Camogie: Galway and Kilkenny join Cork and Tipp in last six

June 22, 2024

Caoimhe Cahill of Clare with Dervla Higgins of Galway ©INPHO/James Lawlor

by Daragh Ó Conchúir

Galway and Kilkenny have joined champions Cork and Very League Division 1A winners Tipperary in the knockout stages of the Glen Dimplex All-Ireland senior camogie championship as a result of convincing victories today (Saturday).

The identity of the last pair will not be confirmed until next weekend’s final round of group games and though last year’s runners-up Waterford and League Division 1B victors Dublin are in pole position, that could easily change.

Clare made the trip to Kenny Park, Athenry to take on their neighbours harbouring their own hopes of emerging from Group 2 but while they remain in contention for a quarter-final berth after their 3-19 to 0-7 loss to the Niamh Mallon-inspired Galway, they are up against it now.

John Carmody’s young squad battled well in the first half but were still 1-12 to 0-5 in arrears at the short whistle. Mallon provided 1-4 of the home team’s tally, all from play, the newly minted Sarsfields sorceress raising a green flag in the 11th minute, after taking a pass from Niamh Kilkenny.

Mallon grabbed her second goal seven minutes into the second half, this time finishing from close range after being set up by Ailish O’Reilly, before being substituted with the result assured, to link up with the Galway senior footballers, who avail of the Down native’s expertise as a performance nutrition scientist. O’Reilly struck for the third goal in injury time, finishing up with 1-5 of her own.

Galway will travel to SuperValu Páirc Uí Chaoimh next week to do battle with long-time rivals Cork and while a draw will do the Rebels, a win would see Cathal Murray’s crew supplant them as group winners and move directly to the last four. Much may depend on the fitness of Carrie Dolan, who departed the fray late on after taking a heavy blow to her left quad.

Cork will go into that in buoyant form after dismantling Dublin by 4-22 to 0-5 at the aforementioned headquarters of Leeside GAA. The thoughts of many in attendance would have been on Sarah-Kate O’Meara, a Glen Rovers clubmate of some Cork panellists, whose funeral took place earlier in the day after the 18-year-old died suddenly during the week when becoming ill on the way to sitting a Leaving Cert exam.

Ger Manley’s players rose to the occasion with a stunning performance and if the victory was not a surprise, the margin absolutely was. Cork had nine different scorers, with Amy O’Connor (2-7) and the ageless Katrina Mackey (1-5) the headline acts.

The defence shone too, however and Dublin failed to score from play. Laura Treacy’s excelled on her return from injury centre-back, flanked to good effect by Laura Hayes and Hannah Looney.

The Dubs are still in third and while Wexford and Clare are in their wing mirrors, Bill McCormack’s charges play basement dwellers Down next week and anything other than a triumph would be a surprise, even after this chastening reverse.

Down had another tough outing, falling to Wexford by 7-12 to 0-7 at the Geraldine O’Hanrahan’s grounds in New Ross. Shelley Kehoe, a survivor of Wexford’s three-in-a-row panel from 2010-2012, did most of the damage, plundering 4-3. Joanne Dillon scored two goals and Linda Bolger popped up for another.

Kilkenny will play Tipperary next Saturday with direct progression to the semi-finals as Group 1 winners up for grabs after making sure of qualification to the knockout stages by blitzing last year’s intermediate champions Derry, 4-17 to 0-7 at Páirc Lachtain in Freshford.

Conceding a goal directly from the throw-in to Julianne Malone was the start the Oak Leafers definitely didn’t want and though they settled well thanks to points from Aimee Lennon and Áine Barton, Kilkenny led by 1-8 to 0-3 at the interval.

An Aoife Doyle goal seven minutes after resumption put the tie to bed and the Cats opened up from there, Doyle ,Katie Nolan and the outstanding Aoife Prendergast keeping the scoreboard ticking over.

Prendergast pounced for two goals in as many minutes, in the 50th and 52nd minutes on her way to registering 2-5, while Doyle had 1-4 to her credit at the final whistle.

Waterford leap-frogged Derry into Group 1’s third and final qualifying spot by virtue of a professional 3-18 to 1-8 victory over Antrim in Loughgiel.

Goals from Abby Flynn and Mairéad O’Brien put the visitors in the box seat at half-time, leading by 2-6 to 0-6 after playing into a strong wind. It was a sixth goal of the campaign for O’Brien, who has raised at least one green flag in each of the four games played to date.

Beth Carton supplied four of the Déise points and Róisín McCormick provided the same tally for Antrim but with the elements in their favour after the resumption, Waterford’s opportunities increased and they capitalised.

Carton finished off with 11 points while Sarah Lacey topped off an impressive display with a third goal for Jerry Wallace’s side.

Caitrin Dobbin had soldiered notably throughout for Antrim, contributing three points before notching up her late goal but the Saffrons will now turn their attention to next week’s tussle with fellow strugglers Limerick.

Limerick failed to land a blow on Tipperary at Mick Neville Park in Rathkeale, with the ruthless Grace O’Brien helping herself to 4-1 in a 7-18 to 0-6 success for Denis Kelly’s crew.

The Premiers showed absolutely no mercy in the first half, during which O’Brien already had her hat-trick nailed, with Eimear McGrath grabbing a pair of majors of her own, on the way to posting a tally of 2-6. Casey Hennessy was the other goal scorer for the red-hot Sliabh na mBan outfit, who still need to get a draw against Kilkenny to return directly to the semi-final.


Glen Dimplex All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship Group 1

Antrim 1-8 Waterford 3-18

Limerick 0-6 Tipperary 7-18

Kilkenny 4-17 Derry 0-7


Glen Dimplex All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship Group 2

Cork 4-22 Dublin 0-5

Galway 3-10 Clare 0-7

Wexford 7-12 Down 0-7

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