OFFALY AND CORK cemented their places in the quarter-finals of the All-Ireland senior camogie championship by virtue of their play-off victories over Kilkenny and Tipperary, who will play Dublin and Clare next Saturday, with the last two quarter-final spots up for grabs.
Not for the first time, it was Elaine Dermody who struck the killer blow for Offaly, her 48th minute goal breaking the Kilkenny resistance on the way to a 2-13 to 1-11 win in Birr.
The hosts got off to a great start with an Arlene Watkins goal after seven minutes but Kilkenny were buoyed by the wind, and the efforts of Katie Power and Miriam Walsh. Power raised a green flag for the Cats who edged their noses in front to lead by 1-6 to 1-5 at half time. With player of the match, Siobhán Flannery driving them on from midfield, and the half-back line proving irresistible, Offaly edged a point in front when Dermody caught the sliotar, turned and drove a powerful shot to the Kilkenny net. That gave Offaly the crucial daylight and they were held out for a deserved win.
There was nothing like the same flow of scores or play in the Cork-Tipp encounter in Ballincollig but it was all about the result for the Rebels against their improving rivals. Katrina Mackey’s first half goal was the most significant moment in the game, and with Jenny O’Leary adding three points it gave the home side a 1-4 to 0-4 interval lead.
Nicole Walsh provided all Tipperary’s first half scores from frees and she added another brace after the resumption but Cork had the superior artillery up front. The excellent Mackey brought her personal tally to 1-4 with three lovely points from play. O’Leary and Orla Cotter were amongst those also on the mark to ensure their side’s advancement to the top six on a 1-13 to 0-9 scoreline.
Wexford and Galway await the winners of the two quarter-finals in the semi-finals.