Tipperary are through to the penultimate round of the All-Ireland senior camogie championship following victory over Waterford at Páirc Uí Chaoimh this evening after a physical and competitive battle between these Munster rivals.
It was an evenly contested opening half, but Tipperary gradually began to pull away to secure their fourth consecutive semi-final appearance tomorrow week in Croke Park.
Waterford were dealt a devastating blow before any ball was hit, with the late withdrawal of their ace forward and All-Star Beth Carton due to a hamstring injury she picked up three weeks ago. Manager Derek Lyons gave her every change to be fit.
And they showed they were up for the battle with captain Niamh Rockett taking over the free duties from the absent Carton and bagging an early one from out on the wing.
Tipperary opened their account a minute later through Orla O’Dwyer, with points from Ereena Fryday and Roisin Howard following for a 0-3 to 0-1 lead.
The match ebbed and flowed, and approaching the first water-break Waterford, playing with the wind, edged ahead. Rockett had two splendid efforts from placed balls while Abby Flynn rifled one over from open play, adding to an earlier point from Ciara O’Sullivan. They had a couple of goal opportunities as well but there was no way through the Tipperary defence.
Tipperary re-emerged for the second quarter re-energised and the Waterford lead was wiped out following a four-point burst - three frees from Cáit Devane (two magnificent long-range efforts) and Howard nabbed her second white flag after a surging run by Clodagh McIntyre, to move 0-8 to 0-5 in front.
Waterford responded with the final two scores of the half from Vikki Falconer and Flynn had her second, to trail 0-7 to 0-8 at the break.
When Sarah Lacey found the target soon after the restart, the sides were level for the fourth time. Rockett and Devane exchanged frees before the Premier girls moved into the ascendancy once again through Clodagh McIntyre, Emer McGrath and Orla O’Dwyer - McGrath’s flag was particularly impressive doubling first-time on the sliotar.
Tipperary lost their All-Star full-back Mary Ryan to an arm injury around this time, however it didn’t upset their momentum, Fryday rifling over from out around the middle of the field, to take a 0-13 to 0-9 advantage to the second water-break.
Four points to two they went on to outscore Waterford and it was difficult to see the Déise mount a comeback.
As the game came to its conclusion, Waterford goalkeeper Brianna O’Regan brought off a marvellous one-on-one save from Orla O’Dwyer.
Meanwhile, the draw for the All-Ireland senior camogie championship semi-finals has pitted Cork against defending champions Kilkenny while Galway will face the Premier, both ties are tomorrow week in Croke Park.
The games are a repeat of the 2020 last four games in which Kilkenny defeated Cork by 2-10 to 1-11 and Galway got the better of Tipp 1-11 to 0-8 last November.
C Devane (0-7 frees), E Fryday, E McGrath, R Howard, O O’Dwyer and C McIntyre (0-2 each).
N Rockett (0-6, 0-4 frees, 0-1 45), A Flynn (0-2), C O’Sullivan, S Lacey and V Falconer (0-1 each).
C Bourke; J Bourke, M Ryan, E Loughman; M Eviston, K Kennedy, A McGrath (J-Capt); G O’Brien, E Fryday; E McGrath, R Howard, O O’Dwyer; C McIntyre, C Devane (J-Capt), N Walsh.
K Blair for M Ryan (37 inj), M Campion for G O’Brien (40), S Delaney for N Walsh (52).
B O’Regan; K Barry, I Heffernan, K Lynch; C Carroll, O Hickey, L Bray; C Griffin, S Curran; C O’Sullivan, N Rockett (Capt), A Flynn; S Lacey, A Corcoran, V Falconer.
S Fitzgerald for A Corcoran (50), S McGuckian for C O’Sullivan (54), C Whyte for K Lynch (58), J McCarthy for S Lacey (60).
Liz Dempsey (Kilkenny).