All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship Semi-Final Build-Up: Molly Lynch (Cork) – The Evening Echo – July 24 2024

Molly Lynch, Cork camogie captain is looking forward to Nowlan Park double header

“It’s great for camogie and Nowlan Park was brilliant last year. I remember the atmosphere there. Loads will travel, which is great. Cork supporters are always very good to us.”

Having been part of the panel for a similar occasion last year, it comes as no surprise to discover Cork captain Molly Lynch is fully behind the idea of the All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship semi-finals being played as a double header in Nowlan Park this Saturday.

 Before claiming the O’Duffy Cup for the first time in five years with an emphatic showpiece win over Waterford, the Leesiders defeated Galway in the last-four of the top-tier competition at the aforementioned Kilkenny venue on July 22, 2023.

 This game was preceded by the first semi-final between eventual runners-up Waterford and Tipperary. In addition to being broadcast live on RTE television, these games were played in front of a combined attendance of 7,257 spectators.

She has a significant battle on her hands with Amy Lee for the goalkeeper spot on the team – despite being the official skipper for the current campaign – but Lynch at the very least will have a major role to play behind the scenes ahead of Cork’s return to to Nowlan Park three days from now.

Serving as the curtain-raiser to the second semi-final between Galway and Tipperary, Ger Manley’s side will take on a rejuvenated Dublin for the right to compete in the All-Ireland senior camogie championship decider in Croke Park on August 11.

“It’s great for camogie and Nowlan Park was brilliant last year. I remember the atmosphere there. Loads will travel, which is great. Cork supporters are always very good to us. Hopefully they can keep the flags up for another couple of weeks, but there’s always a great atmosphere there and a great pitch,” Lynch remarked.

The Sarsfields netminder was speaking in Croke Park on Monday afternoon at the Camogie Association’s launch of the 2024 Glen Dimplex All-Ireland Camogie Senior and Intermediate Championship Semi-Finals.

A day earlier, Lynch was also in the Jones’ Road venue to see a Cork team managed by her club-mate Pat Ryan falling agonisingly short to Clare in a gripping All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship final.

 Like so many Rebels supporters, she was disappointed to see her county coming out on the wrong side of an epic battle, but nonetheless proud of the performances they delivered throughout the summer.

 “Pat is an incredible person and such a nice man. I was delighted for Pat for him to get to an All-Ireland final, but I’d say there could be an All-Ireland in that team yet. A disappointing day, but they tried their hearts out.

“They were incredible. An amazing match and just unlucky at the end. They’ve given Cork a great lift. Hopefully they’ll be back again next year.”

 Following Sunday’s hurling final – and the last-four exit the Cork ladies footballers suffered against Galway a day earlier – the remaining chance for All-Ireland glory within the Rebel County is on the camogie front.

The good news from that perspective is that there are two Cork sides that are within reach of a championship final.

On the same day that the senior outfit take on Dublin in Kilkenny, the county’s intermediate camogie squad will lock horns with Offaly in their own championship semi-final showdown at Semple Stadium in Thurles.

Given there is still a strong shot at national success for both teams, Lynch is hopeful that the Cork public will get fully behind their respective efforts in the top two grades of the camogie championships.

A heavy support would be extremely beneficial from her own side’s point of view as Manley’s senior charges will be facing a Dublin team that have been transformed since their comprehensive 4-22 to 0-5 defeat to Cork in an All-Ireland group game at Pairc Ui Chaoimh on June 22.

After claiming an expected victory against Down in Group 1 of the O’Duffy Cup, the Sky Blues pulled out all the stops to overcome Kilkenny in a quarter-final clash at Croke Park earlier this month.

 “Hopefully now people will get behind us as well. There was such a scramble for tickets at the weekend, but there’s an opportunity for people to go to a semi-final this weekend.

“Hopefully now they’ll take that opportunity and travel up,” Lynch added.

Posted in Camogie | Comments Off on All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship Semi-Final Build-Up: Molly Lynch (Cork) – The Evening Echo – July 24 2024

Ireland At The Olympics Odds Piece: Gambling.com – July 24 2024

Olympics 2024: Ireland’s Best Bets For Gold In Paris

Daire Walsh

The opening ceremony for the 2024 Olympics in Paris is fast approaching and with a number of participants expected to challenge strongly in the French capital.

The best betting sites have odds for Ireland’s best gold medal prospects this summer.

When the most recent games were held in Tokyo three years ago, 12 months later than initially planned due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Team Ireland enjoyed the most joy in rowing and boxing.

In addition to the acclaimed Skibbereen duo of Paul O’Donovan and Fintan McCarthy picking up gold in the men’s lightweight double sculls, the quartet of Aifric Keogh, Eimear Lambe, Fiona Murtagh and Emily Hegarty secured bronze medals in the women’s coxless four.

Boxers Kellie Harrington and Aidan Walsh both took a medal back home to the Emerald Isle. Harrington won gold in the women’s lightweight, while Belfast native Walsh was a bronze winner in the men’s welterweight.

Considering the most medals that Ireland previously picked up was six at the 2012 Olympics in London, this haul of four wasn’t something to be frowned upon.

Records are there to be broken and with so many members of Team Ireland having high hopes traveling to Paris, the hope is that it will be a summer to remember across the island of Ireland.

Ambitious Adeleke Hoping For Big Things In Paris

Already a high achiever at just 21 years of age (she will turn 22 next month), Dubliner Rhasidat Adeleke will be competing at her first Olympics in Paris.

She will be running from an individual perspective in the 400 metres and having secured a silver medal in the same category at this year’s European Championships in Rome, the Tallaght Athletic Club star won’t be short of ambition in France.

She will face intense competition from the likes of Marileidy Paulino and Nickisha Pryce, but Adeleke is currently rated at 9/2 on betting apps to pick up gold in the Women’s 400 metres.

This is unlikely to be the only chance to see Adeleke in action over in Paris, however, as she is also part of the Irish squad for both the Women’s 4 x 400 metres relay and the Mixed 4 x 400 metres relay.

Those aforementioned European Championships saw Adeleke helping the Irish to silver in the former as well as a superb gold medal in the latter.

It remains to be seen if she will definitely be competing for both of these relay teams over in Paris, but there are more than enough good athletes across both squads to give Ireland a realistic shot at picking up more medals.

Sharlene Mawdsley, Sophie Becker and Phil Healy are amongst those aiming to compete in both, while Thomas Barr and Christopher O’Donnell should feature for the mixed relay team.

Mageean Looking To Build On Recent European Success

Another athlete to produce heroics at the European Championships in Rome was Down’s Ciara Mageean and her superb victory in the Women’s 1,500 metres will give her great confidence when it comes to the same event in the Olympics.

Odds of 33/1 are available on new betting sites on Mageean picking up gold in the 1,500 metres in Paris, but one thing you can take for certain is that the Portaferry woman will leave it all out there on the track.

Harrington And Walsh Searching For More Boxing Medals

Now that Dubliner Harrington finds herself back on the Olympic stage, she will have her sights set on glory in the Women’s 60 kg.

Along with Beatrice Ferreira, Harrington is rated as the joint-favourite for gold by BoyleSports in this weight division in the French capital.

The hope will be that she won’t be alone in competing for boxing medals from an Irish perspective, and with 2020 bronze medallist Walsh also returning to the fray, this could well be a realistic possibility.

Rowers And Gymnast McClenaghan In The Hunt For Medals

It goes without saying that Paul O’Donovan and Fintan McCarthy will be expected to feature heavily again in the lightweight double sculls, they are available at Evens for another gold success, but punters can also get behind the coxless rowing pair of Ross Corrigan and Nathan Timoney at 8/1.

Thanks to his gold medal triumphs on the Pommel Horse at both the European Championships and the World Championships, County Down gymnast Rhys McClenaghan was a popular selection as RTE’s Sportsperson of the Year for 2023.

There will be pressure on him to deliver in Paris, and he is currently 4/6 currently. He could be one of Ireland’s best chances of claiming a gold medal in the coming weeks.

Big Things Expected Of Wiffen

Another native of Down amongst the travelling Team Ireland contingent, swimmer Daniel Wiffen will have three chances of winning a medal in Paris.

The 800 metres and 1,500 metres freestyles are categories he will certainly be looking to target as he claimed gold medals in both at this year’s World Championships in Doha.

His chances in the latter are 12/5, making him second-favourite behind Robert Finke, while he is a 7/4 frontrunner with Ladbrokes in the 800 metres freestyle.

He is also set to compete in the Men’s Open Water 10 km and with BoyleSports offering 8/11 on him to win a gold in any swimming event, it could prove to be a fruitful summer for Wiffen.

Rugby And Golf Hopefuls Amongst Team Ireland Hopefuls

For the first time in the history of the Olympics, Ireland have men’s and women’s teams competing together in the Rugby 7s.

A lot of effort has been put into bolstering the IRFU’s 7s programme in recent years and it will be interesting to see if it can come off in the form of medals in Paris.

Whereas the women’s side (who will be making their Olympics debut) are seen as a 25/1prospect for rugby 7s gold at the very best, an Irish men’s team that includes current 15s international Hugo Keenan, are being offered as an 8/1 shot.

Meanwhile, there will be Irish interest in golf at the Olympics with both Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry competing in the men’s category.

Despite his recent issues at The Open Championship, world number three McIlroy is 13/2 to win gold in Paris and is regarded as the third-favourite overall.

Even though he achieved a respectable sixth-place finish in The Open, Offaly native Lowry is a bit further back in the field with odds of 16/1 being the best odds available on the 2019 Open Champion.

Team Ireland will also have a pair of competitors in women’s golf in the shape of Leona Maguire and Stephanie Meadow.

While Meadow is seen as a clear outsider for gold at odds of around 300/1, Cavan woman Maguire is available at 20/1 on Olympics betting sites for overall glory.

Posted in General Sports News Piece | Comments Off on Ireland At The Olympics Odds Piece: Gambling.com – July 24 2024

All-Ireland Intermediate Camogie Championship Build-Up Piece: Lauren Homan (Cork) – The Evening Echo – July 24 2024

Cork captain Lauren Homan drawing on experiences of legendary former team-mates

“It’s great to have that experience and have learned from those big, big players. I’m just going to try to bring that into the game on Saturday and hopefully it just gets over the line.”

During her time as part of the successful All-Ireland senior winning squads of 2017 and 2018, current Cork intermediate captain Lauren Homan rubbed shoulders with some of camogie’s biggest stars.

When she was introduced in the 52nd minute of Cork’s O’Duffy Cup final victory over Kilkenny on September 10, 2017, Homan was surrounded by legendary figures such as Aoife Murray, Rena Buckley, Eimear O’Sullivan and Gemma O’Connor.

It was a similar case when she was sprung off the bench for another narrow showpiece win against the Cats 12 months later as she was joined amongst the Cork forwards by notable names like Amy O’Connor, Orla Cotter and Katrina Mackey.

Now that she is one of the more experienced faces in a Cork intermediate side that has a youthful look to it, Homan finds herself drawing on the countless lessons she absorbed from the above-mentioned players.

“Big, big names within that squad. Just to look up to those girls and even learn from those girls from previous years, I definitely have. Probably put me down to ground a few times as well!” Homan acknowledged.

“It’s great to have that experience and have learned from those big, big players.

“I’m just going to try to bring that into the game on Saturday and hopefully it just gets us over the line. Hopefully I can just drive the girls on as much as possible.”

The game on Saturday Homan alludes to is an All-Ireland intermediate camogie championship semi-final encounter with Offaly at Semple Stadium in Thurles (throw-in 6pm).

Following an impressive success in a National Camogie League Division 2B final back in March, Cork comfortably advanced to the last-four of the intermediate championship with five successive wins in Group 1 of the competition.

This included a 0-15 to 1-11 home triumph over Offaly back on June 8, but while there is some confidence to be garnered from that game, Homan is also wary of a potential backlash from the Faithful County.

“We’re not going to take too much from the win against Offaly. It was a really close game, we only beat them by a point. We know there’s not going to be much between the two of us,” Homan added.

“It’s good to have the one up on them, but they’ll be coming back for revenge. We’ll still have to be up to the standard of playing and hopefully get the win.”

Posted in Camogie | Comments Off on All-Ireland Intermediate Camogie Championship Build-Up Piece: Lauren Homan (Cork) – The Evening Echo – July 24 2024

All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship Semi-Final Build-Up Piece: Molly Lynch (Cork) – The Irish Examiner – July 24 2024

Molly Lynch hopes Cork fans travel for semi-final

“There was such a scramble for tickets at the weekend, but there’s an opportunity for people to go to a semi-final this weekend.”
DAIRE WALSH

It might be viewed as a potential negative in some quarters, but as far as captain Molly Lynch is concerned, the Cork camogie team have reaped the benefits of being away from competitive action for an extended period.

Courtesy of finishing at the summit of Group Two with five wins from as many games – and a score difference of +91 – the Leesiders automatically qualified for this weekend’s All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship semi-finals. A curtain-raiser to the clash between Galway and Tipperary in the same venue, defending champions Cork will take on surprise package Dublin at Nowlan Park on Saturday (throw-in 1.15pm) for a spot in the O’Duffy Cup decider in Croke Park on August 11.

By the time the action gets underway in Kilkenny, it will have been four weeks since Ger Manley’s charges last took to the field of play – a group stage win over Galway in Pairc Ui Chaoimh on June 29 being their most recent fixture. While remaining idle for this length of time can be a challenge, Lynch and her inter-county colleagues are content with how the past few weeks have gone.

“We got a down week, so we were able to regroup. Then had three hard weeks of training, which is really beneficial. You get time to focus on little areas of your game that mightn’t have gone well in the group stages. We’re really happy with the last couple of weeks,” Lynch explained.

Lynch was speaking at Croke Park on Monday at a launch for the All-Ireland camogie championship semi-finals – a day after she was in the Jones’ Road venue to see a Cork team managed by her Sarsfields club-mate Pat Ryan losing out agonisingly to Clare in a gripping All-Ireland senior hurling championship final.

Although disappointed to see the Rebels coming out on the wrong side of an epic contest, she commended them for the manner of their display on Sunday.

“A disappointing day, but they tried their hearts out. They were incredible. An amazing match and just unlucky at the end. They’ve given Cork a great lift, so hopefully now we can keep that going for Cork people.” Indeed, with the Cork ladies footballers suffering semi-final heartbreak at the hands of Galway in Tullamore on Saturday, the Rebel County’s last remaining shot at All-Ireland glory in 2024 is on the camogie front.

Yet Lynch and her senior team-mates aren’t alone in flying the flag from this perspective as the Cork intermediate camogie side are taking on Offaly in their own All-Ireland intermediate semi-final at Semple Stadium, Thurles on Saturday (throw-in 6pm). Given there is a more than realistic prospect that the county could have two teams on All-Ireland finals day next month, Lynch is hopeful that the Cork public will get behind their respective bids for championship success.

“There was such a scramble for tickets at the weekend, but there’s an opportunity for people to go to a semi-final this weekend. Hopefully now they’ll take that opportunity and travel up,” Lynch added.

Posted in Camogie | Comments Off on All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship Semi-Final Build-Up Piece: Molly Lynch (Cork) – The Irish Examiner – July 24 2024

All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship Semi-Final Build-Up Piece: Karen Kennedy (Tipperary) – The Irish Examiner – July 23 2024

Karen Kennedy: ‘They were toe-to-toe with us for the whole match, I expect no different on Saturday’

Galway and Tipperary won’t be the only teams in action at Nowlan Park on Saturday as reigning All-Ireland champions Cork and Dublin will be fighting it out from 1.15pm for the other spot in the O’Duffy Cup final.
DAIRE WALSH

They may have brought one significant barren spell to an end earlier this year, but there is another major gap Karen Kennedy and her Tipperary camogie team-mates are looking to bridge this weekend.

Back on April 14 in Croke Park, Kennedy struck 1-3 as the Premier County claimed the National Camogie League Division 1A crown with a slender final victory (1-13 to 0-15) over Galway. By getting past the challenge of Cathal Murray’s westerners, Tipperary secured their first national title in the sport since their league and championship double of 2004.

Fast forward a little over three months later and it is Galway who once again provide the opposition to Denis Kelly’s side in an All-Ireland senior camogie championship semi-final encounter at Kilkenny’s Nowlan Park on Saturday (throw-in 3pm). You have to go back 18 years for the last time the Premier competed in an O’Duffy Cup decider – provincial rivals Cork defeated them on that occasion – and making a return to the biggest day in the camogie calendar has been the goal for the squad from the very start of 2024.

“When we set out at the start of the year, it’s the championship that everyone talked about and everyone is going to remember,” Tipperary captain Kennedy remarked at yesterday’s launch for the camogie championship semi-finals in Croke Park.

“It was great to get some silverware back to the county [in the league], but the ultimate goal was to win the championship. We’ll be really focusing on Saturday now.”

Whereas five straight wins helped Tipperary to automatically qualify for this weekend’s penultimate round fixture as Group 1 winners, Galway’s second-place finish in Group 2 saw them moving into the quarter-final stage of the senior camogie championship.

Yet the Tribeswomen subsequently beat Waterford to book a last-four spot and having played out such a close affair with their forthcoming opponents in April’s league showpiece, Kennedy recognises they aren’t a side that can be taken for granted.

“They’re a top class team and they’re always going very well at this stage of the year. They obviously had a great win over Waterford. I suppose we probably got lucky in the league final, so we’re under no illusions that we had the upper hand there or anything. They were toe-to-toe with us for the whole match and I expect no different on Saturday.”

Galway and Tipperary won’t be the only teams in action at Nowlan Park on Saturday as reigning All-Ireland champions Cork and Dublin will be fighting it out from 1.15pm for the other spot in the O’Duffy Cup final. Both of these games are also set to be broadcast live on RTÉ One and Kennedy believes this will give camogie the best possible exposure this weekend.

“That’s what you want, you want more eyes on the game and bringing it to a venue like that probably brings a better atmosphere to the game. Hopefully we can get a good crowd there and just get two great games for the crowd coming,” Kennedy added.

Posted in Camogie | Comments Off on All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship Semi-Final Build-Up Piece: Karen Kennedy (Tipperary) – The Irish Examiner – July 23 2024

All-Ireland Senior Ladies Football Championship Semi-Final Follow-Up: Kerry V Armagh – Media West Ireland – July 22 2024

Kerry 1-8
 
Armagh 0-7
 
By Daire Walsh
Kerry joint manager Declan Quill said their greater experience was key as they saw off the challenge of an Armagh side bidding to reach the TG4 All-Ireland final for the first time since their sole appearance back in 2006 when they went down to Cork.
This will be Kerry’s third appearance in the final in a row as they bid to lift the Brendan Martin Cup for the first time since they won it for the eleventh time in 1993 — they are top of the roll of honour with Cork — and Quill believes the trials and tribulations of the last couple of seasons has strengthened their resolve.
“I think we just used all our experience. This is a very experienced bunch, it’s their third All-Ireland final in-a-row going to now. We’ve been in Croke Park a few times with Division 2 and Division 1 titles. They used all their experience in the second half. Just cool heads and bringing on the likes of Lorraine Scanlon there and Hannah O’Donoghue, it just really drove it home.”
This will be a first ever TG4 All-Ireland final between the counties — it will be Kerry’s 15th appearance in the decider — and Quill is hoping the Kingdom will come out in force as they bid to end their famine.
“It’s going to make for one great final. There’s nothing between the teams. There is a massive scramble in Galway for tickets for the men’s final and I’m sure it will be the same for the ladies.
“They always bring great support. We’ve no men’s final to go to, so I hope that the Kerry public will get behind the ladies and turn up in huge numbers for the All-Ireland final.”
Niamh Ní Chonchúir’s 16th minute goal was the key score at Glenisk O’Connor Park on Saturday evening as Kerry advanced to the final where they will hope to make amends for final defeats to Dublin and Meath in the past two seasons.
During a lively start to the contest, Armagh popped over points via the boots of Eva Lavery (two), Blaithin Mackin and Dearbhla Coleman. While Kerry attacker Siofra O’Shea added a score to compliment an earlier free from Louise Ní Mhuircheartaigh, Niamh Henderson split the posts on the run to give the Ulster side a 0-5 to 0-2 cushion on the first-quarter mark.
Yet team captain Clodagh McCambridge was temporarily replaced with a blood injury around this juncture following a clash with Kerry’s Aishling O’Connell, who was also forced off for a five-minute period, and in her absence Ní Chonchúir got on the end of an excellent move to drill a fierce strike past Armagh netminder Anna Carr.
This added a spark to the Kerry challenge and with Danielle O’Leary, Ní Mhuircheartaigh (free) and the returning O’Connell finding the target to supplement a 0-2 salvo from skipper Niamh Carmody, the Munster champions were 1-7 to 0-5 in front at the break.
Armagh rallied after the break but were unable to catch Kerry during a low-scoring the second half.
“We have to give great credit to the girls,” said Armagh manager Greg McGonigle after a season where they captured their Lidl National League title for the first time after being promoted, and continued that great form into the TG4 All-Ireland championship.
“Obviously when we came in Armagh were in Division 1 for the first time since 2017. To go and win seven out of eight games and to win their first ever national league final, you’d be happy enough with that.
“Obviously winning back an Ulster title, which they’d lost the previous year after extra-time, and getting over the quarter-final stage. There’s three ones, but at the same time, I didn’t come into Armagh to be beaten in a semi-final. I came in to try and get them to an All-Ireland final and see where we go from there.”
Scorers – Kerry: N Ní Chonchúir 1-0, D O’Leary 0-2 (1f), N Carmody 0-2, L Ní Mhuircheartaigh 0-2 (2f), A O’Connell, S O’Shea 0-1 each.
Armagh: E Lavery 0-2, B Mackin 0-2 (1f), D Coleman, N Coleman, N Henderson 0-1 each.
 
KERRY: C Butler; E Lynch, K Cronin, C Murphy; A O’Connell, D Kearney, A Dillane; M O’Connell, A Galvin; N Carmody, D O’Leary, N Ní Chonchúir; S O’Shea, E Dineen, L Ní Mhuircheartaigh. Subs: A Harrington for A O’Connell (13-18), H O’Donoghue for Ní Mhuircheartaigh (46), L Scanlon for Carmody (49), K Brosnan for Ní Chonchúir (58).
 
ARMAGH: A Carr; G Ferguson, C McCambridge, R Mulligan; C Towe, L McConville, D Coleman; N Coleman, C O’Hanlon; E Druse, A McCoy, B Mackin; E Lavery, N Henderson, M McCambridge. Subs: L Kenny for C McCambridge (13-18), K Mallon for Lavery (38), N Reel for Henderson (50), L Kenny for Druse (54), M Feehan for O’Hanlon (58).
 
Referee: Shane Curley (Galway).
Posted in Ladies GAA | Comments Off on All-Ireland Senior Ladies Football Championship Semi-Final Follow-Up: Kerry V Armagh – Media West Ireland – July 22 2024

All-Ireland Senior Ladies Football Championship Semi-Final Follow-Up: Galway V Cork – Media West Ireland – July 22 2024

Galway 2-7 
Cork 0-10
 
By Daire Walsh
Galway forward Róisín Leonard said they will embrace the football fever which has engulfed the county as both the ladies’ and men’s teams reach their All-Ireland finals for the first time ever in the same year.
This will be Galway’s fifth appearance in the TG4 All-Ireland final as they bid for their first title since their sole success in 2004 and Leonard, who hit 1-5 in Saturday’s win over Cork at Glenisk O’Connor Park in Tullamore, said it is a special time for the county.
“We’ll jump on the buzz of the boys and hopefully everyone can bring home some silverware,” she said.
“It’s a credit to all the girls here. They fought tooth and nail for everything out on the pitch today and I think, in fairness, we were the better team.
“We saw from Cork in the first half how hard it was against the breeze. Frees were hard, everything was hard. You had to bring the ball a lot closer to goal, but I think we did fairly well with that and we controlled the ball around the middle-third.”
Both of these teams were relegated from Division One in the Lidl National League earlier in the season but regrouped to mount serious championship campaigns and Leonard said they learned a lot from a clash with Cork in the group stages of the title race.
“We were very disappointed with that performance against Cork. That was the first game in championship and we really weren’t happy with it. We knew we had a load of room for improvement and we felt that if we could improve ourselves and forget about worrying about the opposition, that it might go better for us. Thankfully it did.”
Leonard and Ailbhe Davoren struck the crucial first half goals as Galway returned to a TG4 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship decider for the first time since 2019.
Despite the impressive Katie Quirke amassing a personal tally of 0-7 for their Munster counterparts, clinical finishes from Leonard and Davoren in the 14th and 27th minutes helped Daniel Moynihan’s charges to match their male counterparts in reaching an All-Ireland SFC final.
Playing with the aid of a breeze in the first half, Galway led by 2-4 to 0-5 at the break, with Leonard converting a penalty before captain Davoren also found the net.
Cork brought the gap down to three on 38 minutes thanks to two exceptional points from play by Bride Rovers attacker Quirke.
Olivia Divilly and Cork wing-forward Emma Cleary then proceeded to trade points, before Leonard knocked over another free off the ground to give Galway a four-point advantage inside the final quarter.
The reliable Leonard then brought her tally up to 1-5 with yet another place-ball effort nine minutes from time and while Quirke and Laura O’Mahony kicked points for Cork in a tense finale, they were unable to close the gap.
“We were in a very good position just coming into half-time, only a point down with the wind coming in the second half, and we just switched off a bit,” said Cork manager Shane Ronayne.
“Galway got in and stuck their goal. I just thought we played with a bit of fear. There are a lot of young players out there playing their first All-Ireland semi-final and I think Galway’s experience shone through there. We didn’t create the goal chances we had been in previous games.
“When you look back on it, considering everyone we have lost and everything, I think it’s very disappointing but overall a lot of progress is being made with the girls that are there. It’s just disappointing, we probably put in our worst performance since the National League. Hats off to Galway. They were very clinical in their chances, knew what they were doing and set up very well. Fair play to them.”
 
Scorers – Galway: R Leonard 1-5 (1-0 pen, 0-3f), A Davoren 1-0, O Divilly 0-2 (2f).
Cork: K Quirke 0-7 (4f), E Cleary, L O’Mahony, A McAuliffe 0-1 each.
 
GALWAY: D Gower; M Jordan, S Lynch, K Geraghty; A Ní Cheallaigh, N Ward, C Cooney; M Glynn, A Davoren; O Divilly, L Ward, N Divilly; A Morrissey, L Coen, R Leonard. Subs: E Reaney for Morrissey (44), S Hynes for Ní Cheallaigh (47), M Walsh for Glynn, A Trill for Leonard (both 53).
 
CORK: S Murphy; M Duggan, S Kelly, S Leahy; A Healy, S Cronin, D Kiely; M O’Callaghan, A O’Mahony; E Cleary, L O’Mahony, A McDonagh; A McAuliffe, K Quirke, R Leahy.Subs: H Looney for R Leahy (24), E Kiely for McAuliffe (37), A Ryan for A O’Mahony (44), L McDonagh for A McDonagh (47), S McGoldrick for Healy (50).
 
Referee: Kevin Phelan (Laois).
Posted in Ladies GAA | Comments Off on All-Ireland Senior Ladies Football Championship Semi-Final Follow-Up: Galway V Cork – Media West Ireland – July 22 2024

All-Ireland Senior Ladies Football Championship Semi-Final: Kerry V Armagh – Ladiesgaelic.ie – July 20 2024

Kerry take step closer to ending famine as they reach third TG4 All-Ireland final in a row

TG4 All-Ireland SFC semi-final

Kerry 1-8

Armagh 0-7

By Daire Walsh

Niamh Ní Chonchúir grabbed a 16th minute goal at Glenisk O’Connor Park as Kerry advanced to a third consecutive TG4 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship final with a triumph against Armagh.

Five points to the good at the midway stage in this penultimate round contest, the Kingdom did enough in a low-scoring second half to seal their place in a top-tier championship decider alongside Galway — where they will hope to make amends for final defeats to Dublin and Meath in the past two seasons.

During a lively start to the contest, Armagh popped over points via the boots of Eva Lavery (two), Blaithin Mackin and Dearbhla Coleman. While Kerry attacker Siofra O’Shea added a score to compliment an earlier free from Louise Ní Mhuircheartaigh, Niamh Henderson split the posts on the run to give the Ulster side a 0-5 to 0-2 cushion on the first-quarter mark.

Yet team captain Clodagh McCambridge was temporarily replaced with a blood injury around this juncture following a clash with Kerry’s Aishling O’Connell, who was also forced off for a five-minute period, and in her absence Ní Chonchúir got on the end of an excellent move to drill a fierce strike past Armagh netminder Anna Carr.

This added a spark to the Kerry challenge and with Danielle O’Leary, Ní Mhuircheartaigh (free) and the returning O’Connell finding the target to supplement a 0-2 salvo from skipper Niamh Carmody, the Munster champions were 1-7 to 0-5 in front at the break.

However, the Kingdom had suffered a blow a little under two minutes before the interval when Carmody was sent to the sin-bin. Even though their five-point cushion remained intact upon her re-emergence, Armagh added swift scores courtesy of Niamh Coleman and Mackin (free) to ramp up the pressure on Kerry.

The Kingdom, bidding for their first TG4 All-Ireland crown since 1993, were able to maintain possession for large stretches of the play, but it wasn’t until the 49th minute that Kerry got their second half account up and running with a pointed free from centre-forward O’Leary.

Nonetheless, this established a four-point advantage for the 11-time winners and with Mackin receiving a 51st minute yellow card for a tackle on substitute Lorraine Scanlon, they ultimately eased their way into another Brendan Martin Cup showpiece.

 Scorers – Kerry: N Ní Chonchúir 1-0, D O’Leary 0-2 (1f), N Carmody 0-2, L Ní Mhuircheartaigh 0-2 (2f), A O’Connell, S O’Shea 0-1 each.

Armagh: E Lavery 0-2, B Mackin 0-2 (1f), D Coleman, N Coleman, N Henderson 0-1 each.

 KERRY: C Butler; E Lynch, K Cronin, C Murphy; A O’Connell, D Kearney, A Dillane; M O’Connell, A Galvin; N Carmody, D O’Leary, N Ní Chonchúir; S O’Shea, E Dineen, L Ní Mhuircheartaigh. Subs: A Harrington for A O’Connell (13-18), H O’Donoghue for Ní Mhuircheartaigh (46), L Scanlon for Carmody (49), K Brosnan for Ní Chonchúir (58).

ARMAGH: A Carr; G Ferguson, C McCambridge, R Mulligan; C Towe, L McConville, D Coleman; N Coleman, C O’Hanlon; E Druse, A McCoy, B Mackin; E Lavery, N Henderson, M McCambridge. Subs: L Kenny for C McCambridge (13-18), K Mallon for Lavery (38), N Reel for Henderson (50), L Kenny for Druse (54), M Feehan for O’Hanlon (58).

Referee: Shane Curley (Galway).

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All-Ireland Senior Ladies Football Championship Semi-Final: Galway V Cork – Ladiesgaelic.ie – July 20 2024

Goals prove decisive as Galway book place in TG4 All-Ireland final

TG4 All-Ireland SFC semi-final

Galway 2-7 

Cork 0-10 

By Daire Walsh

Róisín Leonard and Ailbhe Davoren struck the crucial first half goals at Glenisk O’Connor Park as Galway returned to a TG4 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship decider for the first time since 2019 with a semi-final victory over Cork.

Despite the impressive Katie Quirke amassing a personal tally of 0-7 for their Munster counterparts, clinical finishes from Leonard and Davoren in the 14th and 27th minutes helped Daniel Moynihan’s charges to match their male counterparts in reaching an All-Ireland SFC final — which in their case will be against the winners of today’s second game between Kerry and Armagh in the Tullamore venue.

Playing with the aid of a breeze in the first half, Galway raced two points clear inside the opening five minutes courtesy of points from Olivia Divilly (free) and Leonard. Yet Cork found themselves back on level terms with a brace of place-ball strikes from Quirke and subsequently edged in front when corner-forward Ava McAuliffe pointed at a tight angle on 10 minutes.

However, having gone agonisingly close to raising a green flag moments earlier, Corofin ace Leonard bagged a goal off a penalty after the raiding Charlotte Cooney had been fouled by Cork defender Aoife Healy.

Shane Ronayne’s Leesiders responded to this set-back with another two-point salvo by dead-ball specialist Quirke, but following a majestic point from Leonard, Leanne Coen picked out Galway skipper Davoren for a smooth finish to the opposition net.

Although Leonard converted a tricky free on the stroke of half-time to offer the Tribeswomen a 2-4 to 0-5 interval lead, Cork brought the gap down to three on 38 minutes thanks to two exceptional points from play by Bride Rovers attacker Quirke.

Divilly and Cork wing-forward Emma Cleary then proceeded to trade points, before Leonard knocked over another free off the ground to give Galway, who were measured and composed in possession throughout the second period, a four-point advantage inside the final quarter.

The reliable Leonard then brought her tally up to 1-5 with yet another place-ball effort nine minutes from time and while Quirke and Laura O’Mahony kicked points for Cork in a tense finale, Galway held out for a hard-earned triumph in the end.

Scorers – Galway: R Leonard 1-5 (1-0 pen, 0-3f), A Davoren 1-0, O Divilly 0-2 (2f).

Cork: K Quirke 0-7 (4f), E Cleary, L O’Mahony, A McAuliffe 0-1 each.

GALWAY: D Gower; M Jordan, S Lynch, K Geraghty; A Ní Cheallaigh, N Ward, C Cooney; M Glynn, A Davoren; O Divilly, L Ward, N Divilly; A Morrissey, L Coen, R Leonard. Subs: E Reaney for Morrissey (44), S Hynes for Ní Cheallaigh (47), M Walsh for Glynn, A Trill for Leonard (both 53).

 CORK: S Murphy; M Duggan, S Kelly, S Leahy; A Healy, S Cronin, D Kiely; M O’Callaghan, A O’Mahony; E Cleary, L O’Mahony, A McDonagh; A McAuliffe, K Quirke, R Leahy. Subs: H Looney for R Leahy (24), E Kiely for McAuliffe (37), A Ryan for A O’Mahony (44), L McDonagh for A McDonagh (47), S McGoldrick for Healy (50).

Referee: Kevin Phelan (Laois).

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The Big Interview: Aishling O’Connell (Kerry/Eire Og/Scartaglen) – Media West Ireland – July 20 2024

‘It’s because of them that I’m wearing the Kerry jersey’ – O’Connell windy route back home

Having represented Éire Óg in Cork for the past few years, O’Connell will soon be back in the colours of her previous club Scartaglen.
DAIRE WALSH

When it comes to achieving a suitable balance between work and sport, Kerry footballer Aishling O’Connell has a tougher task than most within the inter-county game.

A Garda based in the West Cork town of Bandon – located all of 83 kilometres from her home village of Cordal – O’Connell has often found herself working 12-hour night shifts either before or after collective training sessions with the Kingdom’s senior squad.

While O’Connell recognises this was always going to be part of the bargain when she decided to pursue a career with An Garda Siochána, she freely acknowledges it can take its toll even at the best of times.

“It is tough, I won’t lie. We trained last Friday week and I drove straight to work after down in West Cork. It does take its toll. It is hard enough going into nights after a tough training, but the two hour drive down hasn’t helped,” O’Connell explained.

“You start a night shift at 7pm and you finish at 7am. You could be working on a Saturday night and you’ve training on Sunday morning. There have been times that I’ve driven down to Kerry, you might get half an hour in the bed and you’re going straight to training.

“You want to train, but you’re not able to do as much as you’d like because there is obviously an injury risk factor there. In a way it’s good that I’m around this long, but it’s hard if you were trying to make an impact because you’re not going to be training as well as you should be. It’s tough, but it’s the job I signed up for.”

However, things are set to become that little bit easier for O’Connell in the long run as she is due to take up a post at Killarney Garda Station inside the next few weeks.

This will leave the 2022 TG4 All-Star with a much shorter commute to Kerry training and it also changes where the 27-year-old defender will be playing her club football once the Kingdom’s championship campaign reaches a conclusion.

Having represented Éire Óg in Cork for the past few years – she narrowly lost out to Mourneabbey in a senior championship decider on Leeside in 2023 – O’Connell will soon be back in the colours of her previous club Scartaglen.

“It will take a bit of pressure off the body and less driving as well. It might make things a little bit easier. I made the decision at the end of this year that I was going to try and get home for work. That in turn did lead me to wanting to go back and play with my home club. It was a natural progression.

“I’ve had great times there at Éire Óg, but I want to go back playing for Scart. I felt like I had given everything I could to Éire Óg. My partner, he’s actually a Cork man, so once I was able to convince him to move to Kerry, it was just the next step to make.

“I started with the boys’ club in Cordal, where I’m from, but then at U14s I joined Scart and played with them up until seniors. It’s because of them that I’m wearing the Kerry jersey. They’ve gotten to the intermediate final in the last two years and following the end of the championship this year with Kerry, I’d love to be able to contribute to a win with Scart as well.”

Yet as she alludes to, O’Connell does have some unfinished business with The Kingdom before she contemplates a return to the local club championship. Having recently overcome Meath at the quarter-final stage of the competition, Kerry are now just 60 minutes away from sealing a TG4 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship decider spot for the third year in succession.

Standing in their way at Glenisk O’Connor Park in Tullamore later on Saturday evening (throw-in 7.15pm) will be Greg McGonigle’s Armagh, who defeated the Kingdom in a Lidl National Football League Division 1 final at Croke Park last April.

Although their male compatriots losing out to the Orchard County at HQ last weekend adds intrigue to the contest, it is that spring time clash (as well as an earlier league reversal to Armagh at the BOX-IT Athletic Grounds in March) that will have O’Connell and her Kerry colleagues on high alert.

Despite losing Aimee Mackin to an anterior cruciate ligament injury since that NFL showpiece victory, the return to fitness of Mackin’s sister Blaithín has served as a welcome boost for Armagh.

“I suppose Aimee gets maybe more of the headlines, but Blaithín does some amount of unseen work. She covers from the 21 to the 21, and you saw it last week (a quarter-final win against Mayo), she’s getting on the scoreboard as well. She’s class.

“We’ve kind of followed in the footsteps of Meath in the way that we won Division Two, went to One and won Division One. Meath did it first, ourselves and Armagh have done it.

“That momentum really helps going into championship. They’re just playing superb football, they’re going to be tough to play.”

Whereas Kerry’s showdown with Armagh is a meeting of the top two teams in this year’s NFL Division 1, the first All-Ireland senior semi-final in Tullamore features a brace of sides that were on the opposite end of the spectrum.

After suffering relegation to Division 2 of the NFL at the end of difficult springtime campaigns, Galway and Cork will lock horns at 5pm in O’Connor Park for the right to compete in the Brendan Martin Cup decider on August 4.

Having kept a close eye on their respective developments in recent months, O’Connell is expecting a ding-dong battle between the Tribeswomen and Kerry’s long-standing provincial rivals.

“Galway and Cork, for both of them to be relegated and to be getting into an All-Ireland semi-final, it’s unbelievable really. It’s credit to them and to the management,” added O’Connell, who has already made 15 appearances for Kerry in 2024.

“It’s a huge opportunity for them as well as it is for ourselves and Armagh to get to a final. I wouldn’t be surprised if it went to extra-time. They’re the kind of teams that they seem to be playing each other a lot over the years and it’s always very close.”

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