Two goals in the dying embers of the game from super sub Noreen Flanagan snatched a memorable 2-15 to 1-15 victory for Tipperary from the grasp of old rivals Kilkenny in round 3 of the All-Ireland senior camogie championship at Nowlan Park.
The winners led at half time by 0-10 to 0-7 but despite Nicole Walsh, Alice Fogarty and Jill Horan racking up some good scores, they wouldn’t have been happy, after squandering numerous opportunities with a very stiff wind in their favour.
Kilkenny struck early and hard at the start of the second half, when Katie Power set up Michelle Quilty, who hand-passed a goal after just 12 seconds.
From there until the 54th minute, the hosts maintained the upper hand, with Aoife Neary and Power keeping the scoreboard ticking over. 17-year-old Miriam Walsh had also registered two points before being forced to leave the fray with injury.
Tipp introduced three subs in the 48th minute to telling effect. Youngsters, Michaela Graham and Sarah Fryday provided the Premier outfit with much more energy but it was Flanagan who changed the course of the game.
Kilkenny still led by five points with six minutes remaining but Flanagan pounced for those two goals to break the Noresiders’ hearts.
Cork got back to winning ways by making light work of an Offaly team that was coming off a good win the previous week. The Faithful girls were unlucky to run into a side smarting from a defeat to Wexford and had no answer for the pace and intensity of the league champions, who prevailed 4-20 to 1-5.
Claire Shine, Katrina Mackey, Katie Buckley and Linda Dorgan rattled the net for the Reds and Shine finished with a personal tally that equalled Offaly’s, while Mackey added four points to her major and Orla Cotter slotted five.
Crucially, Cork managed to limit the influence of Offaly captain Elaine Darmody, who only managed three points from frees. Tina Hannon’s goal was of consolation value only.
Galway maintained their 100% record with a hard-fought 1-13 to 0-12 win over Clare. The Banner women underperformed badly last week but were back to themselves at Cusack Park, as Fiona Lafferty and Claire McMahon helped edge them into a two-point lead after 24 minutes. Niamh McGrath slotted three points though and Galway led at half-time, 0-8 to 0-6.
That lead stretched to three but Clare clawed themselves back to parity thanks to two McMahon scores and an excellent Katie Cahill point. Some bad wides hurt them however, while a Sarah Dervan intervention prevented them goaling in the 45th minute.
Four minutes later, Galway were raising the green flag and securing the honours. It came as Brenda Hanney gathered possession from an Aislinn Connolly delivery and off-loaded to the advancing Niamh Kilkenny, whose low shot gave Denise Lynch no chance.
Champions Wexford set up a mouth-watering clash with the westerners next week when recording a very good 2-20 to 1-4 defeat of Dublin. Injuries to Mary Leacy (ankle), Una Leacy (hamstring) and Lisa Bolger (hand) will occupy their thoughts ahead of that tie however.
They were outstanding in the first half, at the end of which they led by 2-11 to 0-1. Evelyn Quigley and Ursula Jacob got the goals, while Dublin could only manage a brace of Mairi Moynihan frees in response.
The intensity dropped in the second half and Aisling Carolan raised a green flag for Dublin, but Wexford had a good spread of scorers throughout, with Jacob, Josie Dwyer and Katrina Parrock all picking off some nice points to ensure a comfortable success.
Meanwhile, Féile 2012 came to a conclusion yesterday with two finals in Parnell Park and two in Croke Park.
It was a double for Kildare at the headquarters of Dublin GAA, with Clane starting the fun in the Division 4 decider against Bray Emmetts from Wicklow. Leading by 1-2 to 0-0 at half time, they maintained the upper hand to win by 2-4 to 1-0.
Naas beat Westmeath’s Raharney in the Division 3 final by 3-2 to 0-3. They laid the foundation for their famous success in the first half after which they led by 2-2 to 0-0.
The Division 2 final took place at Croke Park and it provided some stunning action in a truly exciting game. It was the highest scoring final of the camogie series and Inagh/Kilnamona from Clare came out on top against Waterford representatives, De La Salle 5-5 to 2-3.
The Division 1 decider brought the curtain down on a thrilling three days of action and it was Newport/Ballinahinch who garnered the silverware. They were level with Davitts (Galway) at half time on 0-2 apiece but pulled clear in the second half to win 3-3 to 0-2 and set the seal on a day to remember for Tipperary camogie.
Pictured above: Newport/Ballinahinch captain Caroline Mullaney accepts the Feile Division One Cup at Croke Park yesterday after her side’s win over Davitts/Galway