Kilkenny Edge out Tipperary in Thrilling League Semi Final

by on the 16th of June 2021

Littlewoods Ireland Division 1 Semi Final 

Kilkenny 3-12
Tipperary 0-19

Goals from the 2020 Player of the Year Denise Gaule and Katie Nolan, five minutes from the end of normal time snatched victory for Kilkenny in a dramatic Littlewoods Ireland Camogie League Division 1 Semi Final

Tipperary will be heartbroken after losing this match after a near flawless display of intensity and clever camogie, that had Kilkenny in disarray and playing second fiddle for much of the match

Kilkenny started the brightest with Denise Gaule converting a free over the bar after just 36 secs. Cait Devane open Tipperary’s account in the 5th minute, slotting over a placed ball from the 21m line.

Katie Nolan and Cait Devane traded points, before Aoife Doyle scored a stunning point on the run for Kilkenny after 11 minutes. Cait Devane (T) then converted two placed balls over the bar heading towards the waterbreak

After the mini break, Tipperary took control of the game, keeping Kilkenny scoreless for 16 minutes and scoring five points themselves through Roisin Howard, Nicole Walsh and 3 points from Cait Devane

Then out of nothing, Kilkenny had a goal on the half hour as Aoife McGrath fouled Gaule, who had been left in rare isolation. Just as she did in the All Ireland Final last December, the Windgap ace drilled the resultant penalty to the net, leaving Aine Slattery rooted to the line

Cait Devane and Emer McGrath replied with points for the Premier County to leave the home side trailing at the interval 0-11 to 1-3

It was no surprise that Kilkenny, fuelled by some strong words from the Management during the half time break found more gears after the restart and upped the ante

They hit the first three points of the second half, with Mary O’Connell’s amazing effort from tight to the right sideline under the Ollie Walsh stand the standout

Tipperary scored the next three points through Grace O’Brien, Sarah Fryday & Emer McGrath and then a Devane brace in response to two Gaule scores, to open up a five point gap in the 54th minute

Gaule’s goal a minute later was the crucial score. She shot from just outside the 20m line. Aine Slattery, the Tipperary goalie looked to have it covered as she stuck up her hand. To her horror, the power of the strike caught her by surprise and flew into the net off her fingers

Devane hit back with her 11th point and her 5th from play immediately but from that puckout Katie Nolan finished with a low shot to the net after Sarah Crowley had given her a neat handpass and the teams were level

Ereena Fryday and Orla O’Dwyer who was introduced at half time for her first appearance since winning an AFLW title in Australia put the Premier side back in front again, but Gaule was unerring at the other end, levelling on each occasion from frees

And it was the Noresiders, who dug it out and found the decisive scores, Gaule calmly pointing two more two frees to bring her tally to 2-8 and secure a famous victory

League Final next Sunday 20th June at 7.30pm in Croke Park against Galway in front of 3,000 spectators

Scorers – Kilkenny – Denise Gaule (2-8, 0-8f, 1-0 pen), Katie Nolan (1-2), Aoife Doyle, Mary O’Connell (0-1 each)

Tipperary – Cait Devane (0-11, 0-6f), Emer McGrath (0-2), Roisin Howard, Sarah Fryday, Ereena Fryday, Nicole Walsh, Grace O’Brien, Orla O’Dwyer (0-1 each)

Kilkenny – Emma Kavanagh, Michelle Teehan, Davina Tobin, Miriam Bambrick, Kellyann Doyle, Meighan Farrell (Capt), Grace Walsh, Niamh Deely, Lydia Fitzpatrick, Denise Gaule, Mary O’Connell, Miriam Walsh, Michaela Kenneally, Katie Nolan, Aoife Doyle

Subs – Laura Murphy for Lydia Fitzpatrick, Steffi Fitzgerald for Michaela Kenneally, Sarah Crowley for Aoife Doyle, Aoife Prendergast for Grace Walsh

Tipperary – Aine Slattery, Mairead Eviston, Emer Loughman, Mary Ryan, Aoife McGrath, Karen Kennedy, Julieanne Bourke, Ereena Fryday, Roisin Howard, Emer McGrath, Nicole Walsh, Sarah Fryday, Grace O’Brien, Cait Devane, Clodagh McIntyre

Subs – Orla O’Dwyer for Clodagh McIntyre, Caoimhe McCarthy for Sarah Fryday, Jean Kelly for Grace O’Brien, Miriam Campion for Aoife McGrath

Referee: John McDonagh (Galway)

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