Galway v Down: Littlewoods Ireland Camogie Leagues: Division 1
Venue: Liatroim Fontenoys GAC
(11 Backaderry Rd, Ballyward, Castlewellan BT31 9SL)
Date: 26 Feb 2022, 2PM
Referee: Eamon Cassidy (Derry)
FINAL SCORE: Galway 4-17 Down 0-8
Player of the match: Rebecca Hennelly
By Sarah Gaughran
Hennelly’s hat-trick sees Galway ease past Down.
On a bitterly cold and windy day in Liatroim Fontenoys GAA grounds, Galway made it two wins from two in the Littlewoods Ireland Camogie League after a comfortable victory over the 2021 Division 2 League Champions, Down. Murray’s charges, who made the 3 and a half hour journey to the game, showed their experience and worked well as a unit with slick and accurate passing throughout the game.
Ailish O’ Reilly opened the scoring on the 3rd minute for the visitors after she received a cross field pass from Rebecca Hennelly. Hennelly set up Niamh Kilkenny 2 minutes later to leave Galway in the driving seat, 0-2 to 0-0 after 5 minutes. Aimee McAleenan opened Down’s account 30 seconds later while Niamh Mallon added a free to Down’s tally to leave the teams on level terms after 8 minutes. Galway, who were playing into a stiff breeze in the first half, missed out on some scoring opportunities as they hit the ball wide or short into the goal keepers hands. Isabella O’Hare was shown a yellow card on the 10th minute while Mallon slotted over another free for Down on the 13th minute to give Down the lead heading up to the halfway point in the half.
Galway got their first major of the game on the 20th minute. Aine Keane flicked the ball onto O’Reilly who took on the Down defence and gave a great hand pass off to the on form Hennelly, who stuck the ball in the back of the Down net. Galway kept the pressure on the puck out and won the next ball. Again another well worked team effort with good passing from the backs all the way up to the forwards resulted in Aoife Donohue sticking the ball over the bar. Mallon responded straight away from the puck out for Down, while O’Reilly struck her second point of the day 30 seconds later. Mallon, through a free, and Hennelly exchanged points on the 27th and 28th minutes to leave Galway 3 points ahead heading into the break.
Galway started brightly in the second half with Catherine Finnerty adding a point to Galway’s tally in the opening minute. O’Reilly had a goal chance one minute later, her second missed chance of the day. Carrie Dolan opened her accounts by adding five points to Galway’s tally, four through frees and one through a play, on the 4th, 5th , 9th , 10th and 12th minutes respectively to leave Galway 1-11 to 0-5 points ahead. Mallon got Down’s first score of the half on the 20th minute when she struck over a 21m free while Donohue responded with a point for Galway 1 minute later. Mallon added another 21m free on the 53rd minute to leave it Galway 1-12 Down 0-7 heading into the final few minutes.
Galway finished very strong in the final 9 minutes of the game. Kilkenny took on the Down defence on the 54th minute and gave a great pass to Hennelly who finished the ball to the back of the Down net for her second goal of the day. Dolan added another point from a free on the 56th minute just before Galway really put their stamp on the game with goals in the 57th minute through Donohue and Hennelly on the 58th minute. While Hennelly is noted for slotting over points from sideline cuts, today, she also showed that she could score goals from sideline cuts, something she also did back in 2020 county final against Sarsfields. Mallon added another point for Down while Dolan (free), Hennelly (2), Kilkenny and Sabina Rabbitte all added to the scoreboard for Galway in the final 5 minutes to leave it Galway 4-17 Down 0-8
Galway will be delighted with their performance. Against the breeze, they worked the ball well through the lines. The Galway defence stood strong throughout the whole game while the mid-field and half forward line worked very hard at winning balls and frees. For Galway, Rebecca Hennelly, who finished with 3-3, Shauna Healy, Emma Helebert, Dervla Higgins, Niamh Kilkenny, Aoife Donohue and Carrie Dolan were some of Galway’s stand out performers, while Beth Fitzpatrick, Aoife Keown, Aimee McAleenan and Niamh Mallon worked hard for Down. Galway now have a 2 week break. They will have a home game against Tipperary on Saturday the 19th of March.
Galway Scorers: Rebbeca Hennelly 3-3, Carrie Dolan 0-6 (0-5F), Aoife Donohue 1-2, Niamh Kilkenny 0-2, Ailish O’Reilly 0-2, Catherine Finnerty 0-1, Sabina Rabbitte 0-1
Down Scorers: Niamh Mallon 0-7 (0-5F), Aimee McAleenan 0-1
Galway Team: Sarah Healy, Rachael Hanniffy, Shauna Healy, Ciara Donohue, Roisin Black, Emma Helebert, Dervla Higgins, Niamh Kilkenny, Ciara Murphy, Aine Keane, Rebecca Hennelly, Aoife Donohue, Carrie Dolan, Ailish O’Reilly, Catherine Finnerty.
Substitutes: Heather Cooney for Higgins 56th minute, Sabina Rabbitte for O’Reilly 59th minute
Down Team: Catherine McGourty, Caitríona Caldwell, Dearbhla Magee, Blanaid Savage, Claire McGilligan, Beth Fitzpatrick, Dearbhla Coleman, Aoife Keown, Saoirse Sands, Clara Cowan, Aimee McAleenan (C), Niamh Mallon, Isabella O’Hare, Lauren Clarke, Olivia Boyle.
Substitute: Frances Toner for Cladwell.
Galway senior team
PANEL: Senior panel profiles
MANAGEMENT: Senior management team