Sunday 8th September 2019.
Galway v Kilkenny: Liberty Insurance All Ireland Camogie Championship.
Croke Park, Dublin.
Galway 3-14 Kilkenny 0-17.
Galway: Sarah Healy, Shauna Healy, Sarah Dervan, Heather Cooney, Tara Kenny, Emma Helebert, Lorraine Ryan, Aoife Donohue, Niamh Kilkenny, Carrie Dolan, Catriona Cormican, Sarah Spellman, Noreen Coen, Niamh Hanniffy, Ailish O’Reilly
Subs: Laura Glynn, Anne Marie Starr, Catherine Finnerty, Ciara Murphy, Rebecca Hennelly, Maria Cooney, Siobhan Coen, Leanne Freaney, Dervla Higgins, Laura Ward, Ava Lynskey, Molly Mannion, Lisa Casserly, Ciara Donohue, Elisha Broderick
Connacht Tribune: Fantastic final victory for Murray’s squad over luckless Cats
ANY lingering doubts about the Galway camogie team’s bottle and fortitude in the white heat of battle were gloriously swept aside on the back of a magnificent performance at Croke Park on Sunday.
Since Galway’s previous All-Ireland triumph in 2013 – only the county’s second ever – the theory that they didn’t like too much hardship had gained some traction, but that shadow no longer stalks Sarah Dervan and her colleagues.
This was the day Galway answered every call. They went after the strong pre-match favourites from the off, built up a significant lead, and still had the resolution to push on again when Kilkenny threatened a successful second-half revival.
After edging out champions Cork in a titanic semi-final, Galway were every bit as relentless in terms of their work ethic and commitment on the sport’s biggest occasion. Cathal Murray’s wonderfully prepared charges were in no mood for compromise having seen what had worked so well against the Rebels. They brought the same levels of verve and energy into Sunday’s memorable decider.
In front of a record-breaking attendance of almost 25,000, Galway continued their transformation of the past few months. Having already claimed the league title against the same opposition earlier in the year, the Tribeswomen are now the standard bearers in camogie and may take some shifting from their pedestal in the seasons ahead.
Though Galway produced almost the perfect team display, highlighted by their defensive match-ups proving so effective – Denise Gaule was the only Kilkenny forward to score more than once from play – the heroic exploits of several individuals was critical to the O’Duffy Cup returning west.
Topping the bill was the long-serving Niamh Kilkenny who produced an astonishing performance of the highest quality which helped to break the opposition’s hearts. The Galway midfielder, who covered acres of ground, set the tone from the start and her haul of four points from play ensured that there was no deliberation when it came to the Player of the Match award.
Read full match report:
Match photos: Courtesy of Don Soules Photography