Tipp’s Grace O’Brien under pressure as manager Bill Mullaney looks on against Offaly.

Tipp name unchanged team for Camogie league semi-final

By Enda Treacy

TIPPERARY v KILKENNY

UMPC Nowlan Park, Kilkenny

Sunday 13th June

Throw-in @ 1.00pm (E.T. & Pens)

Referee: John McDonagh (Galway)

Extreme efficiency was on show in Callan from an impressive looking Tipperary outfit and that view was shared by manager Bill Mullaney in the aftermath of their National League quarter final win over Offaly.

“I’m happy enough with the performance,” he began.

“We didn’t start very well. Offaly ran us a bit ragged for the first five or six minutes, but we eventually got going and got a couple of scores.

“After that I thought we were brilliant all over the field, the whole panel contributed, and we often say the scoreline is not reflective of a match, but it wasn’t really because Offaly created a lot of chances, but our backs dealt with them really well.

“It wasn’t completely lobsided although the scoreboard might suggest otherwise but I thought it was really competitive.”

While Tipperary have delivered a few performances similar to Sundays’ over the last few years, there was a certain air of extra quality that hasn’t been seen before with the Premier ladies producing some fantastic passages of play and displayed a real ruthlessness in front of goal, which they haven’t shown in years gone by, but now look like they are starting to develop.

Contributions from the bench were also notable and the extended panel getting a run of games and impressing has been a hallmark of this campaign to date and Mullaney was also eager to point to this when discussing the placement of Sarah Fryday at wing back.

“We have to really, because we have six or seven injuries at the moment so we are having to push and find players in different positions and also when you’re playing you can find yourself in any position on the field and you have to be comfortable playing what’s in front of you.

“I thought Sarah in particular had a fabulous game. It was a big risk for us to take but she came through, played well, and probably was player of the match.

“But to be fair there could have been twenty from our side today to be honest.”

The reward for Tipperary now will be another trip Noreside to face Kilkenny in Nowlan Park in the first of a semi-final double header this Sunday and this could be an opportunity to book their passage to a Croke Park decider against Galway or Cork, as the reigning All-Ireland champions displayed chinks in their armour in their narrow defeat of Limerick in the other quarter-final last Saturday

There were welcome returns for Roisin Howard and Niamh Treacy against Offaly, but Tipp still have an extensive injury list, with the stand in Callan populated with a number of walking wounded, including Karen Kennedy, Karin Blair, Shauna Quirke, and long-term absentee Clodagh Quirke all watching on, although there was the welcome sight of Orla O’Dwyer, togged out which could prove to be a big boost for the championship.

But Bill Mullaney is under no illusions about the quality of the teams remaining in the league and the increasing quality Tipp will face up to in the form of Kilkenny.

“League in the summer is an odd situation, but these are the matches we need to be playing in. We’d like to drive on and win it and get to the final like we did last year,” he continued

“We know they’re hard to beat so we’ll have to be even better again. We’re looking forward to next weekend and having another pop at it,” he concluded.

Tipperary team v Kilkenny

1 - Áine Slattery (Shannon Rovers);

2 - Julieanne Bourke (Borris-Ileigh),

3 - Mary Ryan (Moneygall),

4 - Eimear Loughman (Clonoulty/Rossmore);

5 - Eimear McGrath (Drom & Inch),

6 - Mairead Eviston (Drom & Inch),

7 - Sarah Fryday (Clonoulty/Rossmore);

8 - Ereena Fryday (Knockavilla Kickhams),

9 - Roisin Howard (Cahir);

10 - Eimear McGrath (Drom & Inch),

11 - Nicole Walsh (Borris-Ileigh),

12 - Niamh Treacy (Drom & Inch);

13 - Grace O'Brien (Nenagh Eire Og),

14 - Cait Devane (Clonoulty/Rossmore),

15 - Clodagh McIntyre (Lorrha).

SUBS: Caoimhe Bourke (Drom & Inch), Miriam Campion (Drom & Inch), Sarah Delaney (Boherlahan-Dualla), Lorna O'Dwyer (Holycross/Ballycahill), Orla O'Dwyer (Cashel), Jean Kelly (Eire Og Annacarty), Emer Heffernan (Knockavilla Kickhams), Casey Hennessy (Clonoulty/Rossmore), Karen Kennedy (Thurles Sarsfields), Laura Loughnane (Thurles Sarsfields), Caoimhe McCarthy (Knockavilla Kickhams), Eibhlis McDonnell (Eire Og Annacarty), Grace O'Toole (Newport/Ballinahinch).

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