THREE goals in the first eight minutes playing against the wind laid the foundation for Offaly’s first win in the league this season over Tipperary in Banagher on Sunday.
Daily Star National Camogie League Division 1
Tina Hannon scored the first after two minutes with captain Arlene Watkins finding the back of twice in the next six minutes.
By half-time Offaly led by 3-6 to 0-5 however they found scores harder to come by with the wind at their backs as they hit just one point and seven wides in the first 17 minutes after the restart with two shots on goal going just wide.
Tipperary briefly threatened a comeback with thanks to a goal from Noreen Flanagan but Offaly rediscovered their scoring touch in the closing minutes with Elaine Dermody adding three points and substitute Orlagh Kirwan scoring the fourth goal with her first touch after 49 minutes.
The win moves Offaly ahead of Tipperary in the table and leaves them in with a chance of reaching the semi-finals going into their final game with Kilkenny away next Sunday.
Playing against the strong and bitingly cold wind, Offaly couldn’t have wished for a better start as they blasted into a 2-2 to 0-0 lead after just four minutes.
Jean Brady opened the scoring with a point for Offaly before a defence splitting pass from Elaine Dermody found Tina Hannon in space and the Naomh Brid player applied the finish drilling the ball to the back of the net.
Dermody added a point from a free shortly after before Arlene Watkins scored the first of her two goals after an incisive run through the Tipperary defence.
Cait Devane briefly stemmed the tide for Tipperary with a point from a free but with eight minutes on the clock Offaly captain watkins struck for her second goal to put Offaly 3-2 to 0-1 ahead.
Offaly free taker Elaine Dermody added four points before the break from frees but they were cancelled out by three frees from Tipperary’s Cait Devane and one from play from Claire Kennedy.
Offaly played with Siobhan Flannery as an extra midfielder in the first half and that combined with an excellent display throughout the game from Triona McDonald stiffled Tipperary’s attacking threat.
Offaly led by ten points at the break and they came close to making it 13 shortly after half-time but Siobhan Flannery’s instinctive shot went just wide.
Elaine Dermody did extend Offaly’s lead with a point from a free soon after but despite playing with the wind, Offaly went 14 minutes without a score while hitting seven wides.
Tipperary raised their game in the second-half with substitute Michaela Graham having a major influence on the game. A point from Brid Quinn followed by a goal from Noreen Flanagan gave them a glimmer of hope as they reduced the gap to seven points.
However Offaly rediscovered their scoring form in the final quarter of the game.
The game was ended as a contest with 11 minutes to go when substitute Orlagh Kirwan scored a fortunate long range goal with her first touch while Elaine Dermody added four more points from frees to round out the win.
Scorers: Offaly: Elaine Dermody 0-9f; Arlene Watkins 2-0; Tina Hannon 1-0; Orlagh Kirwan 1-0; Jean Brady 0-1. Tipperary: Cait Devane 0-4f; Noreen Flanagan 1-0; Claire Kennedy 0-1.
Offaly: Eleanor Clendennen; Fiona Stephens, Lorraine Keena, Marian Crean; Linda Sullivan,Triona McDonald, Sheila Sullivan; Michaela Morkan, Jean Brady; Tina Hannon, Elaine Dermody, Arlene Watkins; Leanne Scully, Karen Connolly, Siobhan Flannery. Subs: Orlagh Kirwan for Karen Connolly (47mins), Debbie Flynn for Tina Hannon (54mins), Aoife Kelly for Leanne Scully (54mins)
Tipperary: Rita Bourke; Niamh Kelly, Julie Kirwan, Louise McLoughney; Gemma Grace, Sabrina Larkin, Teresa Ryan; Brid Quinn, Jill Horan; Nicole Walshe, Claire Kennedy, Cait Devane; Alice Fogarty, Noreen Flanagan, Amy Kennedy. Subs: Julie McGrath for Sabrina Larkin (21mins), Michaela Graham for Alice Fogarty (30mins), Caoimhe Kennedy for Teresa Ryan (40mins), Aoife McLoughney for Nicole Walshe (50mins), Aoife McGrath for Amy Kennedy (50mins)
Referee: Fintan McNamara