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Kilkenny came from five points down at half-time to edge past Galway by 2-5 to 0-9 in Saturday’s Gala All-Ireland intermediate camogie semi-final replay at Templemore.

The Cats looked in trouble at the break as Galway, backed by a strong wind, opened up a 0-7 to 0-2 advantage.

But Kilkenny hit back and outscored their opponents 2-3 to 0-2 in the second half to get All-Ireland hurling final weekend off to a good start for the black and amber.

Kilkenny will meet Cork in the October 5 Gala intermediate decider, at a venue to be confirmed, and two hard matches against the Tribeswomen should stand them in good stead.

Kilkenny, who had scoring contributions from just two players during the entire match, went scoreless for the first 18 minutes, struggling all over the field as Galway raced into a five-point lead.

The winners were denied an 11th-minute goal when Helen Campbell kept out -ine Fahy’s handpass but Galway were the more threatening in front of goal throughout the opening half.

However, the Westerners ruined some good approach play by shooting eight first half wides and were denied a goal in the 21st minute when stand-in Kilkenny goalkeeper Anne Marie Lennon produced the first of of her two fine saves.

Two Claire Aylward frees were the sum total of Kilkenny’s first half efforts but they improved after half-time and -ine Fahy hit their opening point from play seven minutes in.

Galway’s leading scorer Martina Conroy hit back with the fifth of her six points before a brace of Aylward points brought Kilkenny to within a score of their opponents.

Ten minutes from the end, the big breakthrough arrived when Aylward touched home Michelle Brennan’s dangerous ball into the Galway goalmouth, a goal which tied the scores at 1-5 to 0-8.

Conroy pushed Galway a point clear with a successful free five minutes from the end but just a minute later, -ine Fahy claimed the matchwinning goal for Kilkenny.

It was a fortuitous effort from 25m that sailed straight into the net without another player touching the sliotar but Kilkenny gleefully accepted the good fortune.

The Cats held on for the final minutes, plus four extra for stoppages, and they will look back on Anne Marie Lennon’s other great save nine minutes after half-time as another major turning point.

With Galway 0-7 to 0-3 ahead, Lennon denied Gemma Kelly in a one-on-one situation to keep Kilkenny in the game and aided by the second half wind, the Cats clawed their way back and eventually secured the win.

Galway scorers: Martina Conroy 0-6 (5f), Tara Rutledge, SinÚad Keane & Gemma Kelly 0-1 each.

Kilkenny scorers: Claire Aylward 1-4 (0-2f), -ine Fahy 1-1.

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