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Magnificent McGrath gets Tipp off the mark against champions Galway

Sat 24th Feb

Daragh Ó Conchúir

County, Latest

Compiled by Daragh Ó Conchúir
Galway’s bid for a third consecutive Very National League camogie Division 1A title has been dealt a blow after an Eimear McGrath inspired Tipperary recorded a 3-10 to 1-13 victory over the Tribeswomen in a rip-roaring Round 2 encounter at The Ragg.

McGrath contributed a whopping 3-7 of the winning side’s tally and Denis Kelly’s charges were worthy victors.

Carrie Dolan shot eight points for Galway but every time the Maroons looked like getting themselves back into the game, they conceded a goal to leave themselves with a mountain to climb.

Of course Tipp, who lost their opening tie to Waterford last week and are minus the services of multiple All-Star and more-than-a-decade-long leading scorer Cáit Devane, have given themselves a chance of making the final as a result of this tremendous effort.

Niamh Niland lofted a monumental equaliser for Galway in the 12th minute after a lively start by both teams, but McGrath had her first goal on the board 27 seconds later.

Eimear Heffernan gathered possession from Nicole Walsh’s puckout and offloaded to Tess Ryan, who rampaged through the middle before finding McGrath, whose low shot beat Fiona Ryan.

Dolan kept Galway ticking over as she finished the first half with six points but McGrath raised a second green flag on her way to registering 2-4 in the first half alone, benefiting from the massive work rate of her forward colleagues to crash beyond Ryan and make it 2-6 to 0-8 at the change of ends.

McGrath claimed her hat-track in the 42nd minute with a delightful finish after a fantastic move started by Clodagh McIntyre and with eight points between the teams Galway were up against it.

Cathal Murray’s outfit gave it a good go but Siobhán Gardiner’s injury time goal came too late.

The rematch of last August’s All-Ireland ended with Cork victorious over Waterford once more and now the only team with full points in the division45rt but it was a far more competitive affair this time around at a windy SETU Arena, finishing 1-6 to 0-6.

An Orlaith Cahalane goal pushed the visitors into a five-point lead after ten minutes but three converted frees by Beth Carton brought the Déise, with Rebel native Jerry Wallace in charge, to within that green flag of the Rebels at half-time, trailing by 1-5 to 0-5.

Cork had the elements in their favour in the second half but in truth, the wind made it very difficult for both sets of forwards, while defences also held sway, with Libby Coppinger excelling for Cork and Clodagh Carroll equally influential at the other end.

Remarkably, that second half only yielded two scores, Laura Hayes splitting the posts at the three-quarter mark, and Sarah Lacey doing the honours for Waterford with time running out.

Kilkenny got off the mark and kept their hopes alive as they defeated Clare 1-19 to 1-9 at UPMC Nowlan Park.

The Bannerwomen began well and fought valiantly throughout but could not recover the deficit after being rocked back on their heels by an eighth minute Aoife Doyle goal.

A brace of points from Lorna McNamara gave the visitors an early lead but when Doyle grabbed her second major in a week, it signalled a period of complete dominance by Kilkenny.

Peter Cleere’s crew shot the seven points in a row in ten minutes after Doyle’s intervention, Steffi Fitzgerald providing three and Katie Nolan a pair before McNamara stopped the rot.

It was 1-9 to 0-4 at the interval but Clare received a real injection of adrenaline when McNamara slammed to the net from a penalty four minutes after the restart.

Former All-Ireland winning captain Aoife Prendergast, fresh from propelling Dicksboro to ultimate glory at club level, slotted a couple of points to ensure that the Cats always had enough in hand, however

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