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Crunch tie for Offaly and Tipperary on Saturday

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Crunch tie for Offaly and Tipperary on Saturday thumbnailJean Brady clears the ball under pressure from Linda Bolger in the All-Ireland camogie championship. MT28890JOC

Offaly and Tipperary meet in a crucial game at The Ragg on Saturday next in the fourth round of Liberty Insurance All-Ireland senior camogie championship with the winners knowing they will take a giant step towards the knock out stages.
The two counties are level on points thus far after two victories from three games, with Dublin also joining them on that mark. At present Offaly are ahead of Tipperary on scoring difference with Dublin in fourth place. Cork head the table with three wins from three and look destined to finish top of the group to claim the direct place into the All-Ireland semi-final. Quarter final places go to the second and third placed teams so it is all to play for for Offaly, Tipperary and Dublin with two rounds of games to go. In the final round Offaly have to travel to play Cork, while Tipp travel to meet Dublin, so nothing will be decided until that final round of games and it could yet all come down to score difference.
Last Saturday Offaly scored an important win over Wexford and showed impressive character in doing so. Leading by 0-10 to 0-5 at half time, Wexford hit back to level five minutes after the break and it looked somewhat ominous for Offaly but they responded magnificently and hit the next 1-4 without reply. Wexford rallied again but once more Offaly's response was decisive and they thoroughly deserved their 1-18 to 1-12 victory.
Offaly manager Mike Wall was very pleased with the way his side responded to conceding their interval advantage so early in the second half.
We knew we were going to make it extremely difficult on ourselves to proceed in the championship if we didnt get the win said Wall. The performance the girls gave, we were worthy winners.
We went in five points ahead at half time and though we could have been one or two more, before the match we would have taken it. We had a purple patch, Wexford had one or two but we hung in there.
Wed be really disappointed with the goal and well have to look back on that and see what we can do to prevent that. But I was absolutely delighted with the response the girls gave because Wexford got level within four or five minutes of half time.
But the girls kicked on, they showed huge character. It was a body blow straight after half time to lose a five-point lead but we got it back to five points very quick and that showed character, said the Offaly manager.
After victories in their opening two games over Meath and Wexford, Tipperary suffered their first defeat when going under by 1-27 to 1-12 to table toppers Cork at The Ragg. Manager Bill Mullaney was anxious that his side would put the result behind them quickly.
"We have to forget about it and we have to concentrate on another big game with Offaly next Saturday. Our future is in our own hands whether we progress to the knock out stages or not, but we have two games left, Offaly at home next week and then we are away to Dublin in the last game and we have to win both games, simple as, but theres no guarantees, he said.
It was a view reiterated by Tipperary captain Orla O'Dwyer. "The most important thing now is that we brush this off and move on from here. If we get wins over Offaly and Dublin, it will be a real test of character and thats the beauty of championship, concentrate on the next and forget the last one as its all in the past now and just move on, she said.
Saturday's game will be played in The Ragg with a 5pm throw in.

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