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Incredible comeback as Greville inspires Westmeath to second All-Ireland crown in three years

Premier Junior champions in 2017, Johnny Greville’s side secured senior status for 2020 after beating Galway in the intermediate decider.

Westmeath captain Mairéad McCormack scored their second-half goal.
Westmeath captain Mairéad McCormack scored their second-half goal.
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

Westmeath 1-11

Galway 1-9

AN INCREDIBLE SECOND-HALF comeback which epitomises their meteoric rise through the ranks, Westmeath were crowned All-Ireland intermediate champions at Croke Park this afternoon just two years after winning their first-ever camogie title.

Premier Junior champions in 2017, Johnny Greville’s side now progress to the senior ranks after a two-point win over Galway.

They looked to be dead and buried at half-time with Galway seven points up and thriving, but some Pamela Greville scoring heroics, a goal from captain Mairéad McCormack and a massive effort all over saw them keep the Tribe scoreless until their injury time free at the death. 

Greville accounted for 0-9, while Megan Dowdall was named Player of the Match and McCormack’s well-taken goal definitely sent Westmeath on their way.

A game of two halves for sure, Galway controlled proceedings in the first half.

There was drama from the get-go, as they were awarded a penalty with less than a minute on the clock. Full-back Meadbh Scally cleared Molly Mannion’s effort off the line, however, and Westmeath went on to post the opening two points. 

The second of those broughtfurther early excitement, Galway goalkeeper Laura Glynn originally catching Pamela Greville’s effort over the crossbar but it was awarded after going to HawkEye.

That third-minute score would be the Lake county’s last until Greville again split the posts in the 26th minute.

In the interim, the Tribe took off with Tara Rutledge opening their account and adding two more later on in the half, while Rachel Monaghan chipped in with three herself (two frees). 

And n the 19th minute, Ardrahan star Ava Lynskey rattled the net at the Canal End after good work from Mairéad Dolan in the build-up.

She also fired the last point of the half, while Greville got one beforehand making it 1-8 to 0-4 at the break.

Seven points down, Westmeath showed true character and grit to fight back and dominate in the second period.

Greville was absolutely immense throughout, both from open play and from placed ball, with Sheila McGrath also getting her name on the scoresheet but it was McCormack’s 40th-minute goal which ultimately made the difference, bringing Westmeath back to within a point.

 

Excellently fielding a high ball in, she eventually broke down the Galway defence’s pressure to fire home. McGrath tied matters straight after and Greville pointed the way to victory.

Niamh Horan’s late free at the other end was too little, too late for Cathal Murray’s Galway. It’s now over to their seniors, who face Kilkenny next.

Scorers for Galway: Rachel Monaghan (0-3, 2f), Ava Lynskey (1-1), Tara Rutledge (0-3), Karen Kennedy (0-1).

Scores for Westmeath: Pamela Greville (0-9, 4f, 1 ’45), Mairéad McCormack (1-0), Sheila McGrath and Niamh (0-1 each).

Galway

1. Laura Glynn (Sarsfileds)

2. Ciara Donoghue (Mullagh)
3. Laura Ward (Turloughmore) – captain
4. Louise Brennan (Turloughmore)

5. Kate Screene (Skehana Menlough)
6. Lorraine Coen (St Thomas)
7. Dervla Higgins (Athenry)

8. Lisa Casserly (Ballinadreen)
9. Molly Mannion (Mountbellew)

10. Karen Kennedy (Mullagh)
11. Ava Lynskey (Ardrahan)
12. Rachel Monaghan (Mullagh)

13. Elisha Broderick (Castlegar)
14. Mairéad Dillon (Kilconieron)
15. Tara Rutledge (Portumna)

Subs

18. Rachael Hanniffy (Oranmore) for Elisha Broderick (46)
19. Niamh Horan (Killimor) for Louise Brennan (47)
20. Catriona Lee (Castlegar) for Louise Brennan (55)

Westmeath

1. Fiona Keating (Cullion)

2. Aoife O’Malley (Raharney)
3. Meadbh Scally (Clonkill)
4. Laura Doherty (Raharney)

5. Amy Cully (St Brigids)
6. Fiona Leavy (Raharney)
7. Sandra McGrath (St Munnas)

8. Muireann Scally (Crookedwood)
9. Niamh Horan (Delvin)

10. Mairéad McCormack (Castletown Geoghegan)
11. Shiela McGrath (St Munnas)
12. Megan Dowdall (Clonkill)

13. Michelle Murtafg (Lough Lene Gaels)
14. Pamela Greville (Raharney)
15. Caoimhe McCrossan)

Subs

18. Aoife Doherty (Raharney) for Niamh Horan (36)

Referee: Andrew Larkin (Cork).

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About the author:

Emma Duffy  / Reports from Croke Park

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