IT WAS A day to forget for Kilkenny camogie as Galway came to Nowlan Park and inflicted two heavy defeats on the Cats on Saturday.
Following on from the intermediate team’s loss, the county’s seniors also suffered at the hands of their Western opponents in the All-Ireland championship.
One noticeable feature was how the Galway forwards struck 2-6 of their side’s total from play - a late Edel Maher goal was Kilkenny’s only score from play by an attacking player.
Defensively, Kilkenny were very solid, with Jacqui Frisby and Kate McDonald superb in the wing-back positions, but they struggled in attack against a tight Galway back-line in which Sarah Dervan, Sandra Tannion and the long serving Therese Maher stood out.
The difference of performances in the respective attacking divisions was a substantial difference as Galway eased to victory. Tara Routledge, two-goal heroine Brenda Hanney, and subs Martina Conroy and Aisling Connolly all looked sharp, while Orla Kilkenny was instrumental to Galway’s win.
Kilkenny sent in a long ball for Galway’s second goal. Brenda Hanney grabbed possession from a cluster of players before rifling an emphatic shot past Catriona Ryan. Kilkenny also operated as an extra defender/midfielder, picking up plenty of loose ball and using it both intelligently and with accurate distribution.
Galway ran riot during the opening 15 minutes. They should have led by more than six points (1-3 to 0-0) as they had a penalty attempt from goalkeeper Susan Earner which was well blocked.
Brenda Hanney’s opening goal came in the eighth minute. She soloed through the Kilkenny defence, pausing only to strike an excellent shot that confirmed Galway’s early dominance.
The hosts came into the game during the second quarter, outscoring Galway by 0-5 to 0-1. Aoife Neary pointed three frees while Katie Power struck twice from play.
However Galway maintained a two-point lead heading to the final quarter (1-4 to 0-5), before Hanney’s second goal gave the decisive cushion.
Tara Routledge, and a brace from Martina Conroy, stretched the Galway lead to eight points, before Edel Maher was rewarded for her persistent efforts with a deserved goal to give Kilkenny a mere glimmer of hope.
Niamh McGrath pointed a free, before Kilkenny were awarded a penalty in the 59th minute. However, such was Kilkenny’s luck on the day Katie Power saw her attempt fly over the bar.
The Cats will be hoping to get back to winning ways when they tackle Tipperary this weekend.
SCORERS: Galway - Brenda Hanney (2-0); Niamh McGrath (0-4, frees); Martina Conroy (0-2); Noreen Coen, Orla McGrath, Tara Routledge, Orla Kilkenny, Aisling Connolly (0-1 each). Kilkenny - Aoife Neary (0-4, frees); Edel Maher (1-0); Katie Power (0-3, 0-1 pen).
Kilkenny - C. Ryan, R. Jones, C. Doherty, O. Walsh, K. McDonald, E. Aylward, J. Frisby, K. Power, E. Mulhall, A. Neary, M. Walsh, K. Hamilton, M. Quilty, E. Maher, N. Maher.
Galway - S. Earner, S. Tannion, S. Dervan, L. Ryan, R. Glynn, T. Maher, S. Cahalane, N. Kilkenny, A.M. Hayes, N. Coen, N. McGrath, B. Hanney, O. McGrath, O. Kilkenny, T. Routledge. Subs: M. Conroy, A. Connolly, H. Cooney.
Referee - Donal Ryan (Dublin)