Cool Kate Kelly fires Wexford into semi-finals

Wexford snatched an injury-time winner to beat Tipperary 2-11 to 0-16 and book an All-Ireland Senior Camogie semi-final against champions Cork.

Not for the first time in a remarkable career, Kate Kelly was the hero as she held her composure to convert a free for the winner at Walsh Park, having seconds earlier chased back deep into her own half to force a turnover as Tipperary strove for a winner.

That was the 36-year-old’s eighth point of the day but as joyous as it proved for Wexford, it was a nightmare event for their opponents.

Brian Boyle’s outfit will be thoroughly devastated, as they led by eight points early in the second half having been the dominant outfit, with Nicole Walsh, Orla O’Dwyer and Róisín Howard all contributing well.

Even when Úna Leacy struck her eighth goal of the campaign, Tipperary looked confident and responded with points from Nicole Walsh and Mairead Teehan to lead by seven.

It would have been all over but for two splendid saves by Mags D’Arcy to deny Teehan and Miriam Campion and those contributions were critical as Tipp failed to score in the last 20 minutes while Wexford drew on all their experience to find another level.

A goal was needed and Emma Walsh cashed in on good work by Shelley Kehoe and Leacy to provide it in the 53rd minute.

That made it a two-point game and after Kelly slotted another free, Katrina Parrock pulled first time on a hopping ball to bring the sides level, leaving it to Kelly to put the exclamation mark on a dramatic comeback.

Kilkenny will play Galway in the other semi-final after a much easier than expected 1-19 to 0-11 win over Offaly at MacDonagh Park.

The sides have met twice already this season, with the Noresiders prevailing in the league final at the beginning of May but their old rivals getting the upper hand in the last game of the round-robin stages.

Kilkenny got a dream start against Offaly with a goal from Julieann Malone and Offaly never seemed to recover. Miriam Walsh (two), Anna Farrell and Michelle Quilty all added points before Michaela Morkan put Offaly on the board from a free.

Kilkenny were relentless however, and the unerring Gaule fired over five more points to give her side a 1-11 to 0-6 lead at half time.

To give Adrian Clancy’s charges credit, they were much more competitive after the resumption and kept their faint hopes alive with three points from Morkan but Kilkenny had scoring power from everywhere, while their defence managed to shut down Tina Hannon and Arlene Watkins completely.

Katie Power, Malone, and Quilty kept the scoreboard ticking over and Downey was in the happy position of being able to empty her bench.

Offaly kept fighting but the game fizzled out to an inevitable end.


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