Camogie: McNamara the hero as Clare bag Minor A Final berth

April 20, 2019

A view of the Clare camogie jersey.

Compiled by Daragh Ó Conchúir

Clare will play Kilkenny in the All-Ireland Minor A Camogie Final next Saturday, while Laois will cross swords with Limerick in the B decider.

Clare edged out fellow Munster challengers Tipperary by 0-12 to 1-8 after a hard-fought tussle in Gort, Lorna McNamara grabbing a dramatic winner in stoppage time.

It was all about the freetakers in the opening 20 minutes, Caoimhe Kelly hitting five points for Clare and Eimear McGrath a pair for Tipp to establish a three-point advantage for the Banner.

Gemma Fox provided the first score from play soon after and though Kelly converted another free, it was Tipp who had the final say of the half via Karin Blair to leave it 0-6 to 0-4 at the turnaround.

It was more of the same in the second half, Clare looking to pull clear but unable to separate themselves sufficiently to breathe easily. Regan Conway (two) and McGrath were among the point scorers for the saffron and blues but Clodagh McIntyre, McNamara (a fabulous effort) and Blair responded.

It felt like Tipp needed a goal, particularly as Finia O’Brien moved them three clear in injury time and it arrived, when McGrath goaled from a free to bring the teams level.

There was still more time though and when McNamara as fouled, she split the posts from the resultant free to snatch a dramatic victory.

A first-minute goal by Róisín O’Keeffe gave Kilkenny a dream start at the WIT Arena in Carriganore but it was Cork that had the superior firepower to advance on a 1-21 to 1-14 scoreline.

Fiona Keating was among the points as Cork settled into the fray but Ciara O’Keeffe and Afton Grace were on fire for the Cats as they led at the interval by 1-9 to 0-8.

Cork hauled themselves back into the game in the second half and had drawn level by the time Keating pointed and then goaled with 53 minutes elapsed to open up daylight. The Rebels moved through the gears from there to the end, though the final margin was no reflection on the gutsy efforts of the Kilkenny players.

Meanwhile in the B Championship, Laois defeated Derry by 4-14 to 2-8 and Limerick outgunned Westmeath as illustrated by the 2-19 to 0-11 scoreline.

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