All-Ireland Camogie: Galway and Cork beat reigning champions to book places in final

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All-Ireland Camogie: Galway And Cork Beat Reigning Champions To Book Places In Final All-Ireland Camogie: Galway And Cork Beat Reigning Champions To Book Places In Final
The day’s later last-four clash saw Cork beat reigning champions Kilkenny 0-15 to 1-11. Photo: Inpho.
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Galway and Cork booked their places in the All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship final today, with wins over both Tipperary and reigning champions Kilkenny.

The day’s later last-four clash saw Cork beat 2020 champions Kilkenny 0-15 to 1-11 in their semi-final meeting.

It came after 2019 champions Galway earlier beat Tipperary 1-13 to 0-12 at Croke Park, with Orlaith McGrath providing the goal for the Tribeswomen — making it the third consecutive year Galway will contest the decider.

Galway had to withstand a heroic effort by Tipperary, but a fortuitous goal right on the hour by McGrath finally gave them the breathing space to advance to the final on September 12th.

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The Munster outfit were competitive for much of the opening quarter and led by a point after seven minutes, by which stage Orla O’Dwyer had swung over an equaliser to Aoife Donohue’s opener and Cáit Devane had converted a free.

But as the half wore on, it became clear that they were just not as sharp in the really tight exchanges as their opponents and were finding it difficult to get beyond the Galway 45.

It was 0-8 to 0-4 at the change of ends and that was a fair reflection of a half that never really took off, though Niamh Kilkenny’s second score after deadening a difficult ball and finishing from 50m was a real highlight.

Four minutes and 20 seconds after the restart, Tipperary were on the front foot, Cáit Devane having driven over three points in the blink of an eye.

However, the hopes of Bill Mullaney’s game crew were ended when a shot for a point from Orlaith McGrath dropped from their keeper’s hand into the net.

Meanwhile, Cork Captain Linda Collins scored a sensational winning point just seconds from the end to book her side a place in the All-Ireland Senior Camogie final.

Champions Kilkenny mixed the good with the bad and had been second best for most of the proceedings, but Mary O’Connell’s 44th minute goal after Miriam Walsh’s excellent assist breathed life into Brian Dowling’s outfit.

They had their best period thereafter, hitting four of the next five points to move two clear.

Denise Gaule, who was hampered by a finger injury in the closing stages, landed three frees and Katie Power a stunning score, and a third consecutive Kilkenny-Galway decider looked likely.

However, that was to reckon without the character of a youthful Cork side.

Fiona Keating brought the sides level just before the end of regulation time, her score coming after Meighan Farrell denied Katrina Mackey a goal.

The champions went in at the change of ends trailing by 0-10 to 0-6. The Cats couldn’t alter the mood initially after the restart, Cork playing with supreme confidence, and clearly revelling in the open spaces of Croke Park.

A goal changed that though and it looked for all the world that it would propel the Cats to another final but Cork had more in the tank and having fallen at the penultimate hurdle to Kilkenny last year, edged the verdict this time around.

Reporting by Daragh Ó Conchúir at Croke Park.

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