CORK CAME TO AN EASY triumph against Limerick in their Littlewoods Ireland Camogie League Division 1 Group 2 game, which began explosively before it ended 5-17 to 0-6 in Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
Ashling Thompson was a notable presence throughout and was influential from the start when Cork scored three points just over the first two minutes after Sears McCarthy and brilliant pair Cliony Healy (one with free).
Five minutes passed when Healy forced a turn from the pronunciation, played Amy O’Connor, and the St. Vincent speed racer picked up the net.
Michelle Curtin beat Limerick, but seconds later Sorcha McCarton struck the net after Izzy O’Regan removed him into a magnificent isolation. Extra goals from O’Connor, O’Regan and Healy, who scored a goal and seven, made the score 5-10 to 0-3 at the break, and Curtin scored all of Shannonsider’s results.
Matthew Twomie was able to introduce Chloe Sigerson during the break, and star Keeley scored three outstanding points when the Rebels reached the finish line.
Kilkenny is the most successful team in the League in a decade, but the champions have experienced great fear, they need a point immediately after the death of Kelian Doyle to snatch 1-8 to 0-10 victory over Claire at Cusack Park.
Bannerwomen have nothing tangible to showcase their two matches, but after leading Cork last weekend at the break and then following that up with this great show, they illustrated a level of form that suggests they are relying on the progress made in recent years.
Denise Gaul prematurely converted a penalty, brilliantly repelled by Doiran Murphy, and Kaoimhe Carmodi pointed to the other end to bring Claire forward. Katie Nolan and Emir Kelly, and then Katie Power and Lorna McMahon swapped the score, but Miriam Walsh’s goal in the 27th minute had to prove a critical score as he ensured that the Cats would never fall behind again. Howl and Laura Norris scored points, and although Aoif O’Loughlin replied that the break was 1-4 to 0-4.
Most of the second half Gavle knocked out of the second penalty, shortly after Murphy made another brilliant save, this time from Katie Nolan. Carmody scored a bracket of points to keep the hosts connected, and when McMahon and Kelly raised more white flags, it was a one-point game.
With just over a minute of regular time left, McMahon tied the score with a free-kick that she herself won, but the mentality of the champions was demonstrated as Doyle still had time to go ahead and win, which means Kilkenny will now play Cork at 12 March for the finals as group winners.
In Group 1, All-Ireland Galway champions held Down for a long time before opening in the second half to capture 4-17 to 0-8 triumph in Letroim. Buck Morne welcomed Niam Mellon back after her heroism with Portaferri, and she was in the forefront when they took over the Ends, trailing just 1-5 to 0-5.
The Maroons opened after a recovery, returning 2-5 in the last few minutes, giving the final result a stern look in terms of Down. Rebecca Henley finished with a hat-trick of goals for the winners, and Aoife Donahue captured her second major of the competition. The result means Galway will fight the Typeri for two weeks to determine the group winner and Division 1 finalist.
Dublin have built on a decent starting match against Galway, surpassing the young Ofi team that has to do without the Saint-Rhin contingent now. 1-12 to 0-2. Adrian O’Sullivan and his behind-the-scenes staff made several key positional changes since last week’s release, which along with the first start of the season for skipper Hannah Hegarty brought rich dividends to Manigalle.
Eisling Maher scored five points in the first half, which combined a goal and Aisling’s O’Neill established a 1-6 to 0-1 advantage over Offaly, whose score was secured by Sarah Harding from the penalty spot.
Carrie Finnegan got into a fight instead of Maher at the break, but it didn’t make much difference in terms of shooting the Dubs from placed swords, as O’Neill inherited responsibilities and split the racks twice. Sniper Castleknock scored a couple more points from the game to bring her score to 1-5 when the Blues relentlessly escaped.
Jody Couch and Niam Gannan also noted, but Offaly’s efforts were rewarded with the last word when Harding turned another penalty before the final whistle.
* Meanwhile, at the Irish Junior Club Championships, Eagan Rua (Derry) defeated Atliga (Rascomon) 1-12: 0-6 in the postponed semi-final to set up the final match with Clanmore (Kerry) next weekend.