Galway v Kilkenny - Game at a glance
Player of the Match
Ailish O'Reilly (Galway)
O'Reilly proved to be the difference between the sides, scoring a goal and winning multiple frees every time she ran at the Kilkenny defence.
Deep in the second half Michelle Quilty got a free to close the gap to three. Galway then missed a free and Katie Power had an easy chance to cut the deficit to two, but she missed and the momentum swung away from Kilkenny.
No one begrudged Galway finally getting over the line, but the consensus was that this was not a vintage final with a lot of scrappy play and both sides looking a bit nervous.
In a match short of dazzling skill, an Emma Kilkelly point in the 40th minute stood out, as she deftly killed a delivery with her stick and then swung over a super long-range point.
It was a surprising in a game with a lot of tight marking and some heavy hits that Limerick ref Ger O'Dowd never booked a single player, particularly after Katie Power had been struck on the hand in the first half.
WHAT THEY SAID
Tony Ward (Galway manager):
"This was one of my great sporting days, to bring two adult teams to Croke Park and come away with wins. Some people say it's unbelievable, but it is believable for these girls, because they have suffered such heartache and today finally is their day."
Graham Dillon (Kilkenny co-manager):
"You couldn't question our girls' work rate today, but they didn't give a great account of their hurling skills, which is a real pity, they just never got off the ground."
Galway 5 (3 first half)
Galway 15 (6)
Kilkenny 14 (6)