Three of the four Irish Daily Star Camogie League Division 1 semi-finalists have been decided with one round still remaining, after Kilkenny, Cork and Wexford secured their spots with wins over Limerick, Offaly and Tipperary respectively writes Daragh Ó Conchúir.
Kilkenny beat Limerick 2-13 to 1-6, with a Leanne Fennelly goal sending them on their way as they led by 1-6 to 0-2 at half time. The Noresiders added two points before Aoife Neary goaled following a pass from the outstanding Miriam Walsh and suddenly the margin was 11.
Limerick hit back though with a Sara Collins goal, while substitute Caoimhe Costelloe added three points but it was Kilkenny that finished strongest, with points from Denise Gaule, Walsh and Shelley Farrell ensuring a comfortable success.
Cork had to work much harder against Offaly at Páirc Uí Rinn despite scoring a goal after two minutes courtesy of the excellent Katrina Mackey. Offaly were level by the change of ends and were in front by two when missing a gilt-edged goal chance.
In contrast, Julia White found the net in the 49th minute for Cork and with Mackey bringing her tally to 1-5 (1-3 from play) and Orla Cotter slotting four points (two from frees), not even the seven-point contribution of Elaine Dermody could save the Faithful girls, who came out on the wrong side of a 2-11 to 0-13 scoreline.
Wexford were much too strong for a Tipperary team that was coming off a draw against Cork. The Model County women led by 1-11 to 0-1 early in the second half, with Ursula Jacob getting the goal, and although their opponents did improve in the latter period, they still had much too much firepower for them. In the end, with Shauna Sinnott and Eimear O’Connor staking places for a permanent spot in the team, they prevailed by 1-16 to 1-6, with Amy Kennedy finding the net for Tipperary.
Galway’s goal threat earned them a 4-7 to 0-12 win over Clare and these two sides must wait until the final round in two weeks to see if they can bag the final semi-final position. The Tribeswomen raced into an early five-point lead thanks to Orlaith McGrath's goal but four points from Claire McMahon had them just one behind at half time.
Clare actually moved two points clear, with McMahon bringing her tally to eight points, but Galway substitutes Orla Kilkenny and Brenda Hanney exerted a huge influence and goals from Niamh Kilkenny, Hanney and Emma Kilkelly confirmed the vital victory.