Late Niamh McGrath point sends Galway into the All-Ireland Camogie final

Late Niamh McGrath point sends Galway into the All-Ireland Camogie final

Galway 1-14 Wexford 2-10

Niamh McGrath kept Galway’s double dream alive with an injury time point to secure a place in the Liberty Insurance All-Ireland senior camogie final.

It was tough on a resolute Wexford, who had displayed their character with a strong finish that looked certain to have rescued them.

But when a McGrath free was deflected out for a 45 in the seventh minute of additional time, the Sarsfields sharpshooter made no mistake to snatch the coveted final berth.

Wexford had the advantage of the wind at Nowlan Park but were always playing catch-up in that opening period.

McGrath and Emma Kilkelly were among the early point scorers for Galway with Wexford captain Shelley Kehoe and Ursula Jacob, restored to the starting line-up following an operation on a broken finger, hitting the target in response.

A brace of points from the lively Ailish O’Reilly put two between the sides and that margin quickly became five thanks to a stunning goal by Molly Dunne.

The Eyrecourt full-forward has been raising green flags for fun this year and her predatory instincts were on full display as she supplied the finishing touch to Niamh Kilkenny’s lengthy delivery with a one-handed flick.

Within minutes though, Wexford were back in touch when Stacey Kehoe beat Susan Earner to Katrina Parrock’s long ball but a couple of McGrath points put Galway ahead at half time 1-8 to 1-4.

With the elements behind them in the second half, Galway looked to put the game to bed quickly and two points from Niamh Kilkenny gave them a handy advantage.

The Yellowbellies remained patient and Jacob tapped over from the rebound when 16-year-old Úna Sinnott struck the crossbar with a piledriver.

Galway were still five points ahead with time running out but Stacey Kehoe pounced for her second goal after tremendous work in defence by Linda O’Leary.

Dunne stretched the margin to three entering injury time but Wexford refused to yield. Galway conceded frees for fouls on Kelly, Sinnott and Lisa Bolger and the former made no mistake from either opportunity to bring Wexford level for the first time since the opening quarter.

The joy of their supporters was shortlived however, as McGrath held her nerve to give the Tribeswomen an opportunity to garner their second All-Ireland in three seasons.

Scorers – Galway: N McGrath 0-5; M Dunne 1-1; A O’Reilly 0-3; A Donohoe, N Kilkenny 0-2 each; E Kilkelly 0-1

Wexford: Stacey Kehoe 2-1; K Kelly 0-6; U Jacob 0-2; Shelley Kehoe 0-1

,

Galway: S Earner, T Manton, S Dervan, H Cooney, S Coen, S Healy, L Ryan, N Kilkenny, C McGrath, A Donohue, N McGrath, E Kilkelly, C Finnerty, M Dunne, A O’Reilly. Subs: A Callanan for C McGrath

Wexford: L Brennan, L O’Leary, S Nolan, C Donohue, S Sinnott, M Leacy, C Storey, D Codd, B Gordon, K Parrock, K Kelly, Shelley Kehoe, Stacey Kehoe, U Jacob, Ú Sinnott. Subs: K Atkinson for Donohoe, Linda Bolger for Storey, Lisