VERONICA CURTIN struck for the winning point right on the hour at Nowlan Park to break Kilkenny’s hearts and snatch a place for Galwayin the League final against Wexford.
The Westerners ran out 0-14 to 2-7 winners as champions Wexford, who beat Galway in last year’s All-Ireland final to secure the league and championship double, proved too much for Tipperary in the other semifinal, winning 4-12 to 0-13.
Curtin and Galway were the story of the day, though. The Castlegar woman was the only player on the pitch with an All-Ireland senior medal – won 15 years ago.
Kilkenny led from the second minute when Aoife Neary pointed a free and even though Curtin shot four first-half points for Galway they trailed 1-6 to 0-5 at the interval.
In the second half an increased flow of ball towards Curtin and fullforward Noreen Coen yielded massive dividends, as they scored three points each.
Galway had pegged the Cats back within 12 minutes of the throw-in but were stunned when Kilkenny sub Shelly Farrell goaled and Neary quickly tagged on a point from a free after a stunning save by Susan Earner from Marie Dargan.
That stop kept Galway in the game and they scored five points without reply to take the win and can now start dreaming of revenge.
Wexford looked strong though and goals from Una Leacy, Kate Kelly and Katrina Parrock helped them establish a 3-4 to 0-7 half-time lead over Tipp.
Kelly scored 1-6 in total to ensure that Wexford remained in control.