VERY National Camogie Leagues

2023 VERY Camogie League Div 1 – R5: Galway v Cork

2023 VERY National Camogie Division 1: Round 5

Galway v Cork
Date: 26 Mar, 12pm
Venue: Páirc Uí Chaoimh, Cork
Referee: Liz Dempsey

FT: Galway 1-11 Cork 1-10

Player of the match: Niamh Hanniffy

MATCH VIDEO: via Camogie Association YouTube



By Sarah Gaughran, Galway Camogie PRO

The Galway Senior Camogie ended Cork’s unbeaten run in Division 1A of the Very Camogie League after an emphatic win in Páric Uí Chaoimh on Sunday. Since Tipperary lost to Kilkenny on Saturday, Galway’s hopes of making the final were kept alive. A win or a draw against Cork would secure their place in the League final. It was a closely contested contest throughout but good performances in defence by Dervla Higgins and Rachael Hanniffy in particular and the experience of Galway’s top scorer in the league to date, Carrie Dolan, and Ailish O’Reilly helped in getting Galway over the line as they try to make it back to back league titles.

It was Galway who started the brightest with a Dolan free in the 4 th minute. Amy O’Connor replied for Cork with a point from play to leave the sides tied after 5 minutes. Dolan got her second free of the day on the 6 th minute when O’Reilly got her name on the scoresheet on the 10 th minute to give Galway a two point lead. Sorcha McCartan got a well taken score from play straight from the reset to leave one between the teams. Galway then struck three points without reply through two Dolan frees and a score from play from Dolan too to leave Galway four points ahead. But Galway would remain scoreless for the rest of the half and they really struggled to get the ball into the full forward line as the Cork defence was on top. Cork got the final four scores of the half with three Saoirse McCarty points and an Amy O’Connor free to bring the sides level heading into the half time break.

With it all to play for, Galway needed a big second half performance. Galway did remain scoreless for the final 16 minutes of the first half so it was important that they would try to get the first score of the half. Fiona Keating however, continued the scoring spree for Cork with the opening game of the half to give them the lead for the first time. Shannon Corcoran, who had being trying hard throughout the opening half, got Galway’s first score in 19 minutes with a well taken point from play. McCartan and Dolan swapped frees on the 38th and 41st minutes of the half to leave the sides deadlocked. Then a well worked short puck out from Cork found Méabh Cahalane. Cahalane then delivered a fantastic ball into Emma Murphy and Murphy made no mistake in sticking the ball into the back of the Galway net and to give Cork a three point lead. Galway looked rattled after the goal and a big finish was required in order to secure the victory for Galway.

On the 48th minute, Galway did get the break they needed. A ball was dropped short into Molly Lynch in the Cork net. Lynches touch however let her down which gave O’Reilly a chance to come and put pressure on her. O’Reilly managed to block down Lynches clearance and her experience came to fruition when she pulled on the ball on the ground and into the back of the Cork net to bring the game back to a draw. Dolan restored Galway’s lead on the 53 rd minute with another free while Cliona Healy got her first score to leave the sides deadlocked with four minutes remaining. The game turned in Galway’s favour. They battled hard for every ball and put a lot of pressure on Cork when they were in procession of the ball, forcing them out for line balls a lot of the time too. Dolan added two more frees to bring her tally to nine before the end of the game while Chloe Sigerson did add a free to Cork’s tally at the end but it was to little to late and the victory sees Galway progress into the league final on the weekend of the 15th or 16th of April.

Galway will be delighted that they will be getting another competitive game under there belt. If they failed to qualify for the league final, they would have been left with a ten week gap to the championship on the weekend of the 3rd and 4th of June. They will be becoming very familiar with Cork however as they will be meeting them again in the league final and also in the opening round of the Glen Dimplex Championship. In the past two games, Galway have struggled to put scores on the board in the second half. While they did go long periods without scoring in this game, it was the strong finish and the pressure that they put on Cork that enabled them to get over the line when required. Dervla Higgins, Rachael Hanniffy, Katie Anna Porter, Carrie Dolan and Ailish O’Reilly all preformed well for Galway today while for Cork, Libby Coppinger, Laura Tracey, Saoirse McCarthy and Sorcha McCartan worked hard throughout the game. Another league final beckons for Galway and they will be looking forward to hopefully getting some more of the experienced players back into the mix ahead of the final and ahead of championship.

GALWAY: F Ryan; F Ryan; S Healy, R Black, D Higgins; K A Porter, E Helebert, R Hanniffy; A Donoghue, C Hickey; S Rabbitte, C Dolan, N Hanniffy; S Corcoran, A O’Reilly, A Keane.
Subs: S Gardiner for C Hickey (h-t), N McPeake for S Corcoran (49), J Hughes for S Rabbitte (63).
CORK: M Lynch; A O’Neill, L Coppinger, M Cahalane; H Looney, L Tracey, I O’Regan; S McCarthy, L Hayes; S McCartan, F Keating, E Murphy; A O’Connor C Finn, C Healy.
Subs: O Cronin for C Finn (43), H Ryan for E Murphy (45), C Sigerson for L Hayes (51), M Murphy for A O’Neill (54).



Photo credit: Don Soules Photography



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