The last semi-final place up for grabs before the last round of the Irish Daily Star Camogie League Division 1 remains undecided, as a win for Clare over Limerick, and Galway’s walkover from Derry means that a three-way play-off is required between Clare, Limerick and Galway writes Daragh Ó Conchúir.
A draw would have been enough for Limerick to join Kilkenny from Group 1 but they were denied in a tight, nailbiting affair in Kilmallock by their neighbours on a 0-10 to 0-8 scoreline.
Niki Kaiser was the victors’ leading scorer with five points and she got them off the mark with the opening two points. The Banner girls were three clear by the time Caoimhe Costelloe got Limerick’s first score in the 21st minute.
Costelloe accounted for six of her team’s points and thanks to her contribution, had it level at the break on 0-4 apiece.
It was nip and tuck after the resumption and though Costelloe edged Limerick ahead, Kaiser got Clare back ahead. Laura McMahon slotted from a tight angle to make it 10-8 and though Limerick threw everything forward in search of a goal, Clare held out.
In Group 2, Cork’s win over Wexford earned them top seeding and a semi-final against whoever comes out of the play-off, while Wexford must take on All-Ireland runners-up Kilkenny.
Wexford led by 0-7 to 0-4 at half time but Cork had a strong wind in the second half. Jenny O’Leary and Katrina Mackey were outstanding for the visitors, sharing eight points evenly between them – with all Mackey’s points coming from play.
Wexford were reliant on Ursula Jacob for scores, with the star markswoman converting seven frees and a 45. Mags D’Arcy saved an Aoife Murray penalty 14 minutes from time when her side still led by one but Cork finished strongly to take the honours, 0-11 to 0-9.
Offaly came out on top against Dublin 2-15 to 1-10 at O’Toole Park. The visitors had a very strong wind in their favour and goals from Arlene Watkins and Elaine Dermody gave them a 2-10 to 0-3 interval lead.
Ultimately that proved too much of a deficit to reel in for Dublin although a goal from Áine Fanning seven minutes into the second half, allied with the contributions of Louise O’Hara infused the hosts with hope.
They really needed another goal though and with Michael Morkan giving a player-of-the-match performance at centre-back, Offaly were never likely to cede the advantage.