2021 National League: Division 1 – Galway v Clare

Saturday 15th May 2021.  
Galway v Clare: Littlewoods Ireland Camogie Leagues: Division 1, Round 1.  
Kenny Park, Athenry. 
Galway 3-11 Clare 0-15. 

Match Report

By Sarah Gaughran, Galway Camogie PRO
The Galway Senior Camogie team got their league campaign off to winning ways over the weekend as they recorded a 5-point victory over Clare in Kenny Park Athenry. While Galway will be happy with the win, there will be concerns for players such as Niamh Hanniffy and Heather Cooney who both picked up injuries during the game and for Clare, they will be worried about their corner back Ciara Doyle who also picked up an injury.

Clare started the best of the two teams in the opening quarter scoring some fantastic long-range points. Clare worked the balls through their lines nicely in the opening minute to set Emer Kelly up for the opening score of the game. But straight from the puck out, Carrie Dolan won the ball, delivered it into Siobhán McGrath and McGrath finished it to the back of the Clare net. Clare fought back scoring two more point from Chole Morey through a free and a fantastic long rang effort from Marie McGrath to leave it Galway 1-0 Clare 0-3 after 9 minutes. Niamh Hanniffy intercepted a Clare pass and put the ball over the bar to leave Galway a point ahead but within a minute Clare replied with a fantastic score from Kelly who took on the Galway defense. Morey added another monster free from inside her own half of the field for Clare a minute later. Clare’s scoring streak continued with points from Orlaith Duggan, McGrath and Áine O’Loughlin to leave Clare in front coming up to the half way mark in the first half. Just before the water break, Dolan won the puck out again, delivered a nice ball into Ailish O’Reilly, O’Reilly took on the Clare defense, laid on the ball to Siobhán and McGrath buried the ball into the back of the net for her second goal of the day. On the 19th minute O’Reilly was fouled and Carrie converted the free for Galway to leave the teams on level terms. Morey pointed another free for Clare on the 23rd minute. Xi Yan Spillane laid off a nice pass to Aoife Keane in the 31st minute and she added another point to Clare’s tally. Galway were not finished with scoring goals in this half though. On the 34th minute a great team effort by Galway saw Niamh Kilkenny lay off a pass to O’Reilly who finished the ball into the back of the Clare net. Kelly added another point for Clare before the end of the half to Leave it Galway 3-2 Clare 0-12 points at half time.

Galway started well in the second half with Aoife Donohue (2) and Siobhán McGrath (1) all raising white flags in the opening 3 minutes. Morey added another point from a free for Clare after Rebecca Foley was fouled. Donohue added two more points in the 6th and 7th minute to leave it Galway 3-7 Clare 0-13 coming up to the 40-minute mark. Morey added another free for Clare, but Galway replied with another point from McGrath. In the 24th minute, Niamh Kilkenny got her name on the scoresheet after she received a nice pass from AnnMarie Starr and Morey added another free for Clare a minute later. O’Reilly and Catherine Finnerty both added points for Galway in the closing stages to leave it Galway 3-11 Clare 0-15.

Galway will be happy to get a win under their belt. There were some good performances from the likes of Dervla Higgins, Sarah Dervan and Emma Helebert in defense and Aoife Donohue, Ailish O’Reilly, Siobhán McGrath and Niamh Kilkenny upfront. The introduction of 2019 player of the year Niamh Kilkenny at the end of the first half proved vital for Galway along with other substitutes throughout the game. Clare will be very happy with their performance. Their goalie Doireann Murphy, who made her debut, was very accurate on her puck outs, Clare Hehir and Alannah Ryan were very good in defense, while up front, Emer Kelly, Marie McGrath and Chole Morey were outstanding. There are plenty of positives to take from this game from Galway. Lots of girls got game time and it was great to see some new girls into the starting 15. Galway have a bye next week and they will be out again on Saturday the 29th against Limerick in Limerick. You can watch the game back on the Camogie Association’s YouTube page.

Galway Scorers: Siobhán McGrath 2-2 , Aoife Donohue 0-4, Ailish O’Reilly 1-1, Niamh Killkenny 0-1, Noreen Coen 0-1, Catherine Finnerty 0-1, Carrie Dolan 0-1 (0-1 Free)

GALWAY: Sarah Healy, Shauna Healy, Sarah Dervan (C), Tara Kenny, Roisin Black, Emma Helebert, Dervla Higgins, Aoife Donohue, Niamh McGrath, Carrie Dolan, Sarah Spellman, Niamh Hanniffy, Siobhan McGrath, Ailish O’Reilly, Noreen Coen. SUBS: Heather Cooney for Tara Kenny, Siobhan Gardiner for Roisin Black, AnnMarie Starr for Niamh McGrath, Niamh Kilkenny for Niamh Hanniffy, Orlaith McGrath for Noreen Coen and Catherine Finnerty for Sarah Spellman.

Clare Scorers: Chloe Morey 0-6 (0-6F), Eimear Kelly 0-4, Marie McGrath 0-2, Orlaith Duggan 0-1, Áine O’Loughlin 0-1, Aoife Keane 0-1

CLARE: Doireann Murphy, Ciara Grogan, Clare Hehir, Ciara Doyle, Alannah Ryan, Laura McMahon, Sinead Conlon, Aoife Keane, Ziyan Spillane, Orlaith Duggan, Chloe Morey, Maire McGrath, Eimear Kelly, Áine O’Loughlin, Becky Foley. SUBS: Roisin Minogue for Sinead Conlon, Susan Daly for Ciara Daly, Bridín Dinan for Marie McGrath, Gretta Hickey off Aoife Keane.