Tipp’s Aisling McCarthy wins possession ahead of Offaly’s Gráinne Dolan .
Tipperary qualified for their second League final in succession and brought their unbeaten run of games in the Division 3 League to eight.
Offaly were the opposition in the semi-final at wind swept Clane on Easter Sunday with Tipp winning easily 7-16 to 2-6
Tipperary played into a stiff breeze in the opening half and were quick out of the blocks with Aisling McCarthy opening the scoring with two points from play and then turned provider when she found Orla O’Dwyer who laid off the ball for Aishling Moloney to score Tipperary’s opening goal.
Orla O’Dwyer followed up with another Tipperary goal which was followed by a point from Aishling Moloney.
Offaly opened their account with a goal and quickly followed with a point to leave the score line 2-3 to 1-1.
Tipperary’s Caoimhe Condon has the strength of her jersey tested by Offaly’s Katie Kehoe in the league semi-final.
Further goals from Aishling Moloney, Mairead Morrissey and Caoimhe Condon helped Tipperary to a very worthy half time lead of 5-10 to Offaly’s 2-1.
All Tipperary forwards were on the score board at this stage and they were absolutely buzzing with confidence after some very well kicked points and great passing movements of play leading to high quality scores.
Tipperary began the second half where they left off in the first. Points from Gillian O’Brien, Mairead Morrissey and Caoimhe Condon were followed by another goal from Mairead Morrissey after a good pass from Aishling Moloney.
At this stage Tipperary made changes with Niamh Lonergan and Eimear Myles replacing Orla O’Dwyer and Jennifer Grant.
Tipperary soon added another goal through Aishling Moloney, with Offaly replying with two points.
Further changes saw Catherina Walsh, Aoibhe O’Shea and Roisin McGrath replacing Mairead Morrissey, Gillian O’Brien and Emma Buckley.
Tipperary added three further points through Aisling McCarthy, Aoibhe O’Shea and an Aishling Moloney free to leave the final score 7-16 to 2-6.
This was a great team performance with Lauren Fitzpatrick very solid in goal bringing off one exceptional save early in the first half when there was only three points between the sides.
The full back line of Brid Condon, Siobhan Condon and Elaine Kelly were on top all through.
The half back line of Emma Buckley, Samantha Lambert and Maria Curley worked tirelessly in defence and launched many counter attacks.
In mid field Elaine Fitzpatrick and Jennifer Grant were on top throughout the game and kept the on form forwards well fed with scoring opportunities.
7-16 is a fine score and underlines the brilliant form of the Tipperary forwards.
All in all Tipperary produced a very admirable display that lifted them to new heights and puts them in a good place as they prepare for the league final.
However heading into a final on the back of a big win is often as much of a burden as it is confidence booster.
Wexford will be Tipperary’s opponents in the final. Shane Ronayne will be all too conscious of the stern test Wexford provided in the opening round of the league.
On that occasion Wexford led by nine points into second half and had it not been for a wonderfully brave effort from Jennifer Grant to prevent another Wexford goal there would probably have been no way back for Tipperary.
They rallied magnificently to win that game and have not been beaten since. All in Tipperary wish the team and management the best of luck in the league final and hopefully the support will turn out in force to see this very impressive team in action.
Tipperary – Lauren Fitzpatrick; Brid Condon, Siobhan, Condon, Elaine Kelly; Maria Curley, Samantha Lambert (C), Emma Buckley; Elaine Fitzpatrick, Jennifer Grant (0-1); Orla O’Dwyer (1-0), Aisling McCarthy (0-4), Gillian O’ Brien (0-4); Caoimhe Condon (1-2), Aishling Moloney (3-3, 1free), Mairead Morrissey (2-2)
Subs used – Niamh Lonergan, Eimear Myles, Roisin McGrath, Catherina Walsh, Aoibhe O’Shea (0-1)
Panel – Patricia Hickey, Rachael O’Donnell, Laura Dillon, Maire Condon, Alison Lonergan, Nicola Loughnane, Aoife Corcoran, Roisin Howard, Sarah Everard. Manager: Shane Ronayne. Mentors: Alan O’Connor, Elaine Harte, Tony Smith, Tomás Mac an tSaoire.