Galway go extra yard in march to last four
Galway displayed their credentials once more with a last-quarter flourish to beat Wexford 1-11 to 0-6 and cement their place in the Liberty Insurance senior championship semi-final.
While the Model County women and Cork could still finish equal on points with Galway, the 2013 champions would advance directly to the last four on the back of wins over their rivals.
This was an extremely tight affair for the majority at Innovate Wexford Park and there was no certainty that the 1-5 to 0-3 lead at half-time was sufficient for the league winners, given the strength of the wind, although the elements did die down in the second half.
Aoife Callanan pointed early for the visitors before goal machine Molly Dunne worked the oracle once more after good work by Maria Cooney. Niamh McGrath added four points before the break and Wexford needed a brace of points from Katrina Parrock to help keep them in touch.
A couple of points from Kate Kelly reduced the margin to a goal and it took a stunning intervention from Sarah Dervan to deny the hosts a goal. Tony Ward's girls heeded the warning and points from Niamh Kilkenny, Maria Brehony and Tara Rutledge (two) eased their nerves.
Kilkenny are the other confirmed semi-finalists after another facile Group 2 victory. This time Tipperary were the victims of the Noresiders' scoring power, on an 8-15 to 0-4 scoreline in Freshford.
Katie Power came out of her sick bed to be player of the match, scoring three goals and excelling in general play. She was well supported by fellow goalscorers Denise Gaule and Ann Dalton as Kilkenny ran riot, scoring a phenomenal 8-10 from play.
Clare gave themselves a chance of a knockout spot with a 1-8 apiece draw against Dublin in Newmarket-On-Fergus. Dublin got the better start and a brilliant doubled goal by Aoife Bugler put them four points clear in the 24th minute.
Chloe Morey halved the deficit by the interval and her 43rd-minute goal helped Clare open up a two-point lead. That was still the advantage with two minutes of normal time but points from Miriam Twomey and an Ali Maguire '45 in the sixth minute of injury time snatched a share of the spoils.
Meanwhile, defending champions Cork chiselled out a hard-earned 0-13 to 0-6 victory over a youthful Offaly in Páirc Uí Rinn. Siobhán Flannery scored five points for the Faithful women but Paudie Murray's charges had too much in hand, with Orla Cotter and Katrina Mackey doing much of the damage.
Sunday Indo Sport