Round 2 took place this weekend in the All-Ireland senior camogie championship, with games taking place in group 2 and group 3. Kilkenny made it two wins out of two, when they were far too strong for a Westmeath side who were on a high after last weekends result against Limerick. Also, in group 2, Waterford recovered well from last week’s defeat to the Cats, overcoming Limerick comfortably in Walsh Park. In group 3 meanwhile, Tipperary picked up their second win in succession, defeating Dublin at Parnell’s in Coolock.
After Westmeath’s surprise victory over Limerick in round 1, it was clear that Brian Dowling’s Kilkenny side were not going to be caught out in similar fashion. The Cats were ruthless in recording a 6-23 to 1-7 win in Callan on Saturday. After Miriam Walsh’s fifth minute goal for the home side, it was one-way traffic for the rest of the game. Miriam Walsh had a tremendous game for Kilkenny, scoring a hat trick of goals in the first half. Aoife Doyle also hit the net twice, as the Cats led by a staggering 5-11 to 0-2 at half time.
Kilkenny picked up where they left off in the second half, with star forward Denise Gaule getting their sixth goal early in the second half. Gaule was on fire for the Cats and added six points in the second half, while Miriam Walsh and veteran Anne Dalton also added points in the second period. Although comprehensively outclassed, Westmeath kept battling and got some good scores in the second half from Pamela Greville and Ava Balfe. Late in the game, Denise McGrath got a consolation goal for Westmeath which was a good reward for the efforts of Johnny Greville’s side. However, last year’s All-Ireland runners up were simply at a different level and showed their class throughout the pitch. Kilkenny’s win sees them top the group with a game left to play against Limerick. Brian Dowling’s side are now qualified for the All-Ireland semi-finals. Westmeath now have a winner takes all game with Waterford, with the winner going through to the knockout stages.
Also, in group 2, Waterford had a comprehensive win over Limerick at Walsh Park. The first half was evenly contested, with some excellent scores on both sides. As usual, Beth Carton was outstanding for the home side, getting some lovely scores, while Limerick’s Caoimhe Costelloe was reliable as ever at the other end. Costelloe was excellent from the dead ball in particular, while Niamh Ryan also got a good score for Limerick. Carton, Niamh Rockett, Sarah Lacey and Abby Flynn pushed Waterford ahead with some good points, before a Waterford got a key score in the 25th minute. Carton set up Rockett for a brilliant goal, which put daylight between the teams for the first time. The home side had a comfortable 1-9 to 0-4 lead at the interval.
The Déise pulled away in the second half, outclassing Limerick throughout the pitch. Carton was deadly accurate as Waterford asserted their dominance, opening up a ten-point lead. Carton and Rockett combined once again for another goal, which put the match to bed. Waterford ran out winners on a score line of 2-15 to 0-9, with Niamh Rockett taking home the player of the match award.
Tipperary confirmed their place in the knockout stages of this year’s championship, backing up their win over Clare with a victory over a dogged Dublin side in Coolock. Cáit Devane was outstanding as usual for the blue and gold. Devane’s scores were vital for Tipp in keeping their noses in front. Her first half goal was a crucial score, after the Dubs had made the better start to the game. Aisling Maher was in top form for Dublin, with the St. Vincent’s star showing great accuracy from the dead ball. Sinéad Wylde was also on target for the home side, as they remained in touch. Tipp led by 1-5 to 0-5 at half time, thanks to Devane’s goal.
The blue and gold had a strong third quarter, during which they asserted their dominance and got some great points from the likes of Orla O’Dwyer, Roisín Howard and Grace O’Brien. Devane continued to be deadly accurate from the placed ball in the second period, as Tipp put daylight between themselves and Dublin. The home side were ultimately too reliant on Maher for scores and couldn’t quite narrow the margin to put the visitors under real pressure. It was an assured performance from Tipp, who qualified for the knockout stages after a good test in Coolock. Dublin’s next game, against Clare, is now a huge game which will decide qualification from the group.
Next weekend sees action take place in group 1, with All-Ireland champions Galway having a home fixture against Offaly. Meanwhile, Cork will face off against a Wexford side who impressed in their round 1 defeat against Galway.