Tipperary vs Waterford: Páirc Uí Chaoimh, 4 August 2018
100 years after Gaelic Sunday took place around the country, the skills and passion of Gaelic games are still on display, this time in the form of the senior camogie quarter-finals in the rebel county’s newly-developed Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
The pitch was immaculate and the weather conditions perfect, for the first match between Tipperary and Waterford – Waterford’s first appearance in an All-Ireland quarter-final. Tipperary made their intentions clear within a minute of throw-in as Grace O’Brien came out in front of her marker to collect a diagonal ball and open the scoring. Centre-forward, Caoimhe Maher, and Ciardha Maher were showing well for Tipp in the early stages. Ciardha got the second score for Tipperary at the 3 minute mark, edging ahead. Waterford were forced to wait until almost the seventh minute of play to get their first score of the day – a free from Beth Carton given because Niamh Rockett’s jersey was pulled.
Tipperary settled first and settled well, finding players with well-placed passes, and going up 7 points to 2 within 17 minutes. Waterford on the other hand, were scrappy and losing possession too easily, their nerves perhaps getting the better of them in the opening half. Much of the Waterford ball was being sent down the left side and unfortunately for the Déise, Tipp’s Mary Ryan was there to hoover it up and send it back down the pitch. Cáit Devane and Tipperary captain, Orla O’Dwyer, were causing headaches for the Waterford backs, although they weren’t getting it all their own way.
The Déise kept plugging away and Rockett scored their 3rd of the match after a wonderful pass out to her on the left from Carton, which brought the score to 9-3. Waterford were then awarded a free out after Devane was penalised for over-carrying. Áine Lyng sent the free in, Carton blocked the defender, won back possession and was fouled. Carton scored the subsequent free and the score was 9 points to 4. Waterford started to improve. Sibhéal Harney was coming into the game more along with her colleagues in the Waterford defense. Just before half-time, while being marshalled by 2 Tipperary backs, Beth Carton struck the sliotar over the shoulder and a shot that would have been a remarkable point instead became a lucky goal as the sliotar dropped into the net over the goalie. With 2 points between the teams (9 points to 1-4), this was a great boost for Waterford at an important stage in the match. However, Tipp responded well with a point each from O’Brien and O’Dwyer to go in at the break leading by 11 points to 1 goal 4 points.
Waterford started brightly after half-time, led from midfield by Lorraine Brady, getting the first 2 points of the half. Brady’s increased work-rate was visible throughout the Waterford team. O’Dwyer scored Tipp’s 12th point after showcasing fantastic work-rate herself but with Lyng and Harney dominating in Waterford’s back, Tipp were struggling to get the same level of scoring they had in the first half. There were only 2 points in it, after another pointed free from Carton. Devane saw a shot on goal go wide, after she ran an overlap on the right, following some lovely inter-play from the Tipp forwards.
Ciardha Maher got Tipp’s first score of the half, 13 minutes in, staying ahead 13 points to 1-7. Carton had her own goal chance for Waterford as she demonstrated quick footwork in front of the square, however, her attempt to chip the ‘keeper was blocked out. The umpires at the Waterford goal displayed some indecision a number of times during the second half and Devane suffered her attempt to be waved wide after another example of this indecision. With Waterford struggling to register a score in the last 20 minutes, despite their improved performance in the second half, Tipperary were looking the likely winners. In injury time, Cáit Devane’s shot on goal lobbed the unfortunate Waterford goalie, Ciara Jackman, and Tipperary pulled away 1-13 to 1-7. Devane then registered the final point of the match with the final score as 1-14 to 1-7 for Tipperary.
Waterford will rue their slow start in the first half, and will be disappointed that they allowed their nerves to get to them. However, their performance improved in the second half and they have plenty to look forward to next season. Tipp led all the way from the start and absolutely deserve their first appearance in an All-Ireland semi-final in 10 years. They went out of the game for a period of the second half and will need to ensure that doesn’t happen in the semi-final against Cork in a fortnight.
A busy weekend for ball and stick sports in Ireland – find out how the second All-Ireland camogie quarter-final of the day went or read about the Irish hockey team who became the first Irish team to make it to a World Cup final.