Players tussle for possession in Pairc Ui Chaoimh. Laszlo Geczo/INPHO
Still On Top

Champions Galway hold off gutsy Tipp effort to join Kilkenny in repeat of last year's All-Ireland final

Cathal Murray’s side were pushed all the way for their win.

Galway 1-11
Tipperary 0-8

THEY WERE PUSHED to the end, but defending champions Galway booked their spot in this year’s All-Ireland final against Kiklenny to set-up a repeat of last year’s decider.

It was a six-point victory for Cathal Murray’s side, but a gutsy Tipperary outfit made them sweat for every bit of that win.

The ever-reliable Cáit Devane finished with six points while Sarah Fryday, Róisín Howard and Karen Kennedy more than measured up to their Galway opponents.

Niamh Hannify opened the champions’ account with a point in the early minutes while Howard offered a quick response with a nice point moments later.

Tipperary brought plenty of fought to Galway with Fryday looking very busy in the first half and always offering an option. Centre-back Kennedy caused lots of problems whenever she advanced up the pitch.

Points from Howard and Devane kept them on Galway’s shoulders with Howard unlucky to see a goalbound effort come back into play after a save from goalkeeper Sarah Healy.

orlaith-mcgrath-and-julie-anne-burke Orlaith McGrath in possession for Galway. Laszlo Geczo / INPHO Laszlo Geczo / INPHO / INPHO

But Galway impressed their power and experience as Carrie Dolan finished off a fine team move with a blistering shot to the net from close range.

Ailish O’Reilly came narrowly close to doubling Galway’s goal-tally later in the half. A clever move along the endline saw the ball being cleverly cut back inside to O’Reilly whose effort came rattling back into play from the crossbar.

Devane responded with a free to leave just two between them, a fine reward after some of the Tipp forwards forced Galway full-back Sarah Dervan to overplay the ball.

But Galway kept in control as Dolan, Niamh Kilkenny and Rebecca Hennelly all combined found their range to extend their advantage to 1-5 to 0-4.

Devane added her third free just before half-time, although Tipperary might well have had an argument for a penalty after Fryday was fouled by Heather Cooney under a high ball that took keeper Healy two touches to control.

Despite that scare, Galway held a 1-6 to 0-5 lead at the break.

Galway started to open their lungs after the restart, outscoring Bill Mullaney’s side by 0-3 to 0-1 in the first 10 minutes. Orlaith McGrath hit two quick points to ensure all six forwards had their name on the scoresheet.

Her second was particularly impressive as she managed to squeeze the ball inside the posts from a difficult angle.

Fryday and Devane kept Tipp’s flame burning with a brace of points to leave them five adrift and while Devane had a converted free disallowed, goalkeeper Áine Slattery breathed life back into their game shortly after.

A penalty was awarded for a foul on Galway substitute Siobhán McGrath. Goalkeeper Healy jogged up to stand over the spot shot, but her thundering attempt a top-corner goal was parried away from Slattery.

Tipperary were still fighting for a breakthrough but the Galway defence couldn’t be breached.

McGrath had an impressive finish for Galway, earning another penalty which she stood over herself. She elected to go for the point to keep their noses in front.

Devane picked up the final score of the game, a point from play after her goal-bound effort from a free was blocked away.

But it’s the holders who progress to the final on 12 December where a familiar foe awaits them.

Scorers for Galway: Niamh Hannify (0-1), Carrie Dolan (1-3 2f), Ailish O’Reilly (0-1), Niamh Kilkenny (0-1), Rebecca Hennelly (0-1), Orlaith McGrath (0-2), Siobhán McGrath (0-2, 1’45, 1 pen)

Scorers for Tipperary: Róisín Howard (0-1) Cáit Devane (0-6 5f), Sarah Fryday (0-1)



1. Sarah Healy (St Thomas’)

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

5. Emmma Helebert (Ballindereen)
6. Siobhan Gardiner (Ardrahan)
7. Tara Kenny (Sarsfields)

8. Aoife Donohue (Mullagh)
9. Catriona Cormican (Cappataggle)

10. Niamh Kilkenny (Pearses)
11. Rebecca Hennelly (Ardrahan)
12. Niamh Hannify (Oranmore/Maree)

13. Carrie Dolan (Clarinbridge)
14. Ailish O’Reilly (Oranmore/Maree)
15. Orlath McGrath (Sarsfields)

24. Sarah Spellman (Sarsfields) for Dolan (51)
18. Noreen Coen (Athenry) for Donohue (51)
19. Róisín Black (Oranmore/Maree) for Kenny (62)

17. Siobhán McGrath (Sarsfields) for Hennelly (44)


1. Áine Slattery (Shannon Rovers)

2. Clodagh Quirke (Clonoulty Rossmore)
3. Mary Ryan (Moneygall)
4. Eimear Loughman (Clonoulty Rossmore)

5. Mairead Eviston (Drum/Inch)
6. Karen Kennedy (Thurles Sarsfields)
7. Aoife McGrath (Drom/Inch)

8. Niamh Treacy (Drum/Inch)
18. Julie Anne Burke (Borrisoleigh)

10. Jean Kelly (Éire Óg Nenagh)
11. Róisín Leonard (Cahir)
20. Sarah Fryday (Clonoutly Rossmore)

13. Grace O’Brien (Éire Óg Nenagh)
14. Cáit Devane (Clonoulty Rossmore)
15. Miriam Campion (Drom/Inch)

9. Shauna Quirke (Toomevara) for Kelly (49)
12. Clodagh McIntyre (Lorrha) for Campion (49)
17. Ciardha Maher (Burgess Duharra) for Treacy (54)
21. Karin Blair (Cashel) for 20 (59)

Referee: Ray Kelly (Kildare)

Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel