Down camogie squad Intermediate fate still in their own hands
Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Intermediate Championship Group 1
Down 0-6 Cork 0-18
THERE was a surreal feeling pitch-side at Páirc Esler on Saturday evening seconds after Gavin Donegan blew his final whistle on a comprehensive 12-points victory for Cork.
Cork were muted in their celebrations despite securing a semi-final berth next month, while the home side looked stunned when news filtered through that the Laois v Derry game had ended in a draw meaning that Down's fate is still in their own hands.
Mourne team manager Martina Rooney admitted that she was shocked.
“I thought that today would decide the Group. We all felt that we had to get something out of the game to stay in the race.
“As the second half progressed though, it looked as if our year was over and I think we were all resigned to that fact until the shock result came through from Laois.”
However she still could not hide her disappointment at her own team's performance.
“We were really very poor, our worst performance of the season, bar none. We were all over the show in the second half; we didn't push up on our opponents, didn't use the ball well, didn't use space.
“We didn't have much luck in the first half. Niamh (Mallon) smashed an early shot off the cross-bar and we had a penalty saved. But we were well in it at half-time. The second half was poor.”
Cork senior manager Paudie Murray travelled with his Intermediate team to Newry despite the seniors playing Meath at the same time.
“Last week we played poorly in Swatragh against Derry and I felt that this was a key game for us. I didn't expect us to get through as easily as we did.
“It took us a while to settle; the journey up was a factor, so too was the age of our players. We have a lot of minors in this squad gaining experience so that they came move through to the senior set up.
“Once they settled they did very well and we took some excellent scores especially during the second half. We're through to the semis and have five weeks now to see if we can get another gear out of them.”
In the early stages of the game, Down were the team that looked the most dangerous and after 15 minutes the score was 0-3 each despite Cork hitting the first two points inside 70 seconds. Niamh Mallon scored all three Down points and also crashed a pile-driver off the cross-bar in the 11th minute with the ‘keeper well beaten.
However over the course of the next ten minutes Cork hit four unanswered points, with three coming from free-taker Caitriona Collins.
Mallon was hauled down for a 24th minute penalty. Fionnuala Carr struck it brilliantly but Amy Lee pulled off a superb stop and Cork led by 0-8 to 0-4 at the break.
Four quick points on the re-start from Finola Neville, Laura Hayes and Caroline Sugrue (2) sealed Down's fate and the home side failed to really trouble the Cork defence for the duration of the second half hour.
Cork scorers: Caroline Collins (0-6, 0-5 frees), Finola Neville (0-4), Caroline Sugrue (0-3), Laura Hayes (0-1 free), Keeva Mccarthy (0-1), Saoirse McCarthy (0-1), Keelan Cullinane (0-1).
Down: Niamh Mallon (0-5, 0-4 frees), Maria Higgins (0-1)
Referee: Gavin Donegan
Laois 2-8 Derry 0-14
DERRY's league campaign came off the rails when Laois grabbed a win in Owenbeg back in February and yet again the Midlanders have thrown a spanner in the works in Rathdowney as John O'Dwyer's charges shared the points for the third game running.
A goal right on half-time changed the complexion of the tie.
Up until then Derry had played well, but shot too many wides, leaving the home side in the game at 0-4 each. Aine McAllister and Gráinne McGoldrick picked off two points each, while Jenny McAvoy scored two for Laois.
Then Derry goalie Niamh McQuillan stumbled as she went to field a long ball in and the sliotar ended in the net.
On the re-start Derry pressed hard and a series of points from Eimhear McGuigan, Gráinne McNicholl and McGoldrick pushed them into a three points' lead at 0-11 to 1-5.
Then a second Laois goal, from Aimee Loughman, tied the teams and points from Niamh Dollard and sub Sarah Anne Fitzgerald edged the home side into a single point lead with time running out.
Derry however won a late free and Grainne McGoldrick held her nerve to float over the equaliser to keep her side's hopes of a semi-final place alive.
However they could well win their final game against Carlow to remain unbeaten in the competition, but still miss out on both the semi-final spots from the group!
Cork are already through and Down can take the second place if they can get a win in Laois in a fortnight's time.
Derry's top players were Aoife and Éilís Ní Chaiside at the back and Grainne McNicholl and Aine McAllister further afield, while Aisling Burke played a captain's part in pulling off a second draw for Laois.
Laois: Aoife Burke (1-0), Aimee Loughman (1-0), Jenny McAvoy (0-2), Niamh Dollard (0-2), Sarah Anne Fitzgerald (0-2), Shiela Burke (0-1), Lizzie Ryan (0-1).
Derry: Grainne McGoldrick (0-6, 0-3 frees), Eimhear McGuigan (0-3), Aine McAllister (0-3), Grainne McNicholl (0-2).
Group 1 results to date
June 16: Cork 5-18 Carlow 0-6, Down 0-18 Derry 1-15
June 23: Carlow 0-14 Down 2-13, Cork 3-23 Laois 0-6
July 7: Derry 0-11 Cork 0-11, Laois 1-6 Carlow 0-9.
July 14: Down 0-6 Cork 0-18, Laois 2-8 Derry 0-14
Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Intermediate Championship Group 1
Team Played Won Drawn Lost Points Diff Points
Cork 4 3 1 0 65 10
Down 3 1 1 1 -7 4
Derry 3 0 3 0 0 3
Laois 3 0 2 1 -26 2
Carlow 3 0 1 2 -32 1
Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Senior Championship Group 1
A STUNNING goal from Grace O'Brien in the fourth minute of injury time secured a smash-and-grab 1-14 to 2-10 victory for Tipperary over Offaly in the Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship at The Ragg.
That more or less seals the knock-out places for Tipp, Cork and Dublin, with Offaly needing to beat champions Cork to upset that set up.
It was tough on Offaly who controlled the game in the second half thanks to Sarah Harding, Debbie Flynn, Michaela Morkan and player of the match Róisín Egan.
Tipperary though were excellent in the opening period, Cáit Devane hitting five points, but they still trailed by 2-3 to 0-8 at half time due to goals from Siobhán Flannery and Harding.
The game turned on two Devane frees drilled into the square from 30m. The first was deflected over the bar to cut the deficit to two. The second was blocked, only for O'Brien to strike first time and rattle the net, to the delight of the home supporters and desperation of the visitors.
Meanwhile Dublin produced a second-half rally to record a 1-14 to 0-13 win over Wexford after trailing 0-7 to 0-4 at the break.
Dublin scored four points without replay at the start of the second half to hit the front. Although Wexford edged ahead midway through the half a goal and two points by Orla Beagan put clear space between them.
All-Ireland champions Cork made it four wins from four as they ran out 3-21 to 0-6 winners over Meath in Trim. They led 0-10 to 0-2 at the break and added a goal and three points within five minutes of the resumption. Niamh McCarthy hand-passed the major and she registered a second in similar fashion.
Amy O'Connor came off the bench to shoot 1-4 from play as Cork look set for a semi-final spot.
In Group 1, Waterford gave themselves a huge chance of reaching the knockout stages for the first time in their history and ended Limerick's hopes with an all-the-way 2-11 to 0-15 triumph in a thriller at Walsh Park.
First-half goals from Beth Carton and Kaiesha Tobin inside the opening quarter gave the hosts a firm foundation early on, while Niamh Mulcahy was excellent for Limerick with six points to leave it 2-5 to 0-8 at half time.
Although Waterford lost a player to a second yellow with ten minutes to go, they held on with Beth Carton bringing her personal tally to 1-10.
Miriam Walsh hit a hat-trick of goals for Kilkenny and Denise Gaule nailed 1-4, as the League champions put Clare to the sword to set up a semi-final place if they can get a draw from their last game with Galway.
Group 1 Results to date
June 9: Galway 1-16 Clare 0-9, Kilkenny 2-18 Limerick 0-11
June 16: Galway 4-12 Waterford 0-8, Clare 0-8 Limerick 0-8
June 30: Galway 3-14 Limerick 1-11, Kilkenny 1-13 Waterford 0-10
July 14th: Kilkenny 4-13 Clare 0-2, Waterford 2-11 Limerick 0-15
Liberty Insurance Senior Camogie Championship Group 1 Table
Pld W D L PD Pts
Kilkenny 3 3 0 0 42 9
Galway 3 3 0 0 35 9
Waterford 3 1 0 2 -20 3
Clare 3 0 1 2 -33 1
Limerick 4 0 1 3 -24 1
Group 2 results to date
June 9: Cork 0-19 Wexford 0-7, Dublin 3-14 Offaly 3-9, Tipperary 6-14 Meath 0-9
June 23: Offaly 3-11 Meath 0-9, Wexford 2-8 Tipperary 1-14, Cork 4-15 Dublin 2-3
July 7: Cork 1-27 Tipperary 1-12, Offaly 1-18 Wexford 1-12, Dublin 2-11 Meath 0-8
July 14: Wexford 0-13 Dublin 1-14, Tipperary 1-14 Offaly 2-10, Meath 0-6, Cork 3-21
Liberty Insurance Senior Camogie Championship Group 2 Table
Pld W D L PD Pts
Cork 4 4 0 0 72 12
Tipperary 4 3 0 1 11 9
Dublin 4 3 0 1 0 9
Offaly 4 2 0 2 11 6
Wexford 4 0 0 4 -28 0
Meath 4 0 0 4 -66 0
Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Premier Junior Championship:
Kerry 2-11 Clare 0-6
Limerick 0-11 Offaly 1-7
Dublin 0-22 Armagh 1-8
ARMAGH failed to get their Junior championship challenge off to a winning start in Coolock on Saturday going down on double-scores to Dublin, 0-22 to 1-8.
The only period in which there was any question about the result was immediately after the break when a goal and a point inside the first 90 seconds clawed back an interval lead of nine points to 0-12 to 1-4.
However Aoibhe Dillon hit back with three points in a row and went on to record 15 points, 11 of them from frees.
Ciara Donnelly was Armagh's top scorer with 1-6, while Ciirrai Devlin, Grainne Kelly, Madden's Eimear Smyth, Catherine McCooey and sub Bernie Murray all worked hard.
There was also a comfortable win for Kerry over Clare, while Limerick had the minimum to spare against Offaly.
Dublin scorers: A Dillon (0-15, 0-11 frees), L Quinn (0-2), CE Twoomey (0-2), C Dawson (0-1), L O'Shea (0-1)
Armagh: C Donnelly (1-6, 0-5 frees), C Beagan (0-1), B Murray (0-1).
Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Senior Championship Round 4, The Ragg, Co. Tipperary 14/7/2018
Tipperary vs Offaly
Tipperary's Orla O'Dwyer celebrate a late winning goal scored by Grace O'Brien