22 Sept 1996
Galway v Cork: Bórd na Gaeilge All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship
Croke Park, Dublin
Galway 4-08 Cork 1-15
Referee: Aine Derham (Dublin)
The 1996 Bórd na Gaeilge All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship was won for the first time in the county’s history by Galway who defeated Cork 4-08 to 1-15. The match drew an attendance of 10,235, then the highest in the history of camogie.
Galway captain: Imelda Hobbins
Management: Tony Ward, Madge Kennedy, Johnny Keane
GALWAY: Imelda Hobbins (C), Pamela Nevin, Ann Broderick, Olivia Coen, Emer Hardiman, Cora Curley, Sharon Glynn, Louise Curry, Martina Harkin, Carmel Hannon, Anne Forde, Bridget Kilgannon, Aine Hilary, Dympna Maher, Gretta Maher, Rita Coen, Fiona Ryan, Helen Ryan, Denise Giligan, Veronica Curtin, Carmel Allen, Fional Healy, Olivia Broderick, Cathriona Finnegan, Olive Costello, Aoife Lynskey.
CORK: Vivienne Harris, Paula Goggins, Kathleen Costine, Linda Mellerick, Eithne Duggan, Margaret Finn, Mary O’Connor, Denise Cronin, Therese O’Callaghan, Lynn Dunlea, Sandie Fitzgibbon, Fiona O’Driscoll.
September 2021: The Trailblazers: by Daragh O’Conchuir (for Camogie Association)
The Galway squad that won the All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship title in 1996 is the subject of this year’s (2021) jubilee celebrations but the feat is noteworthy, quite apart from this being a 25th anniversary.
Tony Ward’s crew will forever be known as the team that got over the line, after so many near misses, bringing the O’Duffy Cup west of the Shannon for the first time in camogie’s long and gilded history.
Ward had Madge Kennedy and the late Johnny Keane as selectors, while the Imelda Hobbins-captained group boasted a plethora of fantastic players including the talismanic Sharon Glynn, scoring machine Denise Gilligan and the preternatural Veronica Curtin.
The Maher sisters, Gretta and Dymphna, were not the only siblings involved, with twins Helen and Fiona Ryan undoubtedly lifting the bar for each other through a lifetime to share in the history. And history it was, as Galway’s first All-Ireland, despite appearing in the maiden final 64 years earlier, when neither a home venue, the Sportsground, nor an Athenry referee, the TD Stephen Jordan, could make the difference against Dublin.
In all, the Maroons fell at the last hurdle on ten occasions before the trailblazers of ’96 ran out at Croke Park behind Hobbins to take on champions Cork, the most recent of those being the reverse at the hands of the Rebels three years earlier.
Securing a first ever national title in the League in 1994, with a 1-13 to 1-08 triumph over Tipperary in Ballinasloe, was an invaluable boost however, and by 1996, Ward had his players primed to take the ultimate step.
An early goal from 15 year old Curtin, an All-Ireland minor and junior winner two years earlier, sent Galway on their way to a comfortable semi-final defeat of Wexford and it was green flags that were the fulcrum of the famous 4-08 to 1-15 final verdict.
The four goals stunned Cork with Gilligan finding the net at either end of the interval. Her second was followed quickly by majors from Martina Harkin and Dymphna Maher and though the Leesiders rallied, it was Galway’s time.
- View full series of match photos (via Sportsfile)
- 10/09/2021: Veronica Curtin: ‘The bus stopped in Athlone and we walked across the Shannon with the cup’ – Irish Examiner
- 10/09/2021: CAMOGIE: “The Bond Will Always Be There” – Imelda Hobbins – SportsDaz