All Ireland Senior Camogie Championship – Tipperary 3-14 Offaly 1-14

Offaly challenge undone by trio of first-half goals

From the Offaly Express newspaper

GOALS will nearly always win games and that was the case in Semple Stadium last Saturday as three soft first-half three pointers for Tipperary in the first-half proved the key as they edged to victory over a spirited Offaly side. While Offaly will be disappointed at suffering a second defeat in the championship, the 2009 All Ireland Junior Champions and 2010 Intermediate Champions showed that they are not out of place at this level and it should only be a matter of time before they record their first win.

For the majority of the game Offaly went stride for stride with their more experienced opponents and it was only in the last ten minutes that any real daylight appeared between the sides. In the opening 30 minutes Marion Crean, Michaela Morkan, Sheila Sullivan, Tina Hannon and Jean Brady bossed the area around the Offaly half-back line and midfield making it very difficult for Tipperary to mount attacks. Despite Offaly’s efforts, the home side were ahead at the break by 3-5 to 1-8. They were fortunate to be in front as two of their three goals came from distance. Offaly goalkeeper Michelle Gleeson had a difficult day under the high ball mishandling two looping efforts that dropped over the line.

To their credit Offaly never dropped their heads and thanks to the accuracy of Elaine Dermody, they were still within a point of Tipperary early in the second-half. However the five time All Ireland Senior Champions showed their greater experience at this level and they managed to pull away in the closing stages with Jill Horan leading the way. For Offaly Lorraine Keena was rock solid at full-back while former Shooting Star Award Winner Fiona Stephens had another fine game at corner-back.

The half-back line and midfield again performed strongly while the forwards worked tirelessly over the hour with Linda Sullivan performing very well when switched to corner-back in the second-half. Playing against the wind, Tipperary made the dream start to the game opening up a 1-2 to 0-1 lead after just five minutes. A brace of points from Clair Grogan was followed by a goal from Sarah Fryday after her looping shot from distance eluded Michelle Gleeson and ended up in the Offaly net.

Elaine Dermody had opened Offaly’s account after two minutes and shed added two further points with Aoife Kelly adding another to get Offaly back within one after nine minutes. Claire Grogan pointed a free to double Tipperary’s advantage but Offaly blasted into the lead when Linda Sullivan reacted quickest to force the ball over the line after Ailsa Hughes’ initial shot was well saved by Rita Bourke. At this point Offaly’s work-rate was causing problems for the home side with the visitors half-backs and midfielders setting the tempo.

However two goals in a minute for Tipperary swung the game firmly in their favour. The first was finished to back of the net by Noreen Flanagan while the second was a carbon copy of the earlier goal when a looping shot from Jill Horan evaded Michelle Gleeson and finished in the back of the net. Offaly hit back with points from Michaela Morkan and Arlene Watkins who slotted the ball over from a very narrow angle but Offaly still found themselves three points behind after 25 minutes.

Goalkeeping in any sport is a very unforgiving position as every mistake is magnified and the Offaly net minder just had one of those days where everything that could go wrong for her did go wrong. Pamela Nugent was eventually brought on to replace her between the posts and before the break the sides added two points apiece to leave Tipperary ahead by 3-5 to 1-8. Within seven minutes of the restart Offaly had reduced the gap to the minimum after a brace of points from placed balls from Elaine Dermody.

A point apiece for each side followed with Dermody cancelling out a score from Cora Hennessy but the next three points all came for Tipp before Dermody was again on target for Offaly leaving her side just a score behind at 3-9 to 1-12. In the closing minutes Tipperary’s greater strength in depth in their squad and their experience at this level told as lead by Jill Horan they added five further points to just two in reply for Offaly to put a flattering final look on the scoreline. Offaly travel to Dublin next weekend hoping to repeat the result they posted at home to the same side in the Leinster Championship semi-final. Dublin have also suffered defeat in their first two games so both teams will be targeting a win to get their championship campaign on track.


