Monaghans help Mullagh end Milford's unbeaten run
Milford's long unbeaten run in the senior club championship was brought to an end by Mullagh of Galway, who left Nenagh with a two-point semi-final victory.
A place in the All-Ireland final now beckons for Mullagh against either Oulart-The Ballagh or Loughgiel, whose semi-final was postponed due to snow and will now be played on Sunday.
This was expected to be a titanic tussle, with Milford looking to go all the way for the third year in succession, and that was exactly what the teams provided supporters with.
Leona Monaghan got Mullagh off to a dream start with a goal after just 31 seconds but Milford responded in the manner one would expect of champions, with four points in a row from Anna Geary, Emer Watson (two) and Marie O'Neill.
Rachel Monaghan slotted a couple of points for Mullagh but Watson added another couple herself just before half time, as Milford led 0-8 to 1-2 at the break.
Remarkably, they managed only one point in the second half, and that came five minutes into that period from Maria Watson. That opened the gap to four but Mullagh soon began to dominate.
Rachel Monaghan struck for a goal four minutes later and then brought the teams level at the end of the third quarter.
Extra-time was looming until Cathy Bowes pointed with four minutes left before Rachel Monaghan added another to secure a 2-5 to 0-9 victory for the Galway girls.
There was better news for Munster in the intermediate grade when All-Ireland champions Lismore held on for a 1-14 to 1-12 win over Oranmore/Maree to set up a final meeting against Piltown, who beat Clonduff 3-5 to 0-6.
Caitriona McGlone was the hat-trick hero in last year's replayed All-Ireland and she worked the oracle again with a ninth-minute goal to give Lismore an early 1-3 to 0-2 lead; the Waterford side led by 1-9 to 0-6 at half time.
Despite being reduced to 14 when Aoife Houlihan was red-carded two minutes into the second half, Lismore held on for a two-point victory, despite conceding a late goal.
Piltown were pushed all the way by Clonduff but the Kilkenny side's goal-threat proved the difference. Clonduff started strongly, but the Down side were rocked by the concession of a Chloe Blackmore goal in the 24th minute, which earned Piltown parity (1-1 to 4) at half-time.
Paula Gribben edged Clonduff into the lead but when Blackmore's 40-metre free found the net in the 55th minute, Piltown had their noses in front.
Nicola Phelan was only on the field a matter of seconds when she bagged the Kilkenny side's third goal in injury-time.