Historic day for the rising stars of Galway camogie
reports Eoghan Cormican, Semple Stadium
A powerful first half performance ensured a first All Ireland minor camogie title for Galway at Semple Stadium yesterday, and in the process, condemned Clare to a third straight final defeat.
Galway received the perfect start racing four points clear after just ten minutes with Clodagh McGrath and the deadly accurate Rebecca Hennelly among the scorers. Despite Naomi Carroll shooting Clare’s first point thereafter, they fell further behind when Ailish O’Reily crashed the sliotar to the net on the quarter hour mark.
Galway extended their advantage with three unanswered points from Rebecca Hennelly (free), Aoife Donoghue and Finola Keely as Clare looked to be in dire straits.
To their credit, they rallied bravely sniping three points before the break all coming from the stick of Captain Chloe Morey. Their cause received further impetus on the restart when Rachel O’Halloran pounced on a Chloe Morey delivery to riffle the sliotar to the net to suggest a Banner fight back.
Galway though ensured they always remained out of touch with Rebecca Hennelly and substitute Niamh McGrath adding further to the tribeswomens’ tally. The game’s defining score arrived on 56 minutes when Marie Breheny latched onto a speculative Rebecca Hennelly shot from out the field to seal the victory.
Although Clare engineered a second gaol deep in injury time with Susan Fahy the provider it was to prove too little too late on a memorable day for Galway camogie.
On the day there were outstanding performances from Tara Kenny, Karen Brien, Siobhan Coen, Lorraine Farrell and player of the match Laura Mitchell. For Clare they were best served by Maire McGrath, Chloe Morey and Naomi Carroll.
Galway: O Lane, T Kenny, K Brien, S Coen, N Murphy, L Donnellan, L Farrell, L Mitchell, S Healy, R Hennelly (0-6, 0-4 free’s, 0-1 æ45′), C McGrath (0-1), A O’ Reily (1-0), F keely (0-1), M Breheny (1-1), A Donoghue (0-1); Subs: N McGrath (0-2) for Keely (43 mins), M Cooney for Donoghue (58 mins).
Clare: S O’Shea, J Walsh, M McGrath, L Higgins, L Woods, C Morey (0-5, all free’s), C Glynn, L Loughnane, N O’Dea, R O’ Brien, K Cahill (0-1), N Corry, N Carroll (0-1), S Fahy (1-1), S Tuohy; Subs: R O’Halloran (1-0) for Woods (HT), A Considine for O’Brien (33 mins), L McMahon for Tuohy (43 mins).
Referee: K Looney (Cork)