There was heartbreak for Kilkenny as their All-Ireland senior camogie dreams ended in defeat.
Three first half goals saw Galway go a long way to handing the Cats their third straight final defeat. Ailish O’Reilly hammered the first blow inside two minutes. Further disaster befell Ann Downey’s side when Niamh Hanniffy and O’Reilly netted two more big scores in a matter of minutes as the Tribeswomen, chasing their first success in six years, went in with a six-point lead at the break (3-7 to 0-10).
Kilkenny refused to panic in the second half and began to work their way back into the game. Points from Anne Dalton (2), Michelle Quilty and Denise Gaule helped the Cats reduce arrears to just two points as the game moved into the last 10 minutes (3-10 to 0-17).
At that stage the momentum seemed to be with Kilkenny, but Galway worked hard to slam the door shut on their comeback hopes. Carrie Dolan and Niamh Kilkenny landed quick points to cement Galway’s lead – there was no way back for the Cats, who have now lost five of the last seven finals.
SCORERS: Galway - Ailish O’Reilly (2-0); Carrie Dolan (0-6, 0-5 frees, 0-1 45); Niamh Kilkenny (0-4); Niamh Hanniffy (1-0); Noreen Coen, Sarah Spellman, Catherine Finnerty, Sarah Healy (0-1 each). Kilkenny - Michelle Quilty (0-8, 0-7 frees); Denise Gaule (0-3, 0-1f); Anne Dalton (0-2, 0-1 free); Davina Tobin, Aoife Doyle, Miriam Walsh, Anna Farrell (0-1 each).