Kilkenny and Tipperary will meet in a derby decider of the All-Ireland Minor A Camogie Championship at St Brendan’s Park next Saturday. The Birr venue hosted both semi-finals and the victors asserted their dominance in no uncertain terms.
Tipperary have been the top county at U16 level in recent seasons, winning three of the last four renewals and many of those players were involved as they trounced Galway 2-18 to 0-7.
There was no indication of what was to come in the opening 10 minutes, when points from Galway’s best player, Leanne Freaney and Cliodhna Walsh gave the westerners an early lead.
Tipperary turned on the turbo boost at this juncture, scoring a goal and eight points from play in 12 minutes to stun their opponents. Róisín Howard, Miriam Campion, Orla O’Dwyer and Ciardha Maher had points before Niamh Treacy goaled on 21 minutes and it was 1-9 to 0-2.
Galway finished the half well though with four points, including two from Freaney to make it a six-point game at the interval.
The Premier County girls flew out of the traps and had a couple of points on the board already when Campion found the net after just five minutes to make it 2-11 to 0-6. It was easy from then with Sarah Stakelum coming off the bench to score two points, while Freaney registered Galway’s only score in the second half from a free.
Kilkenny were equally sharp in an attacking sense as they accounted for Limerick by 3-11 to 0-6. Again, the vanquished side actually began well enough, Caoimhe Lyons scoring a first minute point for the Shannonsiders.
Sarah Kent equalised from a 50m free and it was tit-for-tat in the opening 20 minutes, by which stage the teams had shared six points. A strong finish from Kilkenny yielded points for Jenny O’Neill, Jenny Clifford and Kent however, to make it 0-8 to 0-4 at the break.
The Noresiders made the dream start to the new half when Edel Coonan blasted to the Limerick net from close range in the 32nd minute after latching onto a Sarah Walsh cross. Ciara Phelan added another goal nine minutes later to open up a nine-point margin and it was a blow from which Limerick couldn’t recover.
Kilkenny finished with 1-3 without reply, Piltown’s international representative duo of Chloe Blackmore (rugby) and Kellyann Doyle (400m hurdles) among the point-scorers and Clifford grabbing the goal.
The final of the C championship will take place on Saturday week and will involve Roscommon and Armagh. Roscommon had too much firepower for Westmeath at Pearse Park and won by 4-13 to 1-1, having led by 2-8 to 0-1 at half time.
In the other semi-final, Armagh were just that bit more accurate at the Parnells ground in Coolock, getting the better of Carlow by 1-13 to 1-7.