Tipperary: Jill Horan 1-3; Clair Grogan 0-6 (0-3f); Sarah Fryday 1-1; Noreen Flanagan 1-0; Cora Hennessy 0-3; Joanne Ryan 0-1

Offaly: Elaine Dermody 0-9 (0-6f, 0-1 ‘45); Linda Sullivan 1-0; Siobhan Flannery 0-1; Arlene Watkins 0-1; Michaela Morkan 0-1; Aoife Kelly 0-1; Tina Hannon 0-1


Tipperary: 5

Offaly: 4

Yellow Cards

Tipperary: 1 (Julie Kirwan)

Offaly: 0

Red Cards: None

Tipperary: Rita Bourke; Maria Tynan, Sabrina Larkin, Geraldine Stapleton; Julie McGrath, Julie Kirwan, Clodagh Quirke; Jill Horan, Mary Ryan; Ali Lonergan, Cora Hennessy, Clair Grogan; Sarah Fryday, Eimer Shanahan, Noreen Flanagan. Subs: Brid Quinn for Clodagh Quirke (11mins), Nicole Walsh for Ali Lonergan (42mins), Joanne Ryan for Eimer Shanahan (42mins), Amy Kennedy for Sarah Fryday (55mins)

Offaly: Michelle Gleeson; Fiona Stephens, Lorraine Keena, Karen Brady; Jean Brady, Michaela Morkan, Marion Crean; Sheila Sullivan, Tina Hannon; Linda Sullivan, Arlene Watkins, Ailsa Hughes; Aoife Kelly, Elaine Dermody, Siobhan Flannery. Subs: Pamela Nugent for Michelle Gleeson (24mins), Debbie Flynn for Karen Brady (HT), Emma Dunne for Ailsa Hughes (51mins), Roisin Coughlan for Aoife Kelly (57mins)

Referee: Mike O’Kelly (Cork)

All-Ireland GAA Hurling Championship Qualifier Preliminary Round – Cork 10-20 Laois 1-13

Cork demolish Laois

From the Irish Examiner newspaper

Cork 10-20 Laois 1-13

Cork ran riot in the second half of this All-Ireland SHC qualifier as they powered their way to an astonishing 34-point win over Laois. Pat Horgan and Paudie O’Sullivan both scored hat-tricks in this Portlaoise pulverising, Luke O’Farrell notched one and Championship debutants Bill Cooper and Jamie Coughlan (2) also found the net. Willie Hyland’s 28th-minute goal kept Laois in contention at half-time as they trailed by 3-09 to 1-08. But the Rebels, with Horgan amassing 3-10 in all, showed no mercy in the closing 35 minutes.

Denis Walsh’s men completely dominated and took chance after chance against a Laois full-back line that was left hopelessly exposed. They move on to a home game against Offaly next Saturday. Cork had some careless shooting in the opening stages, tallying up four early wides as the midlanders moved 0-04 to 0-02 ahead by the eighth minute. Hyland showed some very good touches, landing a brace of early scores as did the lively Neil Foyle. Horgan, with the benefit of the left hand post, reduced the gap to a single point before Ger Reddin set up John Brophy for Laois’ fifth. The well-placed Patrick Mullaney managed to save a goal-bound shot from O’Sullivan and Laois smuggled the ball clear through John A Delaney after two further blocks. But just moments later, Laois’ rearguard was split open for Horgan to smack home his goal and shoot the visitors ahead at 1-03 to 0-05.

Walsh’s charges pushed on with a second goal, O’Sullivan breaking onto a point attempt that held up in the breeze and rounding Mullaney in impressive fashion. Cork were suddenly taking advantage of the space afforded to them, their half-forwards, particularly Niall McCarthy, coming alive as Horgan (free) and O’Sullivan tagged on points. Hyland and centre-back Matthew Whelan, who thumped a free over from near his own 45, got Laois back in the scoring groove amid a heavy rain shower. Horgan then took his personal haul to 1-03 and O’Farrell was hooked by Conor Dunne just as a third Cork goal seemed likely. O’Farrell’s subsequent ground shot was meat and drink to Mullaney. Hyland raised Laois’ hopes immediately as the ball was cleared downfield and he rose in behind Eoin Cadogan to catch it and rasp his shot past goalkeeper Donal Og Cusack.

The small crowd was lapping up the free-flowing hurling, with Cork finding the ideal response in the form of O’Farrell’s 33rd-minute goal – credit to Horgan for his run and final pass. McCarthy added his second point of the afternoon and Horgan sent a free over into driving rain, before Brophy popped over an injury-time point from near the sideline. Cooper, dusting himself off after a heavy challenge, broke onto a pass from McCarthy to finish the first half’s scoring and restore Cork’s seven-point advantage. Apart from a busy opening minute during which Reddin and Horgan traded scores, the intensity dropped quite substantially in the second half.

The competitiveness went right out of the game. Noel Costelloe pointed to make it 3-10 to 1-10 but Cork, with a considerable breeze now behind them, were soon coasting. Horgan struck three successive points and after a purposeful run from Ben O’Connor and a lapse from the Laois defence, O’Sullivan drove home a 47th minute goal. With Laois’ overworked full-back line struggling to keep up, Horgan added another two minutes later. Points followed from McCarthy and John Gardiner, with a trademark free from distance, and Cooper’s superbly-struck goal gave Cork a 6-15 to 1-10 lead.

Coughlan, who came on as a second half substitute, rounded his man and provided a pinpoint pass for O’Sullivan to complete his hat-trick, and shortly after that Horgan get loose again to register his third goal. Cooper landed a point to move himself onto 1-02 and the one-way traffic continued with a pointed free from Horgan. Laois stopped the rot briefly courtesy of a free from Whelan and a Brophy point from play. The hosts’ defending left a lot to be desired and Cork clinically put their scores away. Newcomer Coughlan turned well to fire the ninth goal past an unfortunate Mullaney. Cork goalkeeper Donal Og Cusack produced an excellent stop to deny Hyland a goal at the other end. There was yet more misery for Hyland’s defensive colleagues when points from Horgan (0-02) and substitute Ronan Curran were followed by a final goal from Coughlan, who was set up by his Newtownshandrum club-mate Ben O’Connor.

Cork will now play Offaly in the next round on Saturday next.

Match Preview

It’s only the second Championship clash between the counties and a first since the 1915 All-Ireland final when Laois, represented by Ballygeehan, beat Cork, represented by Redmonds, on a 6-2 to 4-1 scoreline. The last major clash between the counties was in the 1984 Centenary Cup final which Cork won by 2-21 to 1-9. #

Cork go into the qualifiers off a 3-22 to 0-23 defeat by Tipperary in the Munster quarter final. Patrick Horgan scored 0-13 (0-10 frees) while Ben O’Connor and Niall McCarthy scored 0-3 each as Cork recovered to draw level in the 56th minute before losing out on the home stretch.

Laois lost the Leinster quarter-final to Antrim by 1-21 to 3-12. Laois led by 2-7 to 1-5 at half-time, but Antrim, who had a man sent off five minutes into the second half, staged a spirited recovery to run out three point winners. Willie Hyland was Laois’s top scorer on 1-4.

All Ireland Senior Camogie Championship – Galway 1-10 Clare 1-7

Galway defeated Clare by 1-10 to 1-7 in the All Ireland Senior Camogie Championship on Saturday at Kenny Park Athenry.

All Ireland Senior Camogie Championship – Wexford 0-14 Cork 1-8

Wexford defeated Cork by 0-14 to 1-8 in the All Ireland Senior Camogie Championship on Saturday at Pairc Ui Chaoimh.