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Galway survive Cork fightback to be crowned Division 1 camogie league champions

Galway had been 11 points clear at half-time today in Thurles.

Niamh McGrath grabs Galway's first goal of the game.
Niamh McGrath grabs Galway's first goal of the game.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

Updated at 9.15am

Galway 2-15
Cork 2-12

Fintan O’Toole reports from Semple Stadium

GALWAY WITHSTOOD A second-half onslaught from Cork before prevailing in today’s Division 1 camogie league final at Semple Stadium in Thurles.

Galway were completely dominant in the opening-half and had sprinted 11 points clear at half-time as they lead 2-10 to 0-5. Niamh McGrath and Molly Dunne bagged the goals for Galway.

Cork fought back strongly in the second-half, inspired by Katriona Mackey’s goal straight after half-time. Amy O’Connor fired home a second goal for Cork but despite the accuracy of Orla Cotter from frees, they couldn’t bridge the gap and Galway ran out deserving winners.

Both sides began brightly as they struck two points apiece in the opening five minutes. But then Galway hit their stride with Niamh McGrath, Ailish O’Reilly, Orlaith McGrath and captain Niamh Kilkenny all in excellent form.

Niamh McGrath pounced for their first goal in the 10th minute and they were 1-5 to 0-3 clear after the opening quarter. Cork were in trouble in several sectors and were too reliant on Cotter’s freetaking to keep them in touch.

Briege Corkery solos past Shauna Healy Cork's Briege Corkery solos past Galway's Shauna Healy. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Galway added a second goal in the 24th minute when O’Reilly set up Dunne for the strike. That pushed them 2-7 to 0-5 clear and they added three points without reply before the interval with Kilkenny (2) and McGrath on target.

But Cork emerged a different force in the second-half. Mackey and O’Connor hit goals in the third quarter with substitute Gemma O’Connor, Eimear O’Sullivan and Cotter all playing prominent roles in their fightback.

Galway lead 2-14 to 2-7 entering the final quarter but they only struck another point in the closing stages and that came in the 47th minute from Kilkenny. Cork reeled off the last four points of the game through substitutes Hannah Looney and Orla Cronin, along with a pair of Cotter frees.

But three points was as close as they got as Galway had built up a sufficient advantage to close out the game on a successful note.

Scorers for Galway: Niamh McGrath 1-7 (0-3fs, 0-1pen), Niam Kilkenny 0-4, Molly Dunne 1-0, Orlaith McGrath, Ailish O’Reilly 0-2 each

Scorers for Cork: Orla Cotter 0-8 (0-8f), Katriona Mackey 1-1, Amy O’Connor 1-0, Briege Corkery, Hannah Looney, Orla Cronin 0-1 each.

Galway

1. Susan Earner (Eyrecourt)

2. Tara Kenny (Sarsfields)
3. Sarah Dervan (Mullagh)
4. Heather Cooney (St Thomas)

5. Siobhan Coen (Ballindereen)
6. Shauna Healy (Ardrahan)
7. Lorraine Ryan (Killimordaly)

8. Niamh Kilkenny (Pearses) – (captain)
9. Emma Kilkelly (Kinvara)

10. Aoife Donohue (Mullagh)
11. Niamh McGrath (Sarsfields)
12. Ann-Marie Starr (Killimor)

13. Ailish O’Reilly (Oranmore)
14. Molly Dunne (Eyrecourt)
15. Orlaith McGrath (Sarsfields)

Subs
18. Finoula Keeley (St Thomas) for Orlaith McGrath (inj) (17)
20. Jessica Gill (Athenry) for Starr (53)

Cork

1. Amy Lee (Na Piarsaigh)

2. Lauren Callanan (Glen Rovers)
3. Laura Treacy (Killeagh)
4. Leanne O’Sullivan (Glen Rovers)

5. Eimear O’Sullivan (Ballinhassig)
6. Pamela Mackey (Douglas)
7. Meabh Cahalane (St Finbarr’s)

8. Rena Buckley (Inniscarra)
9. Ashling Thompson (Milford)

26. Briege Corkery (Cloughduv)
11. Finola Neville (St Catherine’s)
10. Orla Cotter (St Catherine’s)

12. Julia White (Douglas)
13. Amy O’Connor (St Vincent’s)
15. Katriona Mackey (Douglas)

Subs
28. Gemma O’Connor (St Finbarr’s) for Neville (half-time)
24. Hannah Looney (Killeagh) for Callanan (46)
25. Orla Cronin (Enniskeane) for White (51)

Referee: Owen Elliot (Antrim)

Originally published, Sunday 3 May 3.45pm

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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