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Galway lift first All-Ireland camogie title since 2013 and inflict further decider pain on Kilkenny

A record-breaking crowd of 24,730 watched on at Croke Park.

Galway 3-14

Kilkenny 0-17

sarah-dervan-lifts-the-oduffy-cup Player of the Match Niamh Kilkenny was immense for Galway. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

A FIRST ALL-IRELAND title since 2013 for Galway, and a third consecutive September decider defeat at Croke Park for Kilkenny as the Tribeswomen lifted the O’Duffy Cup in front of a record-breaking crowd of 24,730.

As the old cliché goes, goals win games, and a first-half double from Ailish O’Reilly, another from Niamh Hanniffy, along with a stunning performance and 0-4 tally from Niamh Kilkenny broke Ann Downey’s Cats’ hearts once again.

Carrie Dolan was also superb from placed ball as Cathal Murray’s league champions were six-point winners, and were crowned champions for the third time, after an enthralling game of free-flowing hurling.

It was a scintillating, open first half, and one which Galway went in six points the better as the middle whistle sounded.

Kilkenny were the first on the scoreboard, however, Michelle Quilty with her first of an eight-point total. The clock had just turned one minute as Galway struck back at the other end, the excellent Niamh Kilkenny and O’Reilly combining for their first goal of the day.

Kilkenny, Noreen Coen and Carrie Dolan (free) tagged on three points as Quilty, Denise Gaule and Davina Tobin kept the scoreboard ticking for the Cats. By 11 minutes, the sides were level for the first time, and things turned tit-for-tat.

Quilty and Sarah Spellman, and Gaule and Dolan exchanged points, and Kilkenny showed their class when they got the chance, but Galway’s eye for goal had them on the front foot once again soon after.

niamh-kilkenny-is-tackled-by-claire-phelan-and-meighan-farrell Player of the Match Niamh Kilkenny was immense for Galway. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

After Catherine Finnerty — a late replacement for Tara Kenny, who suffered a cruciate injury in training — pointed, Hannify rattled the net to put Galway into a two-point lead in the 23rd minute.

And two minutes later, O’Reilly raised her second green flag of the day to the joy of the massive Galway support at HQ. They certainly could have had another soon after, only for the work of Kilkenny goalkeeper Emma Kavanagh and full-back Catherine Foley.

A Dolan ’45 made it 3-7 to 0-10 at the break.

On the restart, the Clarinbridge attacker opened proceedings, and accounted for the majority of her side’s scores.

But Kilkenny came out all guns blazing; substitute Aoife Doyle, Miriam Walsh, co-captain Anna Farrell and Anne Dalton (two) all stepping up with superb scores as the Leinster county looked to forge a comeback.

But Dolan and Kilkenny continued to inspire Galway, who had the groundwork done in a brilliant first half. In the 50th minute, it was 3-10 to 0-17 — the closest Kilkenny got after the break — but the Tribe finished strong after surviving the Cats’ purple patch.

Dolan and Kilkenny added two as the clock ran down, before goalkeeper Sarah Healy came up to split the posts with a monster long-range free in the 61st minute.

And Kilkenny fittingly put the icing on the cake with another just before the whistle, and it finished 3-14 to 0-17 as Galway completed the 2019 national double.

niamh-hanniffy-celebrates-scoring-a-goal Niamh Hanniffy celebrates a goal. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

Scorers for Galway: Ailish O’Reilly (2-0), Niamh Hanniffy (1-0) Niamh Kilkenny (0-4), Noreen Coen (0-1), Carrie Dolan (0-6, 5f, 1 ’45), Sarah Spellman (0-1), Catherine Finnerty (0-1), Sarah Healy (0-1)

Scorers for Kilkenny: Michelle Quilty (0-8, 7f), Denise Gaule (0-3, 1f), Davina Tobin (0-1), Aoife Doyle (0-1), Miriam Walsh (0-1), Anna Farrell (0-1), Anne Dalton (0-2, 1f)

Galway

1. Sarah Healy (St Thomas)

2. Shauna Healy (Ardrahan)
3. Sarah Dervan (Mullagh) – captain
4. Heather Cooney (St Thomas)

18. Catherine Finnerty (Mountbellew/Moylough)
6. Emma Helebert (Ballindreen)
7. Lorraine Ryan (Kiltullagh/Killimoredaly)

8. Aoife Donohue (Mullagh)
9. Niamh Kilkenny (Pearses)

10. Carrie Dolan (Clarinbridge)
11. Catriona Cormican (Cappataggle)
12. Sarah Spellman (Sarsfields)

13. Noreen Coen (Athenry)
14. Niamh Hannify (Oranmore/Maree)
15. Ailish O’Reilly (Oranmore/Maree)

Subs

17. Anne Marie Starr (Killimor) for Noreen Coen (41)
20. Rebecca Hennelly for Sarah Spellman (49)

Kilkenny

1. Emma Kavanagh (Rower Inistioge)

2. Collette Dormer (Barrow Rangers)
3. Catherine Foley (Windgap)
4. Edwina Keane (St Martins)

5. Kellyann Doyle (Piltown)
6. Claire Phelan (Lisdowney)
7. Grace Walsh (Tullaroan)

8. Meighan Farrell (Thomastown) – joint-captain
9. Davina Tobin (Emeralds)

10. Anna Farrell (Thomastown) – joint-captain
11. Katie Power (Piltown)
12. Anne Dalton (St Lachtains)

13. Michelle Quilty (Mullinavat)
14. Miriam Walsh (Tullaroan)
15. Denise Gaule (Windgap)

Subs

19. Aoife Doyle (Piltown) for Edwina Keane (27)
17. Danielle Morrissey (Conahy) for Aoife Doyle (55)

Referee: Ray Kelly (Kildare).

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About the author:

Emma Duffy  / Reports from Croke Park

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