Kilkenny manager, Ann Downey
Defending champions, Kilkenny put in a battling effort in the second half, but overall Galway were the better team and they were worthy winners of the Littlewoods Ireland Camogie League Division I final in Croke Park today.
Kilkenny’s bid for a League four in-a-row looked in a bit of trouble when they trailed by six points at half time after playing against the wind, and while they fought back well afterwards, they never looked like winning.
Second half goals from Michelle Quilty in the 38th minute, made by Anne Dalton, and then Dalton with a ground shot in the 46th minute left the minimum between the teams (0-14 to 2-7).
The champions missed a chance of an equaliser, but when Galway landed the next score with a free from Carrie Dolan they regained a bit of momentum. Another point from a free by Dolan wrapped up the scoring for them.
Kilkenny finished chasing a goal from a close in free deep in injury-time, but the ball was knocked out for a 45 which was pointed by Claire Phelan.
Kilkenny opened backed by the wind and they had the first score from Katie Power, after taking a good pass from a grounded Danielle Morrissey.
They might have added a goal within a minute when midfielder, Anne Dalton, galloped straight through the Galway defence, but her low shot skimmed by the right upright at the Hill 16 end.
Galway drew level on six minutes with a point from Niamh Kilkenny, and really, for the rest of the half they were the better, more enterprising team. They opened a best of half lead of 0-7 to 0-1 when Carrie Dolan point a free in the 24th minute.
Kilkenny finished the half by adding two points from frees by Michelle Quilty, but really, the half-time score of 0-10 to 0-4 didn’t flatter the winners at all.
"We have a lot of work to do before the championship," was the overall summary from Kilkenny manager, Ann Downey, afterwards.
SCORERS: Galway - Carrie Dolan (0-8); Aoife Donohue (0-3); Niamh Hanniffy, Niamh Kilkenny (0-2 each); Ailish O’Reilly (0-1). Kilkenny - Michelle Quilty (1-3); Anne Dalton (1-0); Katie Power (0-2); Claire Phelan, Danielle Morrissey, Denise Gaule (0-1 each).
Kilkenny - Emma Kavanagh; Colette Dormer, Catherine Foley, Michelle Teehan; Davina Tobin, Claire Phelan, Kellyanne Doyle; Anna Farrell, Anne Dalton; Niamh Deely, Miriam Walsh, Danielle Morrissey; Michelle Quilty, Denise Gaule, Katie Power. Subs - Aoife Doyle for M Walsh; Steffi Fitzgerald for A. Farrell; Edwina Keane for M. Teehan; Michaela Kinneally for D. Tobin.
Galway - Sarah Healy; Shauna Healy, Sarah Dervan, Heather Cooney; Tara Kenny, Emma Helebert, Lorraine Ryan; Anne Mariee Starr, Aoife Donohue; Niamh McGrath, Niamh Hanniffy, Niamh Kilkenny; Carrie Dolan, Ailish O’Reilly, Noreene Coen. Subs - Sarah Spellman for N. McGrath; Maria Cooney for N. Coen; Dervla Higgins for L. Ryan; L. Ryan for C. Dolan.
Referee - John Dermody (Westmeath).
For more on Kilkenny People sport read here.