilkenny led 1-13 to 1-2 at half time, Derry’s goal coming from Aileen McCusker in a rare bright moment for the visitors.
There was never any doubt about the winners though and two points from substitute Shelly Farrell saw out the win for her team. Back in Group 1, Cork and Galway met in Pairc Ui Rinn in a match to decide the runners up in the group and in the end, it was Cork who finished with a very creditable 0-15 to 0-7 win.
Orla Cotter was the pick of the bunch with nine points, six from frees, while Katrina Mackey and Julia White both contributed three points from play. There was little to choose between the teams after a low scoring opening 30 minutes and the teams were tied at 0-5 each at the break.
However, after the teams traded frees in the early stage of the second half, Cork upped the tempo and pulled clear. Aisling Thompson and Gemma O’Connor really caught the eye alongside Cotter, as Cork rattled off nine points in a row to secure the win.
In Group 2, Clare clinched second spot thanks to a 0-19 to 0-9 win over Tipperary. Claire McMahon top scored with six points.
All that means, that Kilkenny and Wexford move into the semi finals while Clare will meet Galway and Cork play Offaly in the quarter finals on August 9.
On Sunday, it was decided that Carlow and Limerick will meet in the Liberty Insurance Premier Junior ‘A’ final. Carlow overturned a half time deficit to eventually beat Offaly 5-15 to 3-8 in Newbridge. Two Rebecca Hoctor goals inside the opening 11 minutes gave Offaly the ideal start.
Calrow though had a star on the day in the form of Ciara Quirke and she scored 1-4 as her team battled back to trail by just a point, 2-7 to 1-9, at half time.
Wing forward Marion Doyle was another to perform superbly in Carlow jersey and she scored the first point of the second hald and then set up Quirke for her second goal. The tide of the game had well truly swung in the favour of Carlow now and captain Eileen Murphy went on to hit a brace of second half goals. Ali Ruschitzko rounded off the stunning Carlow comeback with their fifth major. Alison Dooley grabbed Offaly’s third goal but they couldn’t handle Carlow’s second half onslaught and were well beaten in the end.
In the other semi final, Limerick edged out their Munster rivals Kerry by 1-10 to 1-5 after a close battle. Jessica Fitzell fired home a 17thminute goal for vistors Kerry but they were still behind, 0-6 to 1-2, at half time. Limerick’s captain Noreen Barry turned in a solid performance at full back but she was powerless as Kerry’s Sarah Murphy scored two points early in the second half.
However, Muireann Creamer scored a crucial goal for the home team in the 46th minute and they saw out the win from there. There were made to work hard by Kerry though and the close nature of the game was perhaps the cause of two late red cards. Donna Mulcahy in the 50th minute for Limerick and Julieanne O’Keefe for Kerry four minutes later were both shown straight cards, but Limerick sealed the win when Catriona Neville fired over the final point of the game.