VERY National Camogie Leagues

2023 VERY Camogie League Div 1 – FINAL: Galway v Cork

2023 VERY National Camogie Division 1: FINAL

Galway v Cork
Date: 16 Apr, 2023, 1:50pm
Venue: Croke Park
Referee: Justin Heffernan (Wexford)

FT: Galway 2-13 Cork 1-12

Player of the match: Aoife Donohue

Match Highlights

Galway senior camogie team – 2023 Very Camogie League Division 1 Champions.
Photo credit: Don Soules Photography

Match Photos

Photo credit: Don Soules Photography

View all match images

Match Report

By Sarah Gaughran, Galway Camogie PRO

The Galway Senior Camogie team are the 2023 Very Camogie Division 1a League champions. They made it back-to-back national league titles after they overcame Cork on Sunday in a sun-drenched Croke Park in a repeat of the 2022 final. Galway must be credited for their grit and determination throughout the contest and again like the group game, their ability to close out a close encounter, under pressure should be admired. The win makes brings Galway’s tally of National League titles to 7 but more impressively, 3 of them wins have come in the last five years while Galway have been under Cathal Murray’s reign.

It was Cork that got in for a dream start when Orla Cahalane found the back of the Galway net after 3 minutes. Her initial shot got hooked by Dervla Higgins but her powerful ground strike was blasted past Fiona Ryan in the Galway net. Galway, who had a mixture of youth and experience on the field, did not panic over the poor start. Dolan replied a minute later with a well taken score from play. Cahalane looked dangerous each time she got the ball in the opening few minutes and was causing a few headaches for the Galway defence with her strong runs. She got Cork’s second score on the 7th minute to extend their lead to three. Dolan through a free and Saoirse McCarthy exchanged scores on the 10th minute while Dolan through another free and Sabina Rabbitte through a long-range point, reduced the defect to
one at the midway point of the half. Fiona Keating added another point to Cork’s tally a minute later. On the 17th minute, Niamh McPeake took on the Cork defence. Her initial shot on goal was well defended by Amy Lee in the Cork net, but the deflection fell into the path of Dolan and Dolan made no mistake as she pulled on the ball and it trickled over the line and into the Cork net to give Galway the lead for the first time. Aoife Donohue followed up with a point from play to extend Galway’s lead. Amy O’Connor got Cork’s first score in seven minutes through a free but Donohue replied straight from the reset with her second point of the day. Like the group game however, it was Cork that finished the half the strongest with four unanswered points through Laura Hayes, a Sorcha McCartan free and two O’Connor frees to leave Cork 1-8 to 1-6 ahead heading into the half time interval.

Galway needed a big second half performance in order to secure the victory and the girls were going to have to dig deep like they did in the group stages to grind out the victory. Dolan opened the scoring with a quickfire free in the opening minute. Chloe Sigerson kept two between with her 32nd minute point but two Dolan frees brought the sides level with 20 minutes left on the clock. It was all to play for and it was clear that a goal would be a major factor in the game. O’Connor got her 4th free of the day on the 41st minute to restore Cork’s lead. Then on the 46th minute, Ailish O’Reilly gave a perfect pass to the oncoming Rabbitte. Rabbitte who was out in front of her marker took the pass well and lobbed the ball over the advancing Amy Lee and into the back of the Cork net to give Galway a two point lead with 15 minutes of normal time left on the clock. McCartan tried to settle the ship for Cork but Dolan through a free and Donohue from play extended Galway’s lead to three with 10 minutes remaining on the clock. O’Connor and Dolan swapped frees on the 52nd and 54th minutes. With a goal between the sides, Galway knew that Cork were going to put serious pressure on our backs and the six backs defended extremely well in the final few minutes of the game coming out with some fantastic balls and winning some all important frees too. O’Connor did break through on the 59th minute. Her pass to McCartan however, hung up in the air which allowed the Galway defence to swarm her. Her shot was eventually blocked down and cleared from the Galway line. Áine Keane got the all-important insurance score for
Galway on the 61st minute to seal the victory for the tribeswomen.

From defence to attack, it was clear that Galway upped their performance once again for this league final. While their campaign did not start off the way they wanted it too, it was clear throughout the rest of the league campaign that they learnt a lot of lessons from their opening loss against Tipperary. In defence, Shauna Healy, Roisín Black, Fiona Ryan and Rachel Hanniffy were some of Galway’s top performers while up front player of the game Aoife Donohue, Galway’s top scorer in the league campaign, Carrie Dolan and Sabina Rabbitte performed very well. Now that the league is over, the teams focus will switch to the
Championship which will begin in 7 weeks’ time when Galway will welcome Cork to Galway for their opening game of the championship.

Galway: F Ryan, S Healy, R Black, D Higgins, S Gardiner, E Helebert, R Hanniffy, N Hanniffy, C Hickey, S Rabbitte (1-1), C Dolan (1-8, 0-7f), A Keane (0-1), N McPeake, A Donohue (0-3), A O’Reilly.
Subs: S Corcoran for McPeake (41), K A Porter for O’Reilly (62), J Hughes for Rabbitte (63)

Cork: A Lee, M Murphy, L Coppinger, M Cahalane, P Mackey, L Treacy, I O’Regan, S McCarthy (0-1), L Hayes (0-1), C Sigerson, F Keating, C Healy, A O’Connor (0-5f), O Cahalane (1-1), S McCartan (0-2f).
Subs: E Murphy for Sigerson (44), O Cronin for Healy (46), A Healy for O’Regan (48), L
Hayes 0-1 for Cahalane (50)


Senior Team

Photo credit: Don Soules Photography


Galway Camogie & Westerwood Global partner with JIGSAW

Galway Camogie, in association with Westerwood Global, are proud to partner with JIGSAW to support mental health awareness during the 2023 Camogie Leagues

Read news release


The new 2023 Galway Camogie Jersey, as worn by our Senior team during their League campaign, is now available to purchase online. Get kitted out in time for the 2023 All Ireland Championship!

Find out more