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Gaule hits 1-6 including penalty as Kilkenny end All-Ireland final hurt to become champions again

Brian Dowling’s side dethroned Galway to win the O’Duffy Cup for the first time since 2016.

Michelle Teehan and Siobhán McGrath battle for possession.
Michelle Teehan and Siobhán McGrath battle for possession.
Image: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Kilkenny 1-14

Galway 1-11

ALL-IRELAND FINAL hurt no more for Kilkenny.

After losing out in the the last three deciders, they are champions once again. A Denise Gaule penalty ultimately sealed their victory as they produced a complete performance to dethrone Galway and win the O’Duffy Cup back for the first time since 2016.

Gaule was superb as she finished the night with 1-6, while Aoife Doyle helped herself to four points from play.

Both sides charged into the opening quarter with plenty of intensity. The defenders were on top on opposite ends of the pitch, coughing up just two points from play before the first water break.

Denise Gaule and Carrie Dolan traded frees to leave the sides deadlocked at three points each.

The play opened up on the resumption as Ailish O’Reilly edged the champions back in front in the first passage of play.

Mary O’Connell found her range to keep Kilkenny in touch before Niamh Kilkenny was unlucky to have a goal chance taken from her on 25 minutes. O’Reilly tried to send through with a quick pass but the referee deemed it to be a throw and awarded a free out to Kilkenny.

Cathal Murray’s side didn’t have to wait long for a goal however. And it was the McGrath sisters who combined to find the net. Siobhán fed the ball forward to Orlaith who had Kilkenny corner-back Davina Tobin following closely behind.

McGrath then rounded goalkeeper Aoife Norris before tapping the ball into an empty net.

Kilkenny had a huge goal chance shortly after, but Aoife Doyle had to settle for a point after her powerful effort sailed over.

That score left the Cats trailing by two points at the break.

The sides continued to trade scores after the interval. Katie Nolan popped up with her first of the night, as did Mary O’Connell.

Doyle was presented with another goal opportunity but again, had to settle for a point. Mary O’Connell almost found herself in a one-on-one scenario as well, but fumbled the ball at the crucial moment outside the square.

It mattered little however, as Kilkenny started to take control of the tie. Gaule landed a monstrous score from play while Grace Walsh advanced up from half-back to hit the target before the 50th minute to put Kilkenny two clear on a scoreline of 0-13 to 1-8.

Galway stayed in touch through points from Aoife Donohue, Niamh Kilkenny and Dolan.

But a Gaule penalty, which she won in the 57th minute, was the difference in the end.

Dolan responded with her fifth free of the night to reduce the gap to one goal, with time almost up.

But they couldn’t find that equalising goal as Brian Dowling’s charges celebrated in an empty Croke Park to bring an unprecedented camogie championship to a conclusion.

Scorers for Galway: Carrie Dolan (0-6, 5f) Siobhán McGrath (0-2), Ailish O’Reilly (0-1), Orlaith McGrath (1-0), Aoife Donohue (0-1), Niamh Kilkenny (0-1)

Scorers for Kilkenny: Denise Gaule (1-6, 5f, 1 penalty), Aoife Doyle (0-4), Anne Dalton, Mary O’Connell, Katie Nolan, Grace Walsh (0-1 each)

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Galway

1. Sarah Healy (St Thomas’)

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

5. Emma Helebert (Ballindereen)
6. Siobhán Gardiner (Ardrahan)
7. Tara Kenny (Sarsfields)

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

10. Carrie Dolan (Clarinbridge)
11. Catriona Cormican (Cappataggle)
12. Rebecca Hennelly (Ardrahan)

13. Ailish O’Reilly (Oranmore/Maree)
14. Niamh Hannify (Oranmore/Maree)
15. Orlaith McGrath (Sarsfields)

Subs:

24. Sarah Spellman (Sarsfields) for Helebert (50)
12. Rebecca Hennelly (Ardrahan) for Donohue (62)

Kilkenny 

1. Aoife Norris (Piltown)

2. Michelle Teehan (James Stephens)
3. Claire Phelan (Lisdowney)
4. Davina Tobin (Emeralds)

5. Colette Dormer (Barrow Rangers)
6. Meighan Farrell (Thomastown)
7. Grace Walsh (Tullaroan)

8. Anna Farrell (Thomastown)
20. Kellyann Doyle (Piltown)

10. Miriam Walsh (Tullaroan)
11. Anne Dalton (St Lachtain’s)
12. Aoife Doyle (Piltown)

13. Mary O’Connell (Clara)
14. Denise Gaule (Windap)
15. Katie Nolan (St Martin’s)

Subs:

9. Laura Murphy (O’Loughlin Gaels) for O’Connell (53)
17. Niamh Deely (James Stephens) for K Doylw (60)

Referee: Owen Elliot (Antrim)

About the author:

Sinead Farrell  / Reports from Croke Park

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