By Daragh Ë Conch·ir
It may have been overcast day but it was Wexford’s day in the sun as they added the All-Ireland senior camogie championship in association with RT+ Sport to the league title won earlier this year, less than two hours after the county’s intermediates also claimed the ultimate honours in front of 14,974 people.
It was devastation for Galway though, who produced an outstanding performance, but were punished for their failure to turn possession into the golden currency of scores. And so they were condemned to their fifth All-Ireland final loss since winning their only title in 1996.
Galway were the better side for much of the proceedings and held a deserved three point lead after Orla Kilkenny’s 51st minute point.
Tara Rutledge had a shot for a point to give them a vital cushion almost immediately afterwards, but the sliotar rebounded off the upright across the face of goal and crucially there was no Galway player on hand to tap it to the net. Had there been, it would have been game over.
Instead, Wexford worked the ball up the field and team Jacob caught Josie Dwyer’s high ball before turning and smashing a shot to the roof of the Galway net, levelling the scores with just over seven minutes remaining.
Kate Kelly did brilliant to gather possession in front of the posts soon after and when she was fouled, Jacob made no mistake from the placed ball.
And it was the same combination that produced the last score in the second minute of extra time, Kelly carrying strongly before hand-passing inside to Jacob, who lofted over from under the Hogan Stand.
Galway tried hard to snatch a dramatic late goal but never looked like doing so and so they were condemned to a fifth All-Ireland defeat since winning their only title back in 1996.
Wexford had the perfect start when Una Leacy goaled from a fourth minute penalty after Kate Kelly was unceremoniously dumped by Therese Manton, but with Ann-Marie Hayes, Maher and Heather Cooney dominant, Galway edged back into proceedings.
Aislinn Connolly, Veronica Curtin and Martina Conroy all had points and Mags D’Arcy pulled off a smart save from Curtin. Jacob slotted two frees though and it was Wexford who led at half time by 1-2 to 0-3.
Galway exploded out of the traps after the resumption, points from Noreen Coen and Rutledge giving them parity before Rutledge pulled first time on a breaking ball from 18, after Maher’s free from distance, to billow the net.
They never managed to pull any further clear though, despite having more of the play and that ultimately was to prove their downfall as Jacob and Wexford showed their champion pedigree.
Scorers – Wexford: U Jacob1-5(0-4fs); U Leacy 1-0(pen); J Dwyer, L Holohan 0-1 each
Galway: T Rutledge 1-1; A Connolly 0-2(1f); V Curtin, M Conroy, N Coen, N Kilkenny (45), O Kilkenny 0-1 each
Wexford: M D’Arcy; C O’Connor, C O’Loughlin, K Atkinson; N Lambert, M Leacy, A O’Connor; D Codd, J Dwyer; K Kelly, U Leacy,m M O’Leary; L Holohan, U Jacob, K Parrock. Subs: F Kavanagh for Codd (54); E Quigley for Holohan (56); C Storey for Atkinson (60+3)
Galway: S Earner; T Manton, S Cahalan, L Ryan; AM Hayes, T Maher, H Cooney; N Kilkenny, A< Starr; N Coen, M Conroy, A Connolly; T Rutledge, B Hanney, V Curtin. Sub: O Kilkenny for Curtin (39)
Referee: M O’Kelly (Cork)