Jacob the hero for victorious Wexford

Wexford 2-7 Galway 1-8

Ursula Jacob bagged 1-5 as Wexford claimed back-to-back All-Ireland Senior Camogie titles before 14,974 spectators at Croke Park.

With eight minutes remaining the sides were deadlocked at 2-5 to 1-8 following a Jacob goal and despite Galway's best efforts a brace of late Jacob points ensured a Wexford victory

It was double delight for the Slaneysiders with Wexford also capturing the All-Ireland Intermediate title earlier at GAA Headquarters.

This game began at a tremendous pace, with half-forward Kate Kelly cutting loose in the third minute, before she was dragged down in the square by Therese Manton, with Una Leacy dispatching the resulting penalty.

Wexford failed to build on this as Galway bounced back with Aislinn Connolly opening the Westerners account with a pointed free.

Veronica Curtin kept Galway's momentum going when the Kinvara corner-forward added a point from play to cut the deficit to the minimum after 10 minutes.

Defences got on top over the next 15 minutes with just a point produced from either side, with Jacob and Martina Conroy swapping scores.

Wexford goalkeeper Mags D'Arcy pulled off two fine saves during this period with her side coming under strong pressure from the Galway attack.

Galway also registered three wides during this spell, with half-forwards Coen and Aislinn Connolly misfiring.

A second Jacob point pushed Wexford into a 1-2 to 0-3 lead with three minutes remaining before the break.

Five minutes of injury time were added at the end of the second half, but both sides misfired in front of the posts as Wexford took a two-point interval lead.

Galway launched a strong start to the second half, with points from Noreen Coen and Tara Ruttledge inside a minute and a half of the restart.

At the opposite end Katrina Parrock's powerful goal-bound shot was blocked by Galway goalkeeper Susan Earner in the third minute, giving the Westerners huge confidence.

Galway placed huge pressure on the Wexford rear-guard over the next four minutes, and it eventually paid off with Ruttledge planting the ball in the net in the 38th minute as Noel Finn's charges took the lead for the first time.

Wexford responded with excellent points from play from midfielder Josie Dwyer and corner forward Lenny Holohan to reduce the deficit to the minimum.

Galway added a brace of points with Niamh Kilkenny and Connolly on target, but Wexford upped their intensity.

Ruttledge could have bagged Galway's second goal in the 51st minute, when she gathered possession from a Therese Maher free, but the Portumna corner-forward saw her shot come off the upright.

It was Wexford who delivered in the goal-scoring stakes when a long range shot from Dwyer was played through to Jacob with the Slaneysiders captain smashing the ball to the back of the Galway net in the 53rd minute.

Wexford looked the more composed side in the closing stages, with Jacob adding a point each from play and a free.

Galway failed to give up, but a strong defensive display late on ensured Wexford captured the O'Duffy Cup for the third time in five years.

WEXFORD: M D'Arcy; C O'Connor, C O'Loughlin, K Atkinson; N Lambert, M Lacey, A O'Connor; D Codd, J Dwyer (0-1); K Kelly, U Lacey (1-0, 1-0pen), M O'Leary; L Holohan (0-1), U Jacob (1-5, 4f), K Parrock. Subs: F Kavanagh for Codd (54); E Quigley for Holohan (56); C Storey for K Atkinson (62).

GALWAY: S Earner; T Manton, S Cahalan, L Ryan; AM Hayes, T Maher, H Cooney; N Kilkenny (0-1), AM Starr; N Coen (0-1), M Conroy (0-1), A Connolly (0-2, 1f); T Ruttledge (1-1), B Hanney, V Curtin (0-1). Sub: O Kilkenny (0-1) for Curtin (38).

REFEREE: Mike O'Kelly (Cork).

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