Late goals from Clodagh McIntyre and Eimear McGrath added gloss to the scoreline as Tipperary beat Wexford by 4-11 to 1-11 at Semple Stadium in the last of the weekend’s action in the All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship.
But luck wasn’t on the side of the Premier County less than an hour after the final whistle when they were drawn out as the only group winner to have to play a quarter-final fixture.
Tipperary will meet Waterford and Kilkenny will play Wexford in a quarter-final double-header on Saturday, August 21, at Páirc Uí Chaoimh, while Cork and Galway were drawn out to receive byes into the semi-final stages.
Meanwhile, in the relegation play-offs, Down will play Offaly with the loser of that fixture going on to play Westmeath.
Tipp have reached the semi-final stages of the championship in each of the last three seasons and they were quick to settle into their work this afternoon, with Cáit Devane finding the net in the fourth minute in response to two early Wexford points.
Róisín Howard rounded the keeper and fired in a second with the water break approaching, but Wexford kept in the game, largely by getting plenty of bodies back behind the ball to stifle the Tipperary attack.
Nicole Walsh and Karin Blair hit the target for Tipperary from distance to edge them six points clear, only for Chloe Foxe to strike a goal from a penalty and put the result back in the melting pot yet again just before half-time.
The second half was a tense and tight affair, with Ereena Fryday increasingly influential after coming off the Tipperary bench, and it took a superb save from Wexford’s Laura Brennan to deny McGrath a goal and keep the visitors’ hopes alive going into the latter stages.
McGrath made no mistake on the hour mark when she was picked out by a wonderful pass from Devane, and with Wexford’s resolve broken, McIntyre was able to tack on a fourth goal in stoppage time to confirm the win and top spot in the group in the process.