Camogie round-up: Tipperary, Galway and Cork in final contention with one round to go

Tipperary in line for a first appearance in a senior national camogie decider since 2009

Tipperary are on the brink of a first appearance in a senior national camogie decider since 2009, with Galway and Cork also in contention as Division 1A of the Very Camogie League enters its final round of group games next week.

Denis Kelly’s squad overcame border rivals Kilkenny by 2-12 to 1-6 at UPMC Nowlan Park and with that following victories over Galway and Cork, having lost their opener to Waterford, they are now heavy favourites to appear in a national showpiece for the first time since losing the league final to Wexford 15 years ago.

Tipperary are actually in second on the table after the penultimate round of action but their last game is against a youthful Clare squad that has yet to register a win this season. And barring a big win for the Banner and Kilkenny losing heavily to Waterford, they are headed for Division 1B next season.

The Déise will be hoping Clare pull off a shock as last year’s All-Ireland finalists, who went into this phase on top of the table on score difference, conceded points in the seventh and ninth minutes of injury time to fall to a 0-13 to 0-12 defeat to Galway in Loughrea, leaving their aspirations hanging by a thread.


In contrast, Galway’s ambitions of a league three-in-a-row are alive and well thanks to that dramatic conclusion and a draw at home next week against Cork will be enough to get them in the decider on score difference.

All-Ireland champions Cork got back on track with a 1-15 to 1-6 triumph over Clare at Páirc Uí Rinn after losing their 100 per cent record a fortnight ago and with their inferior score difference, they must win next week.

Injury-time points from Carrie Dolan and Aisling O’Reilly foiled a stirring second-half comeback by Waterford. Playing into a very strong wind, the hosts saw a six-point half-time advantage evaporate after the restart, as the Suirsiders, promoted to the top tier as Division 1B winners, ran riot in the latter period.

When Waterford goalkeeper Brianna O’Regan lofted over her second pointed free in five minutes, either side of a score from play by Beth Carton, the 2023 player of the year’s eighth of the day, Jerry Wallace’s side looked booked for a famous success as they hit the front in the third minute of injury-time.

But there was plenty more action remaining, as Dolan equalised from a free before O’Reilly slotted the winner from play in the ninth minute of injury-time.

Cathal Murray’s squad included former Down star and prodigious forward talent Niamh Mallon, whose protracted transfer saga came to a close with her switch of club allegiances to Sarsfields, and a first appearance of another ex-player of the year, Niamh Kilkenny, who sat out 2023.

They began like lightning, Niamh Niland, Dervla Higgins and Dolan raising white flags inside four minutes. Dolan, like Carton, would tot up eight points and six of those came in the opening period at the end of which, Galway led 10-4.

Carton, Lorraine Bray and Niamh Curran quickly ate into the deficit and after Dolan made it a four-point game approaching the three-quarter mark, Waterford really cut loose with the next five points, three from Carton to go with those inspirational O’Regan scores.

Galway showed the character of champions to dig deep and snatch the spoils.

Tipperary overcame Kilkenny with the minimum of fuss. With confidence buoyed by recent performances and results and the likes of Karen Kennedy returning from injury to the starting line-up for the first time this season, they were able to remain composed after conceding a seventh-minute goal to Katie Power.

Their player of the tournament to date Eimear McGrath had slotted three points, Kennedy goaled right on the half-hour to give Tipp a 1-4 to 1-2 half-time lead.

The cut loose after the restart, recording eight of the next nine scores to put this affair to bed. McGrath’s 46th-minute goal removed all doubt and she would finish with 1-7.

Cork improved in the second half to eventually pull away from Clare, leading at the end of a scrappy first half by just 6-1 – Saoirse McCarthy slotting four points – despite playing with the elements.

When Katrina Mackey set up Hannah Looney for a goal early in the second half, the Leesiders were able to throw the shackles off and with McCarthy and Sorcha McCartan keeping the scoreboard ticking over.

Áine O’Loughlin kept up her good form throughout the campaign with a 41st-minute goal but Cork were always comfortable.

In Division 1B, a resurgent Antrim came from behind to shock Limerick by 3-10 to 2-5 at Ballycastle and move to within one win over Dublin next week that would earn them a place in the decider.

That seemed unlikely when a cobbled together unit fell to a 52-point defeat to Wexford just three weeks ago but with some key players returned to the fray under the interim management of Carl McCormick, they followed up a victory over Kerry with this victory.

Goals from Niamh Ryan and Caoimhe Lyons gave the visitors a 2-2 to 0-4 interval advantage but Annie Lynn buoyed the hosts with a goal early after the restart.

McCormick introduced four subs, who all had an impact and two of them, Fionnuala Kelly and Sarah Fyfe raised two green flags to secure the points for the Saffrons.

Wexford are assured of a place in the final with one round remaining as they cruised to a 4-15 to 0-3 success over Kerry.