No-nonsense Cats roar into semis

The Kilkenny senior camogie team cruised into the All-Ireland semi-final when they demolishing Derry to the tune of 20 points in Clara on Saturday.

The Kilkenny senior camogie team cruised into the All-Ireland semi-final when they demolishing Derry to the tune of 20 points in Clara on Saturday.

There was a humorous turn of events at the start of the game when referee Cathal Egan thought the game was to be played in Clara, County Offaly instead of Clara in Kilkenny.

The start of the game was delayed by 15 minutes but stand-in referee Ray Kelly agreed to officiate with the agreement of both management teams and with permission from Croke Park to minimize the delayed to the start.

Fast opening

When the action got underway, Kilkenny opened the scoring within a minute from an Aoife Neary free after Katie Power was fouled.

Katie Power doubled the advantage with a point from play after a poor Derry clearance from 20 meters in the third minute. Aine McAllister responded for the Oakleaf County with a point. Kilkenny then got four on the trot from Aisling Dunphy, from the resulting puck-out from a Leann Fennelly pass.

Ann Dalton continued Kilkenny’s run with a massive score from 70 metres. Aisling Dunphy pushed Kilkenny four ahead with a further point in the seventh minute.

Collette Dormer then got in on the act with an excellent point after latching on to a Leann Fennelly pass. Dania Donnelly stopped the rot for the Derry women with a point in the 11th minute.

Stretched gap

Aisling Dunphy responded for the victors with a point from play in the 12th minute to leave the score 0-7 to 0-2.

Aoife Neary pushed the gap out to six points when she pointed a free in the 15th minute after Aisling Dunphy was fouled. The game ended as a contest when Michelle Quilty got in for the opening goal.

She latched on to a breaking ball from a long range Claire Phelan free to ground puck pass Derry keeper, Claire O’Kane. This score pushed Kilkenny 1-8 to 0-2 ahead after 17th minutes.

Derry were awarded a penalty in the 20th minute when Mary Kelly was fouled. Karen Kielt effort was saved by Emma Kavanagh and Kilkenny cleared there line. Derry showed great sprit to try to get back into the game.

They enjoyed a lucky break when Aileen McCusker shot from 60 meters found its way to the Kilkenny net in the 21st minute after the flight of the ball deceived Kilkenny keeper Emma Kavanagh.

This goal gave Derry a rare lifeline in the contest. This made it 1-8 to 1-2 after 21 minutes.

The one thing this determined Kilkenny team don’t give this season is gifts. They rattled off six points on the trot to quash any hope of Derry saving the day.

Aoife Neary started the burst with a point in the 23rd minute after racing on to a Leann Fennelly pass. Michelle Quilty extended the Kilkenny advantage with a well taken effort from out near the sideline from 21 meters in the 26th minute.

Neary then tapped over a free after Katie Power was fouled in the 27th minute. Leann Fennelly continued Kilkenny’s good run with a further point in the 29th minute.

Colette Dormer then tapped over a monster effort from 50 metres. Aoife Neary got the last score of the half from a free after Michelle Quilty was fouled.

This fine blast of scores left Kilkenny ahead by 1-13 to 1-2 at half time.

Kilkenny continued where they left off in the first half and when they pounced for a goal from Michelle Quilty in the 34th minute any hope of a Derry comeback was buried.

Aoife Neary pushed Kilkenny 2-14 to 1-2 clear from a free after Aisling Dunphy was fouled. Grainne McGoldrick responded for Derry with a free in the 40th minute.

Third goal

Katie Power got in for Kilkenny’s third goal in the 44th minute when she gained possession on the 14 before tapping the ball home.

Derry then got two on the trot when Grainne McGoldrick tapped over a free in the 47th minute after she was fouled. McGoldrick then slotted over a 45 in the 54th minute but it was too little too late.

Kilkenny finished the game with a blast of 1-2 without reply. Katie Power got in for her second and Kilkenny’s fourth goal in the 56th minute when she gained possession before tapping home from close range.

Two late points from Shelly Farrell in the 58th and 59th minutes from a tight angle ensured Kilkenny went home happy with an All-Ireland semi-final spot on August 23 in the bag.

The Kilkenny intermediate team also secured an All-Ireland semi-final berth when they defeated Meath in Rathmoylan on Saturday, 2-15 to 2-10.

Mags Fennely played a true captain’s role and finished the game with 0-9 to her credit ensure they qualified for the semifinal on August 16.

Scorers: Kilkenny- Katie Power (2-1); Michelle Quilty (2-1); Aoife Neary (0-5, four frees); Aisling Dunphy (0-3); Colette Dormer (0-2); Shelly Farrell (0-2); Ann Dalton (0-1); Leann Fennelly (0-1 each). Derry - Grainne McGoldrick (0-3, one free, one 45); Aileen McCusker (1-0); Aine McAllister, Dania Donnelly (0-1 each).

Kilkenny - Emma Kavanagh, Mairead Power, Kate McDonald, Grace Walsh, Claire Phelan, Edwina Keane , Elaine Aylward, Colette Dormer, Ann Dalton, Leann Fennelly (capt), Aisling Dunphy, Miriam Walsh, Michelle Quilty, Katie Power, Aoife Neary. Subs – Shelly Farrell, Jacqui Frisby, Aine Connery.

Derry - Claire O’ Kane, Caoimhe Glass, Aoife Ni Chaiside, Maeve Quinn, Eimear Mullan (vice-capt), Eillis Chaiside, Maeabh McGoldrick, Megan Kerr, Aine McAllister, Aileen McCusker, Karen Kielt, Grainne McGoldrick, Dania Donnelly, Mary Kelly, Mairead McNicholl. Subs – Christian Kielt, Aine Kelly, Maureen Heneghan, Devrla O’Kane, Maria Mooney, Kathleen Kielt.

Referee- Ray Kelly