Kilkenny scalp for Galway as league final dream still alive

Galway 1-12 Kilkenny 0-9

Galway got their league campaign back on track last Saturday as they overcame Kilkenny in a blustery St Brendan’s Park in Loughrea. A strong second half showing was key to success, as Galway scored 1-5 without reply in the opening 18 minutes after the interval.

Galway were playing with the aid of the strong breeze in the opening segment of the game. Ironically, both sides found it easier to score against the swirling wind. It was the Cats who got off the mark the quickest with Aoife Doyle slotting over the first score of the game in the first minute.

Carrie Dolan and Aoife Prendergast then swapped frees in the 3rd and 4th minute, while Dolan got her second of the day in the 6th minute to leave the sides level.

Galway almost scored a goal in the 9th minute, but Niamh Deely hooked Siobhán McGrath brilliantly. Galway looked like they were in again a minute later, however Aoife Donohue’s pass to Siobhán McGrath went too far. Ailish O Reilly and Katie Power exchanged scores in the 11th and 12th minutes.

The sides then found it hard to score in the final 15 minutes of the half. Donohue got her name on the score sheet, while Steffi Fitzgerald pointed just on the stroke of half time as the sides went in deadlocked at 0-4 a piece at half time.

Galway knew that they needed a massive second half to keep their hopes of a league final spot alive. They put a lot of pressure on the Kilkenny defence from the outset, and their ability to create the overlap was critical to a lot of their scores.

Orlaith McGrath opened the scoring in the first minute of the half. Dolan then followed up with two frees in the 32nd and 33rd minutes. Siobhán McGrath followed up three minutes later with her first score of the game. Then on the 38th minute, a long ball in from O’Reilly found the oncoming Donohue. Donohue made no mistake in sticking the ball into the back of the Kilkenny net.

Niamh McPeake followed up with point on 43 minutes to leave Galway 1-9 to 0-4 ahead.

Kilkenny did start to get a run on the home side, with two Asha McHardy points and one from Doyle to reduce the deficit to four. Substitute Niamh Niland ended their scoring streak in the 59th minute with a well taken score from play. Sophie O’Dwyer and Sabina Rabbitte then swapped scores in the 61st minute. Katie Nolan replied with a point in the 62nd minute, but it was Carrie Dolan who had the final say of the game as she pointed a free.

It finished Galway 1-12, Kilkenny 0-9.

With Tipperary overcoming Cork on Saturday, the league has been left wide open heading into the final two group games with four teams on four points in the league standing. Galway will be happy that they created goal opportunities throughout the game. It was a much-improved performance from two weeks previous in The Ragg, and Galway will be looking to push on and book a place in the league final. They welcome Waterford and Cork to Galway on the 23rd and 30th of March.

 

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