Hurling and camogie

Down camogs dig hard to extend unbeaten run

Down attack during the Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Intermediate Championship clash against Carlow. Picture by Mark Doherty
Séamas McAleenan

Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Intermediate Championship: Carlow 0-14 Down 2-13

IT WASN'T easy or pretty for Down in the Network Training Centre, in Fenagh on Saturday but goals from starting midfielders Dearbhla Magee and Paula O'Hagan at the start of final quarter secured the points for the Ulster side and extended their unbeaten run to five games.

The game was punctuated by too many stoppages for frees and Down probably suffered most in this regard as 12 of the 14 points they conceded came from placed balls, some of those quite questionable, while at the other end it was difficult for the visitors to win any in a scoreable position.

Down were the better team and engineered more team and support play all over the field. Fionnuala Carr was a commanding presence at the heart of the defence with Claire McGilligan and Nicole Kelly strong in the corners.

Both at midfield and later centre-forward Dearbhla Magee excelled with Paula O'Hagan and minors Clara Cowan and Saoirse Sands also working hard while Niamh Mallon was fairly quiet with five points over the hour.

The teams were locked on 0-8 each at the break with Niamh Mallon, Dearbhla Magee and Paula O'Hagan all scoring twice.

After the break, Niamh Mallon fired over a free and Saoirse Sands, Mallon and Magee all followed up with points to open a three points' gap at the three-quarter mark.

Then came the first goal, Magee getting on the end of a good team move to fire home from close range.

Carlow responded with a rare penetrating move that exposed Maria McNally in goals, but she stood up to the task and cleared her lines.

The sliotar was moved through to Paula O'Hagan and her long range effort at a point crept over the goal line for a second Down goal.

That score effectively killed the game, although Down only scored once more, a point from Clara Cowan.

Carlow midfielder Eleanor Treacy popped over a number of frees in the last ten minutes, but there was never going to be enough time for her to halt the points heading north.

Down will sit out the next set of games and are not in action again until the visit of championship favourites and league champions Cork on 14th July.

Cork were hosting Laois on Saturday and completely wiped the mat with the midlanders.

They led by 2-8 to 0-3 at the break on their way to a comprehensive 3-23 to 0-6 victory.

Down: M McNally, C McGilligan, A Savage, N Kelly, C Rocks, F Carr, L Wilson, P O'Hagan (1-2, 0-1 free), D Magee (1-3), E Rushe, A McAleenan (0-1), C Cowan (0-1), O Gribben, N Mallon (0-4, 0-1 free), S Sands (0-2)

Subs: M Higgins for E Rushe, O Caldwell for A Savage

Carlow: K Kinsella, N Canavan, A Nolan, A ryan, M O'Shea, E Brennan, T Bermingham, M Nolan, E Treacy (0-12 frees), A Behan, L Nolan, A Breen, E Cody, K Nolan, R Sawyer (0-2)

Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Senior Championship

Group 2

Wexford 2-8 Tipperary 1-14

A GOAL right at the death by Mairéad Campion snatched a 1-14 to 2-8 win for Tipperary over Wexford at Innovate Wexford Park to make it two wins from two and put them at the top of Group 2 of the Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship.

Tipp were outstanding in the opening quarter, propelled by magnificent midfield duo Karen Kennedy and Laura Loughnane. Cáit Devane was also deadly accurate from play and placed balls as the visitors scored the opening nine points.

Devane hit seven points in the first half, with dual star Orla O'Dwyer picking off two more. However Wexford, through a 25th minute goal from Joanne Dillon hit back and trailed by just 0-10 to 1-3 at half time.

With Linda Bolger scoring at ease through the second half, Wexford actually moved ahead with six minutes of normal time remaining, only for Máiréad Campion's goal to snatch a dramatic win for Tipp.

Offaly 3-11 Meath 0-9

OFFALY claimed their first triumph of the campaign with a comfortable win over Meath at St Brendan's Park, Birr.

Earlier in the season they had beaten last year's Intermediate champions to maintain their Division 1 status and again Meath were unable to deal with Offaly's goal threat. The home team led by 1-7 to 0-4 at the break before finding the net twice more to bag the points.

Cork 4-15 Dublin 2-3

THERE was little bother for holders Cork on Sunday in Pairc Uí Rinn as they picked up their second pair of points in the liberty Insurance Senior championship.

The first quarter was a cagey enough affair and Cork led 0-3 to 0-2 when Katrina Mackey's effort for a point dipped under the Dublin cross-bar for a goal.

Although Orla Began hit back with a similar goal for Dublin, Linda Collins' 27th minute strike had the teams turning over on double-scores, 2-6 to 1-3.

Cork then put on the pressure in the third quarter, Orla Cronin stretching the lead to3-8 to 1-3 before Julia White's fourth Cork goal made it 4-12 to 1-3 in the 53rd minute.

Began sneaked a second Dublin goal, their only score of the second half, close to the finish but it will take a huge effort from them to repeat last season's feat of making the semi-finals.

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