Second half blitz secures Kilkenny’s 15th Camogie League Division 1 Title

by on the 25th of June 2021

Kilkenny 1-18

Galway 1-15

Kilkenny reeled off three injury time points to rattle the cage of rivals of Galway in a Croke Park thriller last Sunday evening

It was an open affair with Galway starting with Aoife Donohue in the full forward line and Galway were clearly keen to run at the Kilkenny defence that had been troubled by both Limerick and Tipperary in the quarter-and-semi finals respectively

Carrie Dolan opened the scoring in the fifth minute with a pointed free for Galway. Katie Nolan equalised 2 minutes later and Grace Walsh, venturing forward to take a pass off the shoulder from cousin Miriam, edged Brian Dowling’s team in front

Donohue levelled after a trademark Niamh Kilkenny run and two more Dolan (G) scores, including one from play, either side of Nolan’s second point had Galway in front 0-4 to 0-3 at the first waterbreak

On the resumption, Denise Gaule brought the sides back to parity, but it was Galway who got on top for the last 10 minutes of the half, Niamh Galway raising a white flag and Dolan adding three points to put four between them

It could have been even better for Galway but for Meighan Farrell as she got a brilliant hook on Dolan to force a mishit shot that was easily dealt with by Kilkenny Goalie Aoife Norris, 4 minutes from the break

Aoife Doyle did split the posts from an almost impossible position over at the Cusack Stand for Kilkenny to leave it 0-9 to 0-6 at the change of ends

The Management clearly did something at half time to spark Kilkenny to life, as they raced out of the blocks with O’Connell firing a great point under pressure inside 60 seconds before Doyle bagged an early contender for goal of the year

The Piltown attacker picked up the sliotar 40 metres out from the Galway goal before racing through and sending an unstoppable rocket past Sarah Healy to amazingly put the Cats into the lead 1-7 to 0-9

Doyle, Gaule, Michaela Kenneally and O’Connell added four points in quick succession as they hit 1-5 without response in what looked like a game winning sequence, 1-11 to 0-9, but Galway refused to buckle as Niamh Kilkenny capitalised on a mistake from Kilkenny skipper Farrell to fire a crucial goal which offered them a lifeline as they managed to stay in touch and somehow only trail by two at the second waterbreak, 1-12 to 1-10

When play resumed, Siobhan McGrath pointed for Galway, to narrow the gap to one, but Nolan and Gaule added points to push it back to three

Dolan converted two pointed frees to leave it 1-14 to 1-13 after 54 minutes. Niamh Deely added a point for Kilkenny in the 56th minute

Niamh Kilkenny was again to the fore as she cut the gap to the minimum, 1-15 to 1-14 at the 60 minute mark

It looked like Galway might get a miracle when Donohue levelled matters with the score in the 61st minute but Kilkenny had extra gears with substitute Steffi Fitzgerald firing over a brilliant point after a great fetch before Gaule and O’Connell closed the game out

Scorers – Kilkenny – Denise Gaule (0-6, 5f), Aoife Doyle (1-2), Katie Nolan, Mary O’Connell (0-3 each), Michaela Kenneally, Grace Walsh, Niamh Deely, Steffi Fitzgerald (0-1 each)

Galway – Carrie Dolan (0-10, 8f), Niamh Kilkenny (1-1), Aoife Donohue (0-2), Niamh McGrath, Siobhan McGrath (0-1 each)

Kilkenny – Aoife Norris, Michelle Teehan, Colette Dormer, Davina Tobin, Kellyann Doyle, Meighan Farrell (Capt), Aoife Prendergast, Niamh Deely, Grace Walsh, Denise Gaule, Mary O’Connell, Miriam Walsh, Michaela Kenneally, Katie Nolan, Aoife Doyle

Subs – Laura Murphy for Aoife Prendergast, Steffi Fitzgerald for Miriam Walsh, Katie Power for Michaela Kenneally, Miriam Bambrick for Kelly Ann Doyle

Galway – Sarah Healy, Shauna Healy, Sarah Dervan (Capt), Siobhan Gardiner, Roisin Black, Emma Helebert, Tara Kenny, Aoife Donohue, Niamh Kilkenny, Niamh McGrath, Catherine Finnerty, Sarah Spellman, Carrie Dolan, Siobhan McGrath, Ailish O’Reilly

Subs – Dervla Higgins for Tara Kenny, Catriona Cormican for Emma Herbert, Ann Marie Starr for Catherine Finnerty, Niamh Hanniffy for Ailish O’Reilly

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