Tuesday 17 September 2019

Murray delight after charges overcome late Kenny injury to seal big double

Ann Downey: “They just swarmed us and were hungrier than us. I’ve no idea why.” Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Ann Downey: “They just swarmed us and were hungrier than us. I’ve no idea why.” Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Cliona Foley

Not even the disaster of losing wing-back star Tara Kenny to a cruciate injury in the run-in put a stop to Galway's sensational gallop to their third All-Ireland title.

Kenny got injured in training two weeks ago but the seriousness of it was only confirmed last Thursday night.

Yet the switch of 'Teeny' Cormican back to mark Anne Dalton proved vital and manager Cathal Murray said: "I don't think our backs get the credit they deserve."

Having to manage two teams on All-Ireland final day and losing the earlier Intermediate decider after a second-half collapse also added to his difficulties but he said he actually learned from the first game.

"It was mentioned in the senior dressing-room, that we couldn't let the same thing happen. We had to start well in the second half and we did, in fairness, and the two goals before half-time were a real tonic."

Ailish O'Reilly, who scored two of them, was so delighted afterwards that she actually forgot that her team had completed a league/championship double.

"It hasn't sunk in yet. 2013 (their last win) feels like a lifetime ago and I didn't appreciate that win enough, I flew off on Erasmus (studies) a few days later so I'm going to enjoy this one," she laughed.

"We'd beaten them in the league final and all the talk was how they beat us in the first round of the championship but what was the point of giving away everything then? We were definitely going to have to play them and Cork again," she noted.

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Midfield dynamo Niamh Kilkenny, who chipped in with four brilliant points from play, was typically modest, saying: "It's the work-rate from the girls in the inside line. They have all the hard work done by the time it gets to me."

"Deja vu," murmured crestfallen Kilkenny boss Ann Downey as she faced the media after a devastating third All-Ireland loss in a row.

"We made some positional changes at half-time, moved Claire Phelan back to full-back and moved Meighan (Farrell) back which helped the situation.

"We got within two points of them but never closer. They were never going to leave us in for a goal," she mused. "They just swarmed us and were hungrier than us. I've no idea why."

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