Bad week for Ulster as Derry crash out of Championship
ALL four Ulster sides who were in action over the weekend suffered defeats in their respective Liberty Insurance Camogie Championships.
For Derry that meant their hopes of reaching the quarter-finals of the senior championship were ended as Dublin beat them 0-12 to 0-8 in a tight affair in Swatragh.
Derry had the first scoring opportunity when Maria Mooney was fouled on the 45, but Karen Kielt’s effort drifted the wrong side of the post and soon Siobhan Kehoe had Dublin off the mark.
Kehoe nudged the visitors two ahead before Aine McAllister reacted quickest when Kielt’s effort rebounded off the upright to make it a one-point game.
Dublin extended their lead to two again Ailson Maguire split the posts before Derry responded through Meabh McGoldrick.
Two more frees by Maguire saw Dublin take a three-point lead but scores from Kielt and Mary Kelly brought Derry back to within a point at the break at 0-5 to 0-4.
In the second half Eimear Mullan and Mooney battled hard for Derry in the middle of the park but the Oak Leafs struggled to make headway against Dublin’s sweeper system.
Kielt and Maguire traded frees before Flanagan hit an insurance point late on to ensure a four-point victory for the visitors.
Derry may still have a huge say in the championship as they take on Clare at the weekend and manager Joe Baldwin says his side will be trying to restore pride and end the campaign with a win.
“I’m bitterly disappointed for the players first and foremost, for Brian (Kealey), Willie (McGillian), Maura (McCloy) and myself but there is still a game to play against Clare and a bit of pride to restore,” he said.
“This campaign has all been a learning curve for Derry, there always seemed to be a puck of the ball in it on Saturday but Dublin seemed to get most of the softer frees that we didn’t get.
“They were just that wee bit ahead of us and maybe we just don’t have enough work done at this level at this stage.”
Clare are still in with a chance of snatching third place in Group Two but will need a big win against Derry after suffering a 2-18 to 0-11 defeat to Tipperary.
Galway top the table with a 100 per cent record after they saw off Limerick 4-16 to 0-12.
Meanwhile, Kate Kelly continued her phenomenal form by converting eight frees as Wexford set up a quarter-final against either Clare or Dublin by beating All-Ireland champions Cork 0-13 to 0-10.
In the intermediate championship, Down learnt the hard way that goals win games as Galway ran out 3-7 to 0-10 winners.
Tara Ruttledge did most of the damage, the Galway sharpshooter scoring 2-2 as Niamh Mallon and Catherine McGourty led the Down charge.
Kilkenny had too much firepower as they overcame Antrim 2-15 to 1-9, but the Saffrons will be hoping they can end the season with a win over fellow strugglers Tipperary at home this weekend.
In the premier junior championship, Roscommon proved too strong for Armagh.
Goals from Niamh Coyle and Fiona Connell saw the Rossies claim a 5-11 to 2-9 win, with Ciara Donnelly, who ended the game with 1-5, and Rachel Merry getting the goals for the Orchard county.