Kilkenny's Miriam Walsh fends off a couple of Galway defenders in the Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Senior Camogie Final at Croke Park. Picture: Inpho
After losing the previous three finals, Kilkenny finally got their noses in front to win the All-Ireland Senior Camogie title at the expense of Galway in a thrilling decider at a floodlit Croke Park.
It was a Kilkenny display full of heart and determination and the never say die attitude of the Noresiders proved too much for Galway in the end.
The pain of the last few years drove the Cats on with a converted 57th minute penalty from Denise Gaule edging Kilkenny past their opponents.
It was a victory that was based on a stout defensive performance as well as a couple of young guns coming to the fore with Mary O'Connell, Aoife Doyle and Katie Nolan all excelling in attack.
Galway defeated Kilkenny in the 2019 Final and after Orlaith McGrath rounded Kilkenny stopper Aoife Norris to net an opening half goal, the defending champions went into the break leading 1-5 to 0-6.
Kilkenny slowly but surely reeled in that advantage though and by the end of the third quarter they were in front with Gaule, Grace Walsh and Aoife Doyle all knocking over points.
Galway got back level through the excellent Carrie Dolan and midfielder Niamh Kilkenny but when Gaule was fouled for a late penalty, the Windgap supremo made no mistake in drilling the penalty to the bottom corner.
Gaule and Dolan then swapped frees in stoppage time and while Galway thereafter threw everything at Kilkenny, the full back line led by Claire Phelan stood tall and they hung on to claim a superb three point success.
Kilkenny: Aoife Norris; Michelle Teehan, Claire Phelan, Davina Tobin, Collette Dormer, Meighan Farrell, Grace Walsh 0-1, Anna Farrell, Kellyann Doyle, Miriam Walsh, Anne Dalton 0-1, Aoife Doyle 0-4, Mary O'Connell 0-1, Denise Gaule 1-6 (0-4fs, 0-1 65), Katie Nolan 0-1.
Subs; Laura Murphy for O'Connell 53 mins, Niamh Deely for Kellyann Doyle 59 mins.
Galway: Sarah Healy; Shauna Healy, Sarah Dervan, Heather Cooney, Emma Helebert, Siobhan Gardiner, Tara Kenny, Aoife Donohue 0-1, Niamh Kilkenny 0-1, Carrie Dolan 0-6 (0-5fs), Catriona Cormican, Siobhan McGrath 0-2, Ailish O'Reilly 0-1, Niamh Hanniffy, Orlaith McGrath 1-0.
Subs: Sarah Spellman for Helebert 50 mins, Rebecca Hennelly for Donohue 61 mins.
Ref: Owen Elliot (Antrim)
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