Round Up of all the Weekends Camogie Action
By Jackie Cahill
A powerful second half performance booked Offaly’s place in the Gala All-Ireland junior camogie championship final as the Faithful County ran out 1-14 to 1-3 winners against Waterford at Leahy Park in Cashel on Sunday.
The sides were level at 1-2 apiece at half-time but Offaly outscored the DÚise girls 0-12 to 0-1 after the break to book a New Ireland cup final showdown against Clare or Laois, who meet in next weekend’s second semi-final.
Michaela Morkam led the way in the scoring stakes with six points from placed balls, including a penalty drilled over the bar, while Natalie McCabe added a crucial 1-2 from play for an impressive Offaly outfit.
And yet it was Waterford who got off to a fine start and led by 1-1 to 0-0 in the early stages as -ine Lyng, who contributed 1-2, struck for her goal after -ine Breathnach had opened the scoring with a point.
But McCabe’s goal ten minutes before half-time brought Offaly right back into contention and the floodgates really opened after half-time.
Meanwhile, Clare and champions Kilkenny will contest the All-Ireland minor A final on August 31, with Nenagh mooted as a possible venue.
Clare booked their place in a very first final at this grade with a 4-15 to 0-9 victory against Tipperary at the Gaelic Grounds on Saturday.
A hat-trick of goals from lethal captain Carina Rosengrave helped Clare to a 3-8 to 0-5 half-time advantage.
Stephanie Moloney’s second half goal was the icing on the cake for Clare as Rosengrave finished the game with 3-2 to her name.
Shauna Enright bagged 0-11, including seven frees, while Cait Devane was Tipperary’s leading scorer with seven points, five of those scores from frees.
Former Clare senior hurling goalkeeper Davy Fitzgerald has played a key role in the coaching of this successful team and the current Waterford manager was surprised with a cake in the dressing room after the game, to mark his 37th birthday on August 2 last.
In the second semi-final, Kilkenny claimed a dramatic 5-10 to 3-14 victory against Cork to keep alive their hopes of a third successive All-Ireland title at this grade.
Kilkenny’s twin terrors Michelle Quilty and Marie Dargan scored two goals apiece during this game although Cork will rue missed opportunities as they struck the post and the crossbar while Kilkenny goalkeeper Emma Staunton made a great save just before half-time.
Quilty and Dargan scored first half goals as Kilkenny led 2-5 to 0-8 at the break.
Katie Power added a third goal for Kilkenny before SinÚad O’Callaghan struck back for Cork in a remarkable second half.
Quilty found the net again for Kilkenny midway through the half and with two minutes left, Julia White netted for Cork to leave Kilkenny hanging on to a two-point advantage, 4-9 to 2-13.
Points were exchanged before the game took another twist when Marie Dargan’s long-range effort ended up in the net.
There was still time for Cork to hit back with a goal from Catriona Collins but the clock ran out on the brave Rebelettes.
In the Nancy Murray Cup semi-final, Meath ran out 4-14 to 1-12 winners against Carlow.
Blackhall Gaels star Jane Dolan scored 2-7 for Meath while Aileen Donnelly and Lizzie Lynch also raised green flags at St Peregrines in Blakestown.
Mary Coady was Carlow’s leading scorer with 0-7 but that was not enough to deny Meath, who were beaten by Laois in the final of this competition last year.
This year’s final has been pencilled in for August 24 but Meath must wait for their opponents in the decider after the Armagh v Roscommon tie at St Peregrines was abandoned due to torrential rain, with Roscommon well in control.