Tipp camogs toppled

July 05, 2011
A flurry of goals 20 minutes from time unravelled Tipperary's defence and ensured Ann Downey's charges got back to winning ways.

Both sides traded scores in a low key first half. Michelle Quilty opened Kilkenny's account with a short range free, her first of two in the opening period. Tipperary's Noreen Flanagan and Joanne Ryan responded with some superb long range efforts.

Wing forward Denise Gaule hit two points in quick succession to give Kilkenny a slender lead. However, it proved to be their last score of the half as Tipperary reeled off three points of their own, courtesy of Claire Grogan, Jill Horan, and Noreen Flanagan to haul the home side into a 0-5 to 0-4 lead at the break.

Ann Dalton drew the Cats level minutes inside the restart. Joanne Ryan popped over her second point of the day to leave the game firmly in the balance. Jill Horan then stretched Tipp's lead to two points, following great link up play by Julie McGrath. Disaster struck for Tipp when Michelle Quilty pounced to flick the ball past a helpless Rita Bourke.

To their credit, Tipperary rallied well with Grogan and Horan firing over. However, Kilkenny were blooded by Quilty's earlier goal and sensed more on the horizon. Within minutes full forward Aine Fahy had blitzed the Tipp defence for 1-1, hand passing the ball to the net from point blank range. Grogan and Quilty exchanged points moments later. Kilkenny doubled their lead to six points when Fahy burst forward and played in her full forward line partner Shelly Farrell, who netted from close range.

Cora Hennessy saw her 21m free smothered by the Kilkenny defence, before Grogan added Tipp's first score for some time. Rita Bourke denied Quilty another green flag, before Aoife Neary ended the contest with a blazing shot to the roof of the net. Hennessy grabbed Tipp's last score from midfield before Grogan's effort had Caitriona Ryan beaten all ends up, only to ricochet off the crossbar.

Kilkenny will be pleased with the clinical form shown by their forwards in the second half. Sharpshooters Michelle Quilty and Aine Fahy proved to be a very potent threat. Meanwhile, Tipperary's Jill Horan and Mary Ryan excelled in midfield. However, the Tipperary full forward line never laid siege to the Kilkenny goal and this will be of major concern. Tipperary faded badly with 20 minutes remaining and shipped some poor goals. With reigning All-Ireland Champions Wexford still to come, a revamp will be required to keep their championship hopes alive.

Tipperary: R. Bourke, M. Tynan, S. Larkin, G. Stapleton, J. McGrath, J. Kirwan (Cpt), M. Shortt, M. Ryan, J. Horan (0-3), C. Hennessy (0-1), C. Grogan (0-4, 2 frees, 1 '45), N. Flanagan (0-2), J. Ryan (0-2), E. Shannon, A. Kennedy. Subs used: N. Walsh, C. Quirke, A. Lonergan, S. McGrath, B. Quinn.

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