Saturday 21 October 2017

Galway end 17-year wait for camogie title on dream day

Noreen Coen, Galway, in action against Edwina Keane
Noreen Coen, Galway, in action against Edwina Keane

Galway added to their intermediate triumph with their first All-Ireland title crown since 1996 after a deserved 1-9 to 0-7 win over Kilkenny today at Croke Park.

Ailish O'Reilly's first half goal was crucial as they led by 1-5 to 0-4 at half-time and they held on to their advantage with the brilliant Therese Maher marshalling an excellent Galway defence.

Their victory formed a brilliant double with their intermediate side beating Limerick by two points earlier in the day.

Both sides struggled to adjust to the swirling conditions at GAA Headquarters and the game was nine minutes old before Niamh McGrath tapped over a free.

Ann Dalton responded for the Cats before Emer Haverty and Shelly Farrell exchanged points.

McGrath got her next score from play before the lively Farrell equalised once more for Kilkenny.

Aisling Duffy pushed Kilkenny into the lead for the first time on 26 minutes before Galway ended the half strongly as Ailish O'Reilly handpassed the sliotar past Emma Kavanagh.

Noreen Coen, who was making a big impression after coming on for the injured Molly Dunne, added a brace of points before the interval and Galway led by 1-5 to 0-4 at the break.

Ann Dalton scored quckly after the restart but Galway were dominating the middle third and further points for McGrath and Emma Kilkelly made the score 1-7 to 0-5 after 44 minutes.

Michelle Quilty came into the Kilkenny side with 12 minutes remianing and her first input in the game was to point a free to reduce Galway's advantage to four.

Another Quilty free meant that it was just O'Reilly's free that separated the sides and Kilkenny should have added to this but they fluffeed a number of easy chances.

Niamh McGrath pushed Galway back into a four-point lead with three minutes remaining and she added another free in injury time to seal a five point win.

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