Connacht take Gael Linn Cup title

Connacht take Gael Linn Cup title

Connacht won just their fifth Gael Linn Cup and their first since 2008 when they trumped Leinster by 2-7 to 1-6 in an entertaining Senior Interprovincial Camogie final at the National Sports Campus in Abbotstown.

In the semi-finals, Leinster were much too strong for a Munster side that did not have the benefit of being able to select any player from All-Ireland champions Cork and cruised to a 1-21 to 0-10 victory.

Patrice Diggin (Kerry), Niamh Mulcahy (Limerick) and Chloe Morey (Clare) tried hard for Munster but they had no answer to a Leinster unit that had heavy scorers in Michaela Morkan (Offaly), Denise Gaule (Offaly) and Melissa Lyons (Kildare), while Anne Dalton (Kilkenny) plundered a late goal.

Meanwhile, Connacht were pushed all the way and had to withstand a late rally by Ulster before edging through by 2-10 to 2-8.

They led by 10 points with time running out but were left breathing a sigh of relief at the final whistle, when they had just two points to spare.

By virtue of those results, it was a star-studded Leinster unit that held the favourites’ mantle but two second half goals secured the honours for the westerners.

The first half was very cagey, with the conditions making it difficult at times. In such circumstances, a steady hand at the tiller was required and Niamh McGrath (Galway) provided it, scoring four of her five points as Connacht led by 0-5 to 0-3 at the interval.

Gaule and Morkan were responsible for Leinster’s scores but they didn’t manage one from play until Stacey Kehoe (Wexford) raised a white flag four minutes into the second half.

That was in response to another McGrath point but when Morkan slotted her second point, there was just the minimum between the sides.

Then came the key period, as Galway pair Noreen Coen and Aoife Donoghue struck for the goals that gave Connacht vital breathing space and a seven-point lead with 13 minutes remaining.

Gaule did give Leinster some hope with a goal to bring her tally to 1-3 but Connacht had enough in hand to take the silverware.

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