Fennelly goal helps Cats to seal semi-final berth
Three of the four Division 1 semi-finalists have been decided with one round still remaining, after Kilkenny, Cork and Wexford secured their spots with wins over Limerick, Offaly and Tipperary.
Kilkenny beat Limerick 2-13 to 1-6, with a Leanne Fennelly goal sending them on their way as they led by 1-6 to 0-2 at half-time. The Noresiders added two points before Aoife Neary goaled and suddenly the margin was 11.
Limerick hit back with a Sarah Collins goal, while Caoimhe Costelloe added three points but it was Kilkenny that finished strongest, with points from Denise Gaule, Walsh and Shelley Farrell ensuring a comfortable success.
Cork had to work much harder against Offaly at Páirc Uí Rinn despite scoring a goal after two minutes courtesy of Katrina Mackey.
Julia White found the net in the 49th minute for Cork and with Mackey bringing her tally to 1-5 and Orla Cotter slotting four points, not even the seven-point contribution of Elaine Dermody could save the Faithful girls.
Wexford were much too strong for Tipperary. The Model County women led by 1-11 to 0-1 early in the second half, with Ursula Jacob getting the goal. They prevailed by 1-16 to 1-6, with Amy Kennedy finding the net for Tipp.
Galway sealed a 4-7 to 0-12 win over Clare and these two sides must wait until the final round in two weeks to see if they can bag the final semi-final position. The Tribeswomen raced into a five-point lead but four points from Claire McMahon had the Banner just one behind at half-time. Clare moved two points clear, but goals from Niamh Kilkenny, Brenda Hanney and Emma Kilkelly confirmed the vital victory.