In a game which had everything including six goals, a converted penalty, super points and a nail-biting finish it was Tipperary who eventually emerged victorious with three points to spare in the Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship group two clash played at Nowlan Park, Kilkenny on Saturday afternoon. Next up for Tipperary is a trip to Clare on Saturday, July 6 when the Premier County take on the home side in another crucial fixture (time and venue to be confirmed).
Liberty Insurance All-Ireland
Senior Camogie Championship
Tipperary 4-11 Waterford 2-14
This was a re-scheduled fixture between Tipperary and Waterford - the previous game had to be abandoned due to a serious injury. So,, both sides travelled to Nowlan Park looking for a victory to help their ambitions of reaching the knock-out stages of the championship. In their opening game Tipp suffered a heavy defeat to Cork while Waterford recorded a victory over Dublin.
Tipp needed a win to kick-start their championship and they got off to the perfect start with a goal after three minutes from Ereena Fryday. By the 15th minute they had a second goal when minor star Grace O’Toole, who was making her senior championship debut, drove through the heart of the Waterford defence only to have her shot brilliantly saved by Brianna Regan in the Waterford goal. The rebound fell to Orla O’Dwyer, but her ground strike was also saved before Megan Ryan made it third time lucky as her shot fired past Regan to the delight of the Tipperary supporters.
Tipperary now led by six points (2-2 to 0-2).
Waterford, however, were in no mood to lie down and in the 22nd minute a great run by Annie Fitzgerald resulted in a penalty which the excellent Beth Carton made no mistake in firing home.
Both sides exchanged points, but it was Waterford who took the lead going in at the break when Annie Fitzgerald got on the end of a Trish Jackman delivery to flick the ball into the net in injury time to give Waterford a one point advantage (2-6 to 2-5). Tipp also suffered the added blow of losing Orla O’Dwyer to an injury late in the first half.
A bright start to the second half was required for the Premier and they duly obliged when another brilliant run by Grace O’Toole right from the throw-in ended with a second goal for Ereena Fryday. Cait Devane followed up with a pointed free before Grace O’Toole found herself on the end of another Tipperary attack and she made no mistake when blasting the ball to the back of the net to put Tipp into the driving seat.
WATERFORD FIGHT BACK
Beth Carton led the fight back for Waterford with six second half points from play and placed balls as she continued her great duel with Julieanne Bourke. The experienced Cait Devane also chipped in with some vital scores for her side and with ten minutes remaining Tipp led by only two points (4-7 to 2-11).
With twenty-five minutes played it was all square (4-7 to 2-13) and a draw looked on the cards as both teams continued to give it their all in the blistering heat. However unlike the first half Waterford weren’t able to get in front and it was Tipp who out-scored them in the final minutes four points to one courtesy of scores from Megan Ryan, Cait Devane and Niamh Treacy who all showed great composure under pressure in the dying minutes of the game.
There was delight at the final whistle for the Tipperay girls and a win which they deserved after battling hard and withstanding everything Waterford threw at them.
For Tipperary all six backs were excellent as was 'keeper Caoimhe Bourke who was involved in a lot of play and dealt brilliantly with everything that came her way. The switch of Karen Kennedy to midfield at half-time had a big impact as she added a new dimension to the Tipperary attack.
It was unfortunate that Orla O’Dwyer had to leave the fray early as she was posing a real threat inside and had a point on the board before picking up her hamstring injury. Megan Ryan showed her strength and skill up front with a goal and two points while Grace O’Toole made a massive contribution with her energy and pace in midfield and was involved in two goals and scored one.
Tipperary: Caoimhe Bourke, Julieanne Bourke, Aoife McGrath, Eimear Loughman, Clodagh Quirke, Karen Kennedy, Mary Ryan, Niamh Treacy (0-1), Grace O’Toole (1-0), Eibhlis McDonnell, Megan Ryan (1-2), Ereena Fryday (2-0), Grace O’Brien, Orla O’Dwyer (0-1), Cait Devane (0-7, 0-2 '45s, 0-2 frees). Subs: Miriam Campion for Orla O’Dwyer, Gemma Grace for Grace O’Brien, Laura Loughnane for Ereena Fryday, Caroline Mullaney for Megan Ryan.