League semi-finalists Cork and Tipperary maintained their good form with resounding victories in the All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship, the Rebels shooting the lights out in accounting for Dublin by 2-19 to 0-12 at Páirc Uí Rinn, and Tipp blitzing Offaly by 3-23 to 1-12 at the St Rynagh's grounds in Banagher.
A hat-trick of goals from Orla O’Dwyer, who finished with 3-03, was the highlight in Group 1 as the Premier County banished the bitter disappointment of letting a gilt-edged winning opportunity slip against Kilkenny in their league semi-final.
With Cáit Devane recording nine points as well, Offaly had no answer for the firepower of Bill Mullaney’s side, and in particular, to the speed and movement of O’Dwyer, who was starting in national competition for the first time since returning from Australia an AFLW champion.
O’Dwyer struck first after just three minutes and was among seven different players to raise white flags as Tipp went in at half-time leading by 1-14 to 0-6, former Tipp senior forward and All-Ireland underage winner in the blue and gold, Mairéad Teehan striking five points of her 1-7 for Offaly.
Aisling Brennan and Siobhán Flannery shot early points for Susan Earner’s outfit but two goals in a minute by O’Dwyer towards the end of the third quarter cemented the issue for Tipperary.
Teehan raised a green flag in injury time against many of her former teammates at the end of a disappointing day for her team, but an excellent one individually.
A second-minute goal from Katrina Mackey [above] was a disastrous start for the Dubs, who to their credit, did well in such circumstances to only trail by eight points at the interval of their Group 2 clash, 1-11 to 0-6.
As an overall score, Mackey’s major will be a contender for goal of the year. Midfielder Hannah Looney picked up possession from a Ciara Tierney clearance 55m out, beat one player and showed her a clean pair of heels to inside the 20m line.
A neat side-step brought her inside the 14 moving in from the right and it was there she showed fantastic vision and ability to find Mackey with a batted pass off the hurley, the centre-forward in turn controlling and finishing to the net without handling the sliotar.
Free-taking has been a problem in big games for the Rebels in the past 12 months and with Orla Cronin not seeing action until late on, it was Mackey who took over the duties for Paudie Murray’s unit.
The Douglas star weighed in with five points in the initial period, four of which came from placed balls and finished with a goal and seven points.
Chloe Sigerson also converted two long-distance frees, and with Amy O’Connor, Linda Collins and Ashling Thompson adding scores from play the Leesiders were worthy leaders.
Dublin were threatening on occasion too though as they stuck to their processes, Ali Twomey and Emma Flanagan firing neat points to supplement four successful frees from Aisling Maher.
Cork had added two points to their advantage early in the second half when O’Connor maintained her impressive goal run four minutes in, drilling low to the net after gathering possession right on the endline.
Adrian O’Sullivan will be pleased that his players matched Cork in scoring terms for the remainder of the tie, Maher [three], Kerrie Finnegan, Emma Flanagan and Niamh Gannon finding the target but the verdict was never in doubt.