Latest Laois Sport: Huge win for Laois Camogie over Tipperary

Latest Laois Sport: Huge win for Laois Camogie over Tipperary

O’ Moore women leave it late to overcome Premier ladies in must-win game

Late Laois rally secures victory and keeps O’ Moore county’s championship hopes alive

Tipperary 1-12 Laois 3-11

All-Ireland Intermediate Camogie Championship Round 2

Both sides came into this clash off the back off dispiriting defeats in the previous round. Kerry had been too hot to handle for the Tipperary women while an impressive Derry side had proved too strong for Laois. So the stakes were clear for both sides; win here or depart the championship for 2021. And for most of the encounter Tipp seemed destined to snatch the win yet a late, late flourish from Laois snatched victory out of the Tipp ladies’ hands at The Ragg.

It was the hosts who fired over the first point with a fine score from play from Clonoulty’s Courtney Ryan. The equaliser from Laois took less than a minute when Aimee Collier fired over her first free. Tipp went on to edge proceeedings after that but wides from the Premier side and some inspired blocking and hooking especially by Sarah Creagh kept the scoring low. Tipp’s dominance was to be reflected on the scoreboard however when Sinead Meagher fired over the bar from Gemma Fox’s free. It took all of twelve minutes before Laois notched up their second point. A good ball in saw Grainne Hyland round the last Tipp defender but the referee called play back for a Laois free. Aimee Collier fired over her second free of the day before a long-range Tipp score from play saw out the first quarter.

Immediately after the first water break Laois grabbed their first goal. Jessie Quinlan made a great catch in the middle and fired in a long ball which Hyland got on the end of. The tall full forward fired past Quigley in the Tipp goals to give Laois the lead for the first time. A wasteful Premier side had their chances before Collier fired over her third free in the twentieth minute and push out the O’ Moore lead to a goal. The response from the home side was instantaneous. Great work from the energetic Ciara Cummins saw the Thurles Sarsfields’ flyer win a free which the increasingly impressive Jenny Grace fired over. A flurry of Tipp wides followed as the Premier county increased the pressure. Both Roisin Kilmartin and Clodagh Tynan hooked and blocked to great effect in this period as they somehow held Tipp at bay.

Eventually all that Tipperary pressure told as Cummins fed Meagher who fired over from off her right. The Laois response saw wonderful play from Quinlan rewarded with a free which Tynan boomed goalwards. However a touch from the Tipp defender saw Laois awarded a ’65’ which Collier duly converted. Tracking back Alice Walsh won a free which smacked off the Tipp woodwork before the ref pointed to the penalty spot. Collier’s penalty came thudding back into play off the crossbar however. At the other end the ball broke inside the Laois cover and Meagher angled over her point to reduce the deficit right on the half-time whistle.

Laois keeping their noses in front

The second half opened with Grace supplying the assist for another fine Tipp point from play. In response more great work from Quinlan tracking across her own half-back line saw her win another free for Laois. Tynan took it and it bounced over the bar to restore the Laois lead. Another Collier free pushed out the Laois lead even further before a Grace-inspired Tipp threatened to spoil the Laois party. First Grace blocked Laura Finlay before firing narrowly wide. Then Quinlan gave away the free which saw Grace sent all the way to the net. After consulting with his umpires the referee awarded the goal which saw Tipp into a 1-08 to 1-06 lead.

Nothing between the sides at half-time

Laois came mightily close to adding to their goal tally soon after. Great work from Katie Dunican out on the left wing saw the Abbeyleix stalwart supply Sarah Cuddy with a great ball. Alas Cuddy’s shot was sent fizzing just wide of the post. Another Laois free was sent wide before great defensive work from Tynan awarded another placed ball. Collier nailed it off her left side to keep Laois in the hunt. Time and again though Laois took too much out of the ball. When needing to be more direct Quinlan over carried and Meagher got on the end of the subsequent free before twisting and turning and firing over a great point. That score saw Tipp head into the water break with a 1-09 to 1-07 lead.

The final quarter opened with Tipp well on top. Ironically Collier fired over from a free to get the scoreboard moving for Laois. Tipp’s purple patch saw Grace first fire over a free before a sweet point from play was soon tacked on. Another converted Collier free saw the deficit down to two points again before Grace fired over another free. Alice Walsh then used incredible skill to win the ball while on her knees and win her side a free. Collier tapped it over to bring back Tipp’s lead to just two points.

Laois were to soon snatch back the lead in explosive fashion. With just six minutes remaining great work from Hyland saw the tall forward round the last defender before shooting for goal. Sarah Cuddy was on hand to bundle the ball over the line to push Laois back into the lead. Tipp came back again but a superb Alice Walsh block on Andrea Loughnane out near the sideline hinted at the resolve of the Laois women to hold out. Laois were now finishing like a train. Grace gave away a free for barging and Finlay’s snap shot broke to Hyland who buried her second goal of the afternoon. Quinlan finished off the scoring with a great point from play to seal a wonderful win for the Laois women.

For Tipperary the lively Ciara Cummins, Courtney Ryan, Andrea Loughnane and Sinead Meagher shone for most of the encounter. Jenny Grace was immense for the Premier County and didn’t deserve to be on the losing side. For Laois Roisin Kilmartin, Katie Dunican, Clodagh Tynan and Sarah Creagh were great in defence. Jessie Quinlan was sharp in midfield throughout. The tracking back and work rate of Alice Walsh was a feature and the finishing of Aimee Collier and Sarah Cuddy caught the eye as well. However the Laois People ‘Player of the Match’ was Grainne Hyland. Her two goals and all-round play sealed it for her.

Laois Scorers : Aimee Collier 0-10 (9 x f, 1 x 45), Grainne Hyland 2-0, Sarah Cuddy 1-0, Jessie Quinlan 0-1 Tipperary: Sinead Meagher 0-4, Jenny Grace 0-4 ( 3 x f) Deirdre John 1-0, Courtney Ryan 0-2, Andrea Loughnane 0-2

LAOIS: Aedin Lowry; Sarah Fleming, Roisin Kilmartin, Katie Dunican; Karla Whelan, Clodagh Tynan, Sarah Creagh; Jessie Quinlan, Laura Finlay; Aimee Collier, Alison McEvoy, Aisling O’Dea; Sarah Cuddy, Grainne Hyland, Alice Walsh.

SUBS: Roisin Dowling, Rachel Bergin, Cathy Galbraith, Liaden C-Fennell, Andrea Scully, Grainne O’Reilly, Niamh Coss, Luisne Delaney, Enya Carroll, Ellen Meagher, Meabh Deegan, Jade Bergin, Casey Conroy, Laura Marie Maher, Chloe O’Riordan

TIPPERARY: Sarah Quigley; Margaret Quigley, Christina Brennan, Niamh Long; Ciara Ryan, Gemma Fox, Emma Casey; Courtney Ryan, Andrea Loughnane; Nicola Loughnane, Jenny Grace, Mary Burke; Deirdre John, Sinead Meagher, Ciara Cummins

Referee: Kevin O’Brien