Derry showed that they are continuing to be quick learners as they claimed their second consecutive victory in their first Irish Daily Star Division 1 campaign writes Daragh Ó Conchúir.
Three-goal McAnenly keeps Derry on right track
The Oak Leafers suffered a 12-point defeat at Kilkenny’s hands on their debut last month but overcame Offaly last Sunday before showing further improvement in dispensing with Tipperary by 4-13 to 2-10 at Hawkfield.
Katie McAnenly was on fire for John A Mullan’s side, plundering 3-2 against a beleaguered Tipperary defence, while Gráinne McGoldrick registered 1-6. Karen Kielt contributed four points and Eimear Mhaloain was also on the mark.
While McAnenly and McGoldrick in particular played fantastically well, it was Aoife Ní Chasaide in the Derry defence who was the game’s outstanding performer, ensuring that though Tipperary were some threat, they were never likely to score enough to avoid a third straight defeat.
“The performance was better than the result” said Mullan afterwards. “Every game we play, we’ve got to make an improvement. We carried a wee bit of improvement from the Offaly match.
“The Kilkenny game a complete shock. We knew it was going to be faster physically and harder but it was whole lot more than we thought.
“The sad thing would have been coming up and win no matches. Coming up and winning two games is great. Our target is one game at the time and to be competitive come the senior championship in June.”
Nicole Walsh and Michaela Graham scored Tipperary's goals, while Alice Fogarty and Cáit Devane shared six points between them to give Tipperary supporters some cause for optimism in the future.
Also in Group 1, champions Cork made it two out of two with resounding ease, accounting for a pointless Offaly by 1-14 to 0-3 at O’Connor Park.
Jenny O’Leary’s free-taking excellence played a huge role in the result, the midfielder contributing eight points in total, with seven coming from placed balls.
The Leesiders led by 0-6 to 0-1 at half time and Finola Neville’s goal ten minutes from time cemented their success.
In Division 2, Niamh Bambrick and Áine Fahey were the goalscorers as Kilkenny accounted for a Down outfit that was over-reliant on Catherine McGourty for scores, 2-11 to 0-5.
Kildare maintained their excellent form with a 1-18 to 1-9 win over Tipperary's second string. Once again, Susie O'Carroll was in commanding form, scoring 1-7, while Siobhán Hurley (0-5) and team captain Clodagh Flanagan (0-3) also made significant contributions.
Niamh Mulcahy and Caoimhe Costello scored 4-4 between them as Limerick beat Meath 4-10 to 1-8, while Waterford accounted for Wexford 0-13 to 1-6 and Galway beat Antrim 0-13 to 0-8.
Meanwhile, the O'Neills Post Primary All-Ireland Schools Junior A final was a repeat of last week’s senior decider and produced the same winners too, as Loreto Kilkenny outgunned St Brigid’s, Loughrea by 2-13 to 2-2 in Birr.
Loreto were superbly skilled, with a wonderful first touch and tremendous teamwork that St Brigid’s couldn’t cope with, no matter how hard they tried.
The Galwegians trailed by 1-9 to 0-1 at half time but got the perfect boost when Emma Houlihan goaled immediately after the resumption. But though Emma Byrne added another major later, there was no answer to Loreto’s greater scoring power that included Róisín Greene’s six points, two goals from Eimear Keoghan and three points from player of the match, Jenny Clifford.
St Brendan’s Park was also the venue for the D decider as St Joseph’s, Tulla were much too strong for Scoil Mhuire, Trim. This was evidenced by the 4-13 to 0-5 scoreline.
Tulla had seven different scorers that included two-goal heroine Aoife Leamy and Regan Conway, who notched up five points. Evelyn Duggan was outstanding at centre-forward, contributing 1-5 in a display that almost earned her player of the match. That honour went to midfielder Niamh Mulqueen who was instrumental in giving the Clare school a foothold on proceedings.
Trim’s forwards never carried the same threat, due in no small part to Mulqueen’s dominance. Caroline McLoughlin Quinn was very bright when introduced in the second half however, and scored points, but it was a forlorn effort against such a talented outfit.
The B and C finals were held in Urlingford and they were much more competitive affairs. Indeed the B final will go to a replay after Our Lady’s, Templemore and Castlecomer Community College failed to be separated, 1-6 to 0-9.
There was never more than two points between the teams but for the majority of the game, Templemore had their noses in front. They looked like shading it until Castlecomer struck for a late equaliser from distance.
While they might be disappointed by having had the glory snatched from their grasp, Templemore won’t complain too much however, as were it not for Sarah Buckley’s two brilliant saves in the last five minutes, they would not even have had a second bite of the cherry.
Limerick’s Laurel Hill are the All-Ireland C champions but it was only as they slotted three points in the last five minutes that their 3-8 to 2-4 victory over Gorey Community School was assured.
Player of the match, Róisín Begley gave a classy display for the winners, who could also rely on the excellence of Aoife Coughlan, Sinéad McNamara, Kate Mulqueen and two-goal Sinéad Madden.
Gorey threw everything at their opponents and produce a pulsating second half. Ellen Roche and goalscorer, Orla Molloy were amongst their more influential performers but ultimately, they just fell short.