Thursday 19 October 2017

Underdogs show Cats how it's done

Nicola Anderson

Nicola Anderson

THEY came in as the underdogs – but after losing three out of the last five All-Ireland finals, the Tribeswomen finally emerged victorious with a win that will go down in the history books.

It had been 17 years since Galway's only All-Ireland camogie title and 19 since Kilkenny last managed to get their hands on the O'Duffy cup.

Strangest of all, perhaps, was that these two camogie strongholds had never met before in a final.

Amid a stop-start momentum, it may not have been a 'classic' game – but the heroic struggle of the Galway defence gave onlookers plenty to savour.

With the men out of the picture, the hopes of Kilkenny had rested on their women – but they too were to fall by the wayside at Croke Park this year.

Kilkenny began well but Galway kept up the pressure, pouncing on their opposition any time the ball headed down towards the Hill 16 end.

They had the advantage that every single one of the 15-strong panel had played in a previous final.

Katie Power proved a stylish player for the Cats but a goal by Ailish O'Reilly for Galway in the 27th minute proved the steely clincher.

Point by point they battled it out. Kilkenny were valiant but began to panic, and as the final minutes ticked down, were resorted to taking pot shots.

As the final whistle blew, Galway stalwart Therese Maher sank to her knees with emotion. The score was 1-09 to seven points. It had been the Athenry woman's fifth All-Ireland Final – her first win – and probably her last ever game for her county.

Irish Independent

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