Kilkenny 2-08 Galway 0-16
Galway are the Littlewoods Ireland Camogie League Division 1 champions for the first time since 2015 after an impressive display against Kilkenny in Croke Park this afternoon.
The Tribeswomen raced into a six-point lead following a dominant first-half display and while two second-half goals from Kilkenny threatened to steal the win, Galway held on for their seventh title.
Here are our conclusions from the impressive Galway performance.
First win since 2015.
1. Kilkenny’s Lethal Forward Line Fail To Fire – There is a certain level of expectation when you see a full-forward line as potent as Michelle Quilty, Denise Gaule and Katie Power named in the programme. However, the deadly trio were not on song in the first half of today’s game though it has to be noted that this was largely due to their lack of supply. It took until the 28th minute for all three names to get on the scoresheet.
2. Aoife Donohue – One of the more impressive scorers in today’s game was midfielder, Aoife Donohue. The Mullagh club woman picked off three wonderful points in the first half, all from very difficult angles. In open play, it was her work rate and physicality that won so much possession for the Tribeswomen while her partnership with the experienced Anne Marie Starr proved very influential.
3. Kilkenny’s Ill-Discipline – The Galway forwards proved to be an awkward handful for the Kilkenny backs to cope with and in their frustration, they lacked discipline. The whistle of Cathal Egan was kept busy, as was Carrie Dolan who was more than happy to punish them for it. The Clarinbridge native scored four of their 10 first half points from frees while she also missed two.
4. Possession And Territory – The statistics for this game will make for interesting viewing. The majority of the first half was played inside the Kilkenny half and close to the goal of Emma Kavanagh. Granted, Galway had the breeze at their backs during that period but instead of taking advantage and firing long balls in, they worked the ball up, allowing their midfield and half-forward line to set up the attacks.
5. Galway Go For Goal – Every time the ball came close to the half-forward line, their instinct was to go for goal, no matter how crowded the area. They chose to take short handpasses in the square instead of turning and making space to attempt a point. It worked against them on a number of occasions as the Kilkenny packed defence suffocated their attacks and possession was easily turned over.
6. Easy Goals Prove Costly – Galway showed a certain level of naivety in defence for Michelle Quilty’s second-half goal. A long ball was sent into the full-forward line and was collected by Katie Power. The defence swarmed around the Piltown man and failed to notice Quilty lurking at the edge of the square. Once the ball was passed out to her, it was a simple finish. Anne Dalton’s goal in the 47th minute was just as preventable as a Gaule free was dropped into the crowded box. Amidst the confusion, the unmarked Dalton ran in and pulled on it along the ground past Sarah Healy to reduce the gap to just one.
7. Galway Resilience – It was a nervy period for the women from the west following Dalton’s goal as it looked as though Kilkenny would push on and find the equalizing score. However, Galway remained calm and continued to work the ball up into their forward line. Again, frees proved the difference. Dolan missed a crucial free to put Galway two points ahead but showed great character to slot her next two opportunities from difficult angles which ultimately sealed the win.