Hurling and camogie

Derry maintain unbeaten record as they head into knockout stages

Aine McAllister (left) top-scored for Derry with 0-6 in their win over Tipperary at Owenbeg on Saturday Picture: Margaret McLaughlin

All-Ireland Intermediate Championship Group Three: Derry 1-17 Tipperary 0-9

DERRY were more or less assured of top spot in Group Three of the All-Ireland Intermediate Championship before Saturday’s game in Owenbeg.

Although they were pushed hard by Tipperary particularly during the opening half when Jenny Grace’s movement and accuracy caused Derry some problems, they were sound at the back during the second half and an eventually comfortable victory means that they enter the knock-out stages unbeaten and will pose a huge difficulty for any opponents over the next month.

Louise Dougan and Aoife Ní Chaiside anchored a strong Derry defence with Áine McAllister driving the charge at midfield and Therese Mellon and Dervla O’Kane in the corners making themselves a target for long ball and taking some excellent scores.

However Tipperary probably made the running in the opening 25 minutes although Derry were never more than a point adrift. Three points from Jenny Grace pushed them into a 0-4 to 0-3 lead, but two points from Oak Leaf captain Áine McAllister evened things up at 0-5 each.

Grace again edged her team ahead with two points, each of which got a replay from McAllister and then Shannon Graham, before Derry made their break with three scores in a row from Dervla O’Kane, Eimhear McGuigan and Therese Mellon and Derry to lead by 0-11 to 0-8 at the change of ends.

It was a significant gap and Tipperary never looked like closing it during the third quarter which delivered just three further scores, two of them for Derry.

Therese Mellon extended the gap to five points in the 50th minute and then delivered the hand-pass across the goals for Aoife Shaw to bury the only goal a few minutes later, a score that put the result to bed.

Áine McAllister, Dervla O’Kane and hard-working sub Máiréad McNicholl added late points to sink Tipperary into a relegation battle they should survive against Carlow and Kildare.

Elsewhere in the group, Kerry defeated Laois in O’Moore Park by 2-11 to 0-5 to reach the quarter-finals for the first time.

Derry: N Gribbin; C Ní Mhianáin, A Ní Chaiside, R Cassidy; C Glass, L Dougan, O McGuigan; Á McAllister (0-6, 0-5 frees), M Kerr; E McGuigan (0-1), S Graham (0-1), M Rafferty (0-1); T Mellon (0-3), A Shaw (1-0), D O’Kane (0-4)

Subs: C Gunning for M Rafferty (22), M McNicholl (0-1) for E McGuigan (40), N Nugent for C Glass (52), S McGill for C Ní Mhianáin (56), L McBride for D O’Kane (55)

Tipperary: S Quigley; M Quigley, C Brennan, N Long, Ciara Ryan, G Fox, E Carey, Courtney Ryan, A Loughnane, N Loughnane, J Grace capt 0-6, 5 frees, E Murphy, D Dunne 0-2, S Meagher 0-1, C Hogan.

Subs: J Quirke for A Loughnane (37), S Larkin for N Loughnane (45), C Cummins for E Murphy (50), A ward for C Hogan (56).

Referee: G Donaghy (Dublin)


All-Ireland Intermediate Championship

Dublin 4-11 Carlow 2-9

Antrim 3-16 Kildare 1-7

Kilkenny 2-7 Cork 0-9

Laois 0-5 Kerry 2-11

Derry 1-17 Tipperary 0-9

Meath 2-9 Galway 5-13

All-Ireland Premier Junior Championship

Cavan 1-11 Down 1-3

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Hurling and camogie