Galway grind out second win in camogie championship

it two wins from two in the Glen Dimplex All Ireland Senior Camogie championship after a titanic battle with Clare in Cusack Park in Ennis on Saturday.

Siobhán McGrath’s goal at the beginning of the second half was crucial to this 1-13 to 0-13 victory.

Galway started the brightest with Niamh Hanniffy laying off a pass to Sabina Rabbitte who made no mistake in slotting the ball over the bar inside the opening 30 seconds.

Lorna McNamara replied for Clare a minute later with a free, but when Aoife Donohue was fouled in the fifth minute, Carrie Dolan pointed the resulting free before Niamh Hanniffy broke through the Clare defence to put her side two points ahead.

Two McNamara frees on the 12th and 14th minutes saw the sides deadlocked for the second time, before Ailish O’Reilly laid off a pass to the in-rushing Niamh McPeake, who made no mistake in slotting the ball over the bar to mark her championship debut with the senior team.

Aine O’Loughlin scored Clare’s first score from play before McPeake restored Galway’s lead three minutes later. After McNamara added two more frees for Clare to close the gap, Dolan added a free to see the sides deadlocked at 0-6 at half-time.

Within 30 seconds of the restart Hanniffy set up Donohue to restore Galway’s lead, and less then a minute later, a long ball in from Sarah Dervan found Siobhán McGrath in the inside forward line, and she made no mistake when taking on her marker before blasting the ball into the back of the Clare net to give Galway a four-point lead.

Clare responded well with points from McNamara and Orlaith Duggan, but Galway kept their noses in front. Another Dolan free and a well-taken point from McGrath helped to extend Galway’s lead, while Aine McLoughlin's goal opportunity in the 41st minute was brilliantly stopped by Fiona Ryan. However, McLoughlin struck a point from the rebound before Dolan and McNamara exchanged frees on the 45th and 46th minutes.

Rabbitte and substitute Sarah Spellman added to the tally to leave five between the sides, and although McNamara and Niamh O’Dea reduced the deficit, Dolan and McNamara finished struck again for a well deserved victory.

The win sees Galway top of the table heading into their final game, while Clare face a must-win fixture against Cork in two weeks’ time.

Niamh Hanniffy, Dervla Higgins, Aoife Donohue, Aine Keane and Carrie Dolan were some of Galway’s top performers on the day. Up next for Galway is a trip away to Down in two weeks’ time.

Galway Team: F Ryan, S Healy, R Black, D Higgins, A Keane, E Helebert, S Dervan, A Donohue (0-1 ), R Hanniffy, S Rabbitte (0-2 ), C Dolan (0-5F ), N Hanniffy (0-1 ), S McGrath (1-1 ), A O’Reilly, N McPeake (0-2 ). Substitutes: S Spellman (0-1 ) for Helebert (39m ), S Corcoran for O’Reilly (50m ), S Gardiner for Donohue (59m ), J Hughes for Dolan (59m )


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