2020 Senior Championship: Galway v Cork Match Report

Sunday 8th November 2020. 
Galway v Cork: Liberty Insurance All Ireland Camogie Championship. 
Pearse Stadium. 
Galway 0-15 Cork 0-12.

A report on the Galway V Cork game completed by one of our PrÓgs Lucy from Kinvara Camogie Club

Two incredible sideline cuts from Rebecca Hennelly in the first half proved to be the difference between Galway and Cork today. Cork, the 2018 All Ireland Champions and Galway the 2019 All Ireland Champions, it was all to play for today to see who would come out on top and advance straight to the All-Ireland semi-final in a few weeks’ time. With no wind or rain, the two teams warmed up in Salthill for Cork’s 2nd game of the championship and Galway’s 3rd outing of the 2020 championship. Cork beat Wexford last week in their opening match of the championship after getting a bye in their match v. Offaly. Galway had two wins from two after defeating both Wexford in October and Offaly last week. 

​As soon as the ball was thrown in it was evident that this was going to be a fierce battle with both teams scrambling for possession. Within the first two minutes Cork made a dangerous attack on goal resulting in a yellow card after 90 seconds for Galway captain and full back Sarah Dervan with Sarah Healy saving the resulting penalty. Galway settled down after Carrie Dolan converted a free for the first score of the match. Siobhan McGrath was unlucky not to get a goal after her attempt was expertly saved by Cork goalie, Amy Lee. It was not until the 8th minute that Cork got their first score with a free taken by Chloe Sigerson, and then followed by a second Sigerson free in the 10th minute to put them one ahead. A minute later Galway had the chance to equalise, but Dolan’s attempt went just to the right of the post for the first wide of the match. Niamh Hanniffy missed a goal chance after Orlaith McGrath overturned the Cork puckout. Following a shut down of an almost certain goal chance from Cork, Heather Cooney picked up a yellow card and Orla Cronin converted the free in the 14th minute to edge Cork ahead by 0-3 to Galway’s 0-2 going into the water break.

Coming back after the water break Ailish O’Reilly was unlucky not to tighten the gap after her attempt at a point went just wide. Siobhan McGrath won a free with Dolan converting the relevant free. Dolan added another free to her tally to leave the teams at 3 points apiece. In the 23rd minute we were treated to an absolute fabulous sideline put over the bar by Rebecca Hennelly, gaining 2 points for Galway, putting them up 0-5 to 0-3. An attempt from Chloe Sigerson to add to the scoreboard went wide and was followed by a skilful display from the Player of The Year 2019 Niamh Kilkenny who won herself a free which  Dolan effortlessly popped over, giving Galway a 3 point lead. An attempt from Cork’s Sigerson to recreate Hennelly’s sideline score went just wide but was promptly followed by a point from Cronin, the game’s first score from play. Following Galway’s puckout, the unthinkable was completed after Rebecca Hennelly put over another sideline from the opposite side of the pitch. Orlaith McGrath followed up with a hard worked point from play and within the 4 minutes of additional time to be played, Laura Hayes got a point for Cork from play, followed by a Dolan free, with the half time score reading at 0-10 to 0-5 with Galway ahead by 5. 

Just after half time, Hennelly was unlucky not to add to her tally of scores after an attempt of hers went wide. Cork came back with a new fire and scored 3 points unanswered, with Emma Helebert picking up Galway’s 4th yellow card. However, Galway settled themselves and scored 3 points, with Cork adding just a point to the scoreboard in response. Siobhan McGrath was replaced by Galway’s vice-captain Catriona Cormican. Cork added one point from play and Galway added a Dolan point from a free to leave the score Galway 0-14 to Cork 0-10 going into the second water break. 

Following the break, O’Reilly was denied a chance at goal following some dedicated tracking coming from the Cork defence. Kilkenny got a lovely score from play but was quickly responded to with a Cork free that was knocked over the bar by Cronin, putting the score at 0-15 to 0-11. In the 27th minute of the second half, Hennelly was replaced following a historical performance by Catherine Finnerty. Cork were fighting for a goal, but the Galway defence used their skill and experience to keep the ball cleared. Aoife Donoghue was subjected to a dangerous tackle, earning Aisling Thompson a yellow card.  With 5 minutes of additional time announced, Cork were throwing all they had to fire the ball into the back of Sarah Healy’s net. After 62 minutes, Cronin put a free over the bar, closing the gap to 3 points. Anne Marie Starr replaced Niamh Kilkenny with only a minute or so left to go. Galway did well to win a free, but with a spot of confusion between Sarah Healy and the Galway line, the free ended up as a throw in, with Cork on the attack. With the 5 minutes up, Cork were awarded a free, and Cork players flooded the Galway defence but to no avail as the final whistle was blown. 

There is no doubt that Cathal Murray can take a lot of positives from the efforts today. The pinpoint accuracy from Carrie Dolan earned her the Liberty Insurance Player of the Match today, while Rebecca Hennelly will deservedly grab the headlines for her sublime sideline scores. Kilkenny and Galway are now the two teams straight through to All Ireland Semi-Finals, and Cork were drawn to play Clare next week in a battle for a spot in the final 4. The final score was Galway 0-15 Cork 0-12.

Additional: Galway’s scorers
– Carrie Dolan 0-07f
– Rebecca Hennelly 0-04 s/l
– Ailish O’Reilly 0-01
– Orlaith McGrath 0-01
– Aoife Donohue 0-01
– Niamh Kilkenny 0-01

Player of the match: Carrie Dolan

Match photos (courtesy of Don Soules Photography)

Additional match post: