Kilkenny squeeze out Tipperary in classic encounter

Kilkenny and Galway will contest the National Camogie League Division 1 final after two dramatic semi-finals wins. The Noresiders were involved in a titanic tussle with Tipperary at Carriganore yesterday, and needed extra time before taking the spoils 2-13 to 0-15.

Ann Downey’s charges took command in that extra period and Denise Gaule and Julieann Malone goals saw off Tipperary. In a dramatic conclusion Tipperary’s Jenny Grace smashed a penalty over the bar — the last of her 11 points in a stunning display.

Tipperary led 0-6 to 0-5 at half-time, with the Fryday sisters Ereena and Sarah prominent in deep-lying roles.

It took a pointed 45 by Grace to make it 0-9 each at the end of normal time but when Gaule scored a goal (she scored 1-5) there was daylight between the teams for the first time. Malone found the Tipperary net in the second period of extra time. There was no way back for the blue and gold.

Extra time looked likely in St Brendan’s Park, Birr too on Saturday, only for Niamh McGrath to slot an injury-time point to edge Galway past an Limerick (1-11 to 0-13). Aoife Donoghue grabbed an early goal for the champions.

Niamh Mulcahy ended with 11 — including three from play. John Tuohy’s team led 0-7 to 1-2 at half-time and Mulcahy soon stretched that to three. Galway showed their experience, with the super Niamh Kilkenny running the show on the way to scoring four points from play.

Galway moved two points clear but Mulcahy came back with three more scores which edged Limerick ahead with normal time almost up.

Sub Molly Dunne equalised before McGrath completed the smash-and-grab victory.

Meath and Galway will contest the Division 2 final. Jane Dolan was the scoring heroine for the Royals in Clane, shooting six points in the 0-14 to 1-9 defeat of Carlow. Rachel Monaghan hit five points as Galway beat Kildare 0-13 to 1-9.


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