Camogie: Intermediate sextet confirmed, with four left in Premier Junior championship

July 06, 2024

Cork and Kilkenny are into into the semi-finals of the Glen Dimplex Intermediate championship

by Kevin Egan

Cork and Kilkenny marched emphatically into the semi-finals of the Glen Dimplex Intermediate championship this afternoon with big wins over Galway and Kildare respectively, ensuring they can both sit back and watch quarter-final contests next weekend that will see Offaly take on Meath, while Galway will play Kerry.

Top of the table in Group 1 was at stake at Castle Road in Cork, and while it looked finely poised at half-time with Cork 0-7 to 0-5 in front, Galway had played with a strong breeze and racked up 12 wides in the opening half, most significantly a goal effort from Chloe Kelly that hit the side netting.

Lauren Homan found the net for the home side within 20 seconds of the restart and when Cork rattled off three points in quick succession through Niamh O’Regan, Laura Doyle and Homan again, the Tribeswomen were in trouble.

With no Galway forward making any meaningful inroads as none scored more than 0-1 from play, the Rebels were never under pressure. Eimear Duignan shot three points from play and Homan completed her hat-trick of goals to finish the game with 3-2 in what was eventually a 3-17 to 0-9 win for the Rebels.

Offaly leapfrogged Galway into second place and cemented their place in the quarter-final with a 2-10 to 1-8 victory over Westmeath in what was effectively a knockout, winner-takes-all game played in TEG Cusack Park, Mullingar. Gráinne Kennedy scored Offaly’s crucial second goal in the 58th minute to seal victory.

A more clinical Offaly side led by 1-7 to 1-6 at half time, with Grace Teehan scoring the Offaly goal.

Offaly midfielder Clodagh Leahy was in top form converting five frees. Westmeath dominated possession in the second half but struck some very poor wides. Megan Dowdall scored 1-7 of Westmeath’s total of 1-8. However a missed penalty by Dowdall in the 45th minute proved crucial. Offaly sub Kennedy then struck that vital goal as David Sullivan’s side clinched a deserved five-point win.

Elsewhere in the group, Clare outscored Wexford by six points to two in the second half of their game in Ennis to eke out a 1-7 to 0-9 win that confirmed Wexford’s place in the relegation playoffs.

In group two, Kilkenny travelled to Hawkfield and cruised to a 3-15 to 0-6 win over Kildare to top their section, earning a measure of compensation for the county’s senior defeat to Dublin at Croke Park.

Goals coming from Carlise Comerford and Niamh Crowley on 20 and 21 minutes looked to break the Kildare effort, who had been competitive to that point.

From there a host of points looked to leave Kilkenny in the driving seat, the pick of those coming from a fine strike from Danielle Morrissey on the stroke of half-time.

In the second half it was a case of same again as Kildare struggled to provide any real competition. Morrissey again dominated the scoring for the Kilkenny women, adding four white flags in the second half to balance out the same total in the first.

A statement point from Caoimhe Ní Bhuircheal looked to be the best Kildare could muster in response, but Kilkenny crushed any potential uprising through Emma Mulhall, who netted three minutes after her second half introduction.

Kerry held on to second place in the group by way of scoring difference, despite coming up short in Rathmolyon against a superior Meath side, who were full value for their 2-12 to 3-5 home win.

After Meath started brightly, two goals from Amy O’Sullivan were the key scores in a run of 2-2 unanswered from the Kingdom women in reply, helping them to lead by 2-3 to 1-4 at half time.

Ciara Foley (0-4 in total) and Olivia O’Halloran (0-3) were in fine scoring form as Meath roared into the game with six points in a succession after half-time, building a strong lead before Patrice Diggin goaled to pull Kerry back into the game.

12 second half wides from the Royals also kept Kerry in contention but Meath had too many strong performers with Áine McNerney and Rachel O’Neill very impressive in defence, Tracey King hurling a world of ball at midfield and Amy Gaffney going well at centre forward, finishing up with 1-2.

The final game in that group was one-way traffic, with Dublin crushing Antrim by 7-19 to 0-2.

In the Premier Junior Championship, group form held up as group runners-up Cavan and Armagh accounted for the two third-placed teams in a double header at Clane, meaning the Ulster duo will join Laois and Tipperary in the last four, with the semi-final draw due to be conducted tomorrow (Sunday).

The action at the Kildare venue was held up due to a serious collision just before half time in the game between Cavan and Armagh, which led to a 42-minute stoppage and Cavan goalkeeper Michelle Ellis being hospitalized as a precaution.

Despite this setback, Cavan’s strong second half showing ensured a 1-18 to 0-11 win. The Breffni women started well too, goaling through Christine O’Reilly with their first attack and then going on to lead by 1-5 to no score after 12 minutes. However, Tyrone rallied well in response, led by Róisín McErlean who shot 0-7 on the day from centre forward, 0-3 from play, but the closest they got was just after half-time when she made it 1-8 to 0-7.

Eimear Brady, Niamh Keenaghan, Emma Plunkett and Sophie Slowey all scored well in the second half however as Cavan moved through the gears to secure a double-digit margin of victory.

In the second half of the double header, Roscommon’s Hazel Kelly found the net from a long ball into the heart of the Armagh defence, but the Orchard County were too hot to handle from then on and they were full value for a 1-20 to 1-10 win over the Connacht county.

Following Kelly’s goal Armagh came to life and four points without reply set them on the road to holding a four-point half-time advantage. Niamh Fitzgerald was on target late in the half to try and break Armagh’s momentum but this was to no effect as points from Eimear O’Kane and Rachael Merry concluded the action.

Following the half-time break again it was end-to-end as the sides traded scores, but Ciara Geoghegan’s second half goal was to prove decisive.

Roscommon looked to take the edge off with a free from Kelly before Armagh added a further trio of points to take them nine clear mid-way through the second half. Responding with three of their own Roscommon, looked to force their way back into the tie but this wasn’t to be as Geoghegan hit four in the final eight minutes, and could even afford to miss a penalty and still see her side win well.

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