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'If you create goal-scoring chances against Kilkenny and don't take them, you're not going to win'

Galway manager Cathal Murray lamented the number of chances they failed to convert in the league final.

Disappointed Galway players look on after losing the Division 1 final.
Disappointed Galway players look on after losing the Division 1 final.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

GALWAY CAMOGIE MANAGER Cathal Murray says failing to convert goal-scoring opportunities were a major factor in his side’s defeat to Kilkenny in the league final.

The Tribeswomen suffered a three-point defeat against the reigning All-Ireland champions at Croke Park after leading by the same margin at half-time.

It was an opportunity for Galway to exact revenge for losing out to the Cats in the All-Ireland decider last December but instead, they were undone by their rivals for the second time in-a-row.

Galway engineered several goal-scoring opportunities throughout the game with midfielder Niamh Kilkenny’s effort proving to be the only one that could get past Kilkenny keeper Aoife Norris.

Murray says their wastefulness in front of goal harmed their chances of winning in the end.

“We played very well,” he said after the final whistle.

“Kilkenny had us in trouble in the half back line. But when we got ball into our forwards, we ran at them and had them in real trouble and created two or three goal opportunities and didn’t take them.

“We need to take our chances. If you create two or three goal-scoring chances against Kilkenny and don’t take them, you’re not going to win the match.

“We’d be disappointed with the goal we gave away as well and disappointed with a few things but we’ll have to sit down and study the video. But like I said, really proud of the players, only a point in it going into injury time and unfortunately Kilkenny got the few points.”

Galway were missing some key players for this clash due to injuries. Orlaith McGrath was originally named to start in the match programme, but was a late withdrawal for Catherine Finnerty.

She will be sidelined for the next five weeks according to Murray, while experienced defender Heather Cooney is out for the season with a cruciate tear.

Even with those significant absentees, Murray reiterated his view about the number of chances they failed to convert during the game.

“She [Cooney] had her cruciate earlier in the year so unfortunately, Heather is out for the season,” Murray noted. “Orlaith McGrath will hopefully be back in five or six weeks but other than that, we had everyone on the field.

“We have no excuses. We knew Katie Power was going to come back for Kilkenny and Claire Phelan is going to come back so we’re not going to make any excuses about missing players.

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“It was just [not] finishing off the chances and that’s what cost us.”

Murray added that he had no objections to the evening throw-in time and said that the quality spectacle at GAA headquarters was a “great advertisement for camogie”.

On the subject of losing two major finals in a row, Murray stressed that he’s not worried about any falling into any unfortunate patterns going forward.

“Kilkenny lost two All-Ireland finals and came back to win last year’s All-Ireland. Those things happen, I’d be more concerned if we weren’t getting to finals.

“There’s plenty of times Galway weren’t getting to these matches and we’re getting to them now. Yeah we’ve areas to improve and certain areas to work on but we’re getting there. Our goal is to get to the All-Ireland final here in September and that’s what we want.

“It’ll be a long spin down to Galway but we’ll take a week or 10 days off and refocus. It’ll be championship hurling then.”

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