12 Aug 2022

Dowling’s Cats blaze impressive path to All-Ireland decider- The Route to the final

Dowling’s Cats blaze impressive path to All-Ireland decider- The Route to the final

Laura Murphy’s goal helped Kilkenny dethrone Galway in the semi-final. Picture: James Crombie/INPHO

Kilkenny warmed up for the All-Ireland championship by capturing their fourth Leinster title in a row.

The 5-11 to 0-12 win over Dublin saw Miriam Walsh (2-2) and Aoife Doyle (2-1) give the team the perfect platform for their O’Duffy Cup charge, which started with a 550km round trip to the Liatroim Fontenoys ground for a meeting with Down.

Kilkenny made sure they came home with the result they wanted, beating the Mourne women by 1-23 to 1-10. In what was a first ever championship meeting between the counties, Kilkenny led by 1-11 to 0-8 at half-time, the goal coming from Mary O’Connell.

The Cats continued their good form with a home win over Limerick in round two. Limerick were not afforded a gentle introduction to their campaign having started with Galway and while they were competitive in the first half of that tie, they found Kilkenny far too tough a nut to crack altogether at UPMC Nowlan Park, where the Stripeywomen prevailed by 1-21 to 0-6.

Early scores from Denise Gaule (free), Katie Power and Mary O’Connell saw Kilkenny race into a 0-5 to 0-1 lead. Laura Murphy, Miriam Bambrick, Katie Nolan, Julieann Malone and Miriam Walsh piled on the pressure before Aoife Doyle’s goal left them 1-11 to 0-1 up at half-time. They kept the pressure on after the restart, going away to win by 1-21 to 0-6.

The Cats retained their perfect record in round three but had to sweat before getting the better of Antrim in a far more competitive affair at the Dunloy Cúchullains grounds, by 1-15 to 1-9.

The good form continued in round four, when Offaly were put to the sword at UPMC Nowlan Park. A Katie Nolan goal helped Brian Dowling’s side take a 1-13 to 1-1 lead in at half-time, an advantage they retained in their 3-18 to 2-7 victory.

The last of the group games saw Galway catch Kilkenny on the line for a share of the spoils. The 1-17 to 2-14 draw saw the reigning All-Ireland champions finish top of the group on scoring difference and go straight to the semi-finals.

Despite having to play an extra game, Kilkenny showed no signs of sluggishness as they dismantled Dublin in the quarter-final.

Denise Gaule rattled off 1-10, with Miriam Walsh adding 1-3, as they scored a commanding 2-24 to 1-11 win and set up a meeting with Galway in the semi-finals.

That final four game, played in Croke Park, saw Kilkenny dethrone the champs thanks to an inspired performance from netminder Aoife Norris as they fought for a 1-13 to 0-12 win. Laura Murphy’s 37th minute goal gave the Cats an advantage they wouldn’t lose.

Paths to the final


Group Two
Round One, May 21
Down 1-10, Kilkenny 1-23

Round Two, May 28
Kilkenny 1-21, Limerick 0-6

Round Three, June 11
Antrim 1-9, Kilkenny 1-15

Round Four, June 25
Kilkenny 3-17, Offaly 2-7

Round Five, July 2
Galway 1-17, Kilkenny 2-14

Quarter-final, July 16
Dublin 1-11, Kilkenny 2-24

Semi-final, July 23
Galway 0-12, Kilkenny 1-13


Group One
Round One, May 21
Wexford 1-6, Cork 2-14

Round Two, May 28
Cork 2-17, Clare 2-5

Round Three, June 4
Dublin 0-9, Cork 2-10

Round Four, June 18
Waterford 0-10, Cork 0-16

Round Five, July 2
Cork 1-16, Tipperary 1-17

Semi-final, July 23
Cork 0-15, Waterford 0-10

To continue reading this article for FREE,
please kindly register and/or log in.

Registration is absolutely 100% FREE and will help us personalise your experience on our sites. You can also sign up to our carefully curated newsletter(s) to keep up to date with your latest local news!

Register / Login

Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.

Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.