The All-Ireland intermediate camogie final in association with RTÉ Sport ended in a welter of excitement, and in the end, both sides will probably be relieved to have the chance of a replay.
That will take place on Saturday, September 29 and if it is even half as entertaining as this encounter, it will certainly be worth the price of admission.
Galway must have thought they had snatched the honours when the brilliant Clodagh McGrath and Rachel Monaghan pushed them two points clear in injury time.
Derry came charging back though and Karen Kielt hand-passed to the Galway net, only to learn that referee, Ger O’Dowd had already blown for a penalty.
That placed huge pressure on Kate McAnenly but the Castledawson player proved up to the task, driving an unstoppable shot to the Galway net to put her side a point ahead.
There was still time for Galway to hit back though and Monaghan was awarded a free, from which she herself pointed to draw the sides level for the final time.
Derry looked like they were cruising in the first half, as Eilís Ní Chasaide’s fortuitous goal helped them open up a seven-point advantage but a Maria Brehony goal gave Galway renewed hope.
McAnenly and Catriona Cormican exchanged goals but Derry’s lead was down to two at half time, due largely to the accuracy from placed balls of player of the match, Emma Kilkelly.
Gráinne McGoldrick stretched that to three early in the second half, although television replays showed that her shot was clearly wide and that was to prove critical at the end.
Although Derry went four clear, Galway gradually took over, with McGrath thundering into the game around the middle.
Deirdre Burke’s goal proved a vital inspiration, and with Orla Curtin – who won a medal at this level with Limerick – and her Kinvara clubmate Kilkelly amongst the scorers, they got themselves back into the tie.
At that juncture, they seemed to be enjoying the wide expanses of Croke Park more than the Derry players and those points by Monaghan and McGrath looked to have put them on their way until the late drama unfolded.
Irish Daily Star Player of the Match: Emma Kilkelly
Scorers – Galway: E Kilkelly 0-5(1f, 1 45); R Monaghan 0-3(2fs); M Brehony, C Cormican, D Burke 1-0 each; O Curtin 0-2; A O’Reilly, C McGrath 0-1 each
Derry: K McAnenly 2-0(1-0pen); K Kielt 0-5(2fs); E Ní Chasaide 1-0; T McElroy, G McNicholl 0-2 each; S Quinn, S Cassidy, G McGoldrick(f) 0-1 each
Galway: R Callanan; T Kenny, P Kenny, C Gill; L Farrell, S Noone, S Keane; C McGrath, A Lynsky; A O’Reilly, E Kilkelly, M Brehony; D burke, O Curtin, E O’Sullivan. Subs: C Cormican for Lynskey (20); R Monaghan for Keane inj (30); A Kenny for O’Sullivan (41); R Hennelly for Brehony (52)
Derry: C O’Kane; M Quinn, A Ní Chasaide, A Mullan; A McCusker, E Ní Chasaide, M McGoldrick; S Cassidy, G McNicholl; T McElroy, K McAnenly, G McGoldrick; S Quinn, O Bradley, K Kielt. Subs: M Mooney for Quinn (34); K Bradley for O Bradley (46); A McPeake for Quinn (49)
Referee: G O’Dowd (Limerick)