Derry go the extra mile on the road to Croker

By Daragh Ó Conchúir

DERRY banished the ghosts of 2022 to claim their place in the Glen Dimplex All-Ireland Intermediate final with an extra-time win over Kilkenny in FBD Semple Stadium.

They will play Meath, who ground out a derby victory over Westmeath at the same venue.

Derry had conceded three of the last four points in injury time to lose last year’s semi-final and the same fate seemed ahead of them when they failed to score in the last quarter to allow Kilkenny to hit six in a row and take the lead.

Emma Manogue had been a key contributor for the Cats, registering six points in total in a fantastic play

However Aoife Shaw, who scored six points also, held her nerve to point a 45 in the fourth minute of added time to send the teams into extra time.

Derry capitalised on the second bit of the cherry, scoring six points in a row and though Kilkenny made a bit to eat into that, player of the match Áine McAllister drove forward for three late scores to bring her tally to eight (five from play) and seal the Croke Park ticket.

The other encounter was a thrilling one that was decided by an Amy Gaffney goal on the hour, Meath advancing by 1-11 to 0-10 against their neighbours.

Westmeath had given every bit as much as they had taken but it was Gaffney who landed the knockout blow.

Westmeath led by a point at half-time, 0-7 to 0-6 as Sheila McGrath and Megan Dowdall shared six points. Aoife Minogue was Meath’s primary contributor with three points.

The second half was tight but always exciting, with defences making some remarkable last-ditch interventions. In particular, the calibre of hooking and blocking was notable. Points from Minogue, Gaffney and Emma O’Connell had edged Meath marginally ahead when Gaffney cemented their place at HQ next month.

Receive quality journalism wherever you are, on any device. Keep up to date from the comfort of your own home with a digital subscription.
Any time | Any place | Anywhere


Gaelic Life is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 10-14 John Street, Omagh, Co. Tyrone, N. Ireland, BT781DW