CAMOGIE: Super Saturday drama leave six still standing
Compiled by Daragh Ó Conchúir (Miriam Walsh (Kilkenny) on an attacking run ©INPHO/Ashley Cahill)
Galway and Cork will play in the Glen Dimplex All-Ireland Senior camogie semi-finals at Croke Park in three weeks, where they will await the winners of the quarter-finals in a fortnight’s time.
As a result of a Super Saturday of six fixtures in two groups, Kilkenny will play Dublin and Waterford will take on Limerick in those quarter-finals at Semple Stadium.
Tipperary are the unluckiest outfit, missing out on the knockout stages on score difference, despite pulling off a 1-17 to 1-16 triumph over Cork at Páirc Ui Rinn and only losing one out of five games.
Dublin produced a stirring second-half performance to post a 4-14 to 2-11 victory against Wexford in Bellefield and having begun on the same score difference as Tipperary, that saw them through, as Waterford chiselled out a 2-12 to 1-12 win over Clare in Cusack Park to cement second position in Group 1 and banish the Bannerwomen to a relegation play-off.
Group 2 was a little more straightforward, Galway just holding off Kilkenny to record a share of the spoils 1-17 to 2-14 at Kenny Park to give them top spot on score difference. It was winner-takes-all between Limerick and Antrim at Corrigan Park, the visitors going through the gears in the second half to record a 1-14 to 1-11 success that gave them third spot.
As a result of Down’s injury-time 1-11 to 0-13 victory over Offaly at Liatroim Fontenoys, the Faithful women will now play Clare in a relegation play-off, while Down secured their elite status.
Kilkenny trailed by four points at half-time against Galway but Miriam Walsh’s second goal and a point moved them ahead, only for Áine Keane’s equaliser to snatch the semi-final position at the death.
Three early points from Denise Gaule and Walsh’s first major gave Kilkenny an ideal start but a Sabina Rabbitte goal prompted complete dominance from Galway. Carrie Dolan, Niamh Kilkenny and Dervla Higgins, with a monstrous score, pulled them clear before the Cats came on strongly late on.
Also in Group 2 Caoimhe Costelloe and Rebecca Delee shot some fantastic scores as Limerick reeled in Antrim in the second half.
The home team had a goal after the second minute from Niamh Laverty and points from Róisin McCormick and Caitrin Dobbin gave them the whip hand. Veteran Lorraine McCarthy gave Limerick hope with a goal and they found another gear in the second half.
An Aimee McAleenan goal after good work by Niamh Mallon gave Down hope after Offaly had begun well but the visitors were reduced to 14 and though they battled hard, they were undone by a fabulous long-distance free by Paula O’Hagan.
Group 1 was the humdinger and Waterford were the one team of the four in contention for the two quarter-final spots with their fate in their hands. Clare kept snapping at their heels, even after Beth Carton goaled early on from the penalty spot after Niamh Rockett was fouled, and they got it back to the minimum with nine minutes remaining.
Lorna McNamara and Carton exchanged some good scores and Máiréad O’Brien and Orlaith Duggan swapped goals to set up a grandstand finish but it was Waterford that stayed on best to prevail.
Dublin scored four goals in the second half to stun Wexford in Bellefield. The hosts had begun fantastically well, finding the Dublin net after 33 seconds when Jackie Quigley pounced on a loose ball to drill a goal. Joanne Dillon continued her magnificent goalscoring run through the campaign with another brilliant major.
Aisling Maher’s free landed into the Wexford net early after the resumption to provide the Dubs with the perfect fillip and Emma Flanagan followed up. Izzy Davis contributed a brace and Adrian O’Sullivan’s charges were into the last six.
That meant that Tipperary’s win over Cork was insufficient. It was ironic that the Premiers, who have made such strides in the past four years, have been yearning for a big scalp and when they did, it was of no value in the end.
The game started with a bang, Devane rocketing to the net after 16 seconds. Cork, who welcomed Hannah Looney and former Down player Sorcha McCartan back into the side, were level before the minute was out with a fortunate goal from Laura Hayes. Points from Eimear McGrath, Grace O’Brien and a stupendous point by Devane gave them the upper hand
McGrath converted a two-point sideline in the second rule and O’Brien and Ereena Fryday extended Tipp’s lead but Cork hit five in a row including from Chloe Sigerson and Ashling Thompson brought them level.
But Devane came up with the winner that was a fantastic result but meant nothing in the final calculations.