Friday 23 February 2018

Conroy brace drives Galway into semi-finals

Galway and Wexford are through to the semi-finals of the All-Ireland senior championship, which will take place on August 18.

But much is still to be decided, as the race to join them heats up. Galway laid down a marker with their best performance of the campaign, two goals in the opening two minutes setting them up for a 3-14 to 0-10 win over Wexford, who had already secured their place in the semi-finals.

Brenda Hanney and Martina Conroy both netted to give Galway a dream start. Conroy poached her second green flag after 20 minutes and Tony Ward's side went in at the break leading 3-9 to 0-4.

Ursula Jacob was the sole attacking threat for a Wexford unit denied the considerable talents of Mary and Una Leacy, scoring three of those four first-half points and finishing with seven.

With little at stake, the game fizzled out in the second half.

It was another late, late show for Tipperary as they snatched victory in the dying moments for the second week in succession, overcoming Offaly 1-12 to 1-10 in Birr.

It was a brilliant effort by Tipp, who had Siobhan McGrath sent off in the first half. Underage star Caoimhe Maher was the heroine, pouncing for a goal to decide this titanic tussle. It wasn't the end of the drama, though, as Offaly were awarded an injury-time penalty after Elaine Dermody was fouled.

But Siobhan Flannery's effort was saved and Tipperary will now play Cork on Saturday for a place in the quarter-finals, to be played on August 4.

The Leesiders had a comfortable 2-15 to 1-7 win over Kilkenny in Ballincollig, courtesy of goals from Katie Buckley and Linda Dorgan.

It was still all to play for at half-time, with just five points between the sides, but with Katriona Mackey, Jennifer O'Leary and Anna Geary keeping the scoreboard ticking over, it was an easy win in the end. Miriam Walsh shook the rigging for Kilkenny, while Michelle Quilty notched up four points.

Kilkenny now have a play-off with Offaly to decide who will make the last eight, with the losers joining Dublin, Clare and either Cork or Tipperary in the quarter-final play-offs on July 28.

Dublin and Clare drew a terrific game 1-9 to 0-12. An Aileen Murphy goal in the 42nd minute put Dublin three points clear, but a couple of scores from the excellent Claire McMahon and another from Susan Fahey brought the sides level for the seventh and final time.

Irish Independent

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