Karen Kennedy goal vital as Tipperary progress to another All-Ireland senior camogie semi-final

Champions Galway await in the last four

Grace O'Brien

Grace O'Brien goes on the attack for Tipperary against Waterford in the Liberty Insurance All-Ireland senior camogie championship quarter-final at Páirc Uí Chaoimh

Tipperary 1-12 Waterford 0-10 

A 42nd minute goal by Karen Kennedy gave Tipperary the vital breathing place and ensured a place in the last four of the Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship for the third consecutive season, with champions Galway lying in wait in a match that will be played at Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Saturday November 28. 

It was the third year in-a-row too that Waterford failed to get beyond this hurdle but they will have little cause for complaint, having been unable to go through the gears in the second half. 

It was a far cagier affair than the opening quarter-final between Cork and Clare, with both teams withdrawing players even when playing with the gale into the Blackrock End at Páirc Uí Chaoimh. 

That was undoubtedly a nod of respect to the attacking threats of both sides, though the irony of the situation was that they each carried more threat into the elements. 

Fergal O’Brien and Dan Shanahan moved Beth Carton to the edge of the square just as the minimum of five minutes of injury time was announced, and the De La Salle scoring machine had a rasping shot brilliantly saved by Tipperary goalkeeper Áine Slattery. 

A goal wouldn’t have been enough anyway, as Tipp showed all their experience in the second half to impose their will. 

It was a huge win for Bill Mullaney’s crew, particularly as they were without the considerable services of suspended Aishling Moloney and former skipper Orla O’Dwyer, who departed for Australia to take up AFLW duties. 

Waterford excelled in the first half in terms of workrate and craft and went in at the break trailing by just 0-8 to 0-6. However it was their Munster neighbours who found the necessary improvement in the second half, upping their intensity considerably to maintain and then increase their advantage. 

Tipp got off to a fantastic start with a point after 10 seconds from Niamh Treacy, followed by a point from Cáit Devane, who provided seven points of her side’s tally. 

But Waterford were showing plenty and it was notable that four of their forwards scored from play. Abby Flynn in particular looked very dangerous and was well supported by Sarah Lacey, Carton and Niamh Rockett. 

But they could not get into the game after the resumption, Tipp instead finding another level. 

Devane launched a prodigious score from nearly 65 metres into the wind before Nicole Walsh and Rockett exchanged scores. 

That had three points between the sides when Kennedy, marking Carton throughout, somehow found herself in the opposition danger zone, and winning the race with Waterford goalkeeper Brianna O’Regan to force the sliotar home for a critical score. 

Carton led the resistance but Walsh and Devane kept the scoreboard ticking over at the other end and Aoife McGrath, Kennedy and Mary Ryan were in among those in no mood to yield. 

Scorers for Tipperary: C Devane 0-7 (5 frees); K Kennedy 1-0; N Walsh 0-2; N Treacy, M Campion, G O’Brien 0-1 each. 

Scorers for Waterford: B Carton 0-5 (2 frees, 1 45); N Rockett, A Flynn 0-2 each; S Lacey 0-1. 

Tipperary: Á Slattery, C Quirke, M Ryan, E Loughman, M Eviston, K Kennedy, A McGrath, N Treacy, S Quirke, N Walsh, R Howard, C Devane, G O’Brien, M Campion, C McIntyre.

Subs: E Fryday for S Quirke (ht), J Kelly for O’Brien (41), K Blair for Fryday inj (55), JA Burke for Ryan (60+6). 

Waterford: B O’Regan, S Harney, I Heffernan, C White, L Bray, C Carroll, C McGrath, O Hickey, S Curran, A Flynn, B Carton, A Fitzgerald, K Lynch, S Lacey, N Rockett.

Subs: A Landers for Fitzgerald (45), A Corcoran for Lacey (50), K Corbett Barry for Hickey (55), S Fitzgerald for Curran (55). 

Referee: John Dermody (Westmeath). 

For more sport read Tipperary beat Cork to reach All-Ireland senior hurling championship quarter-final

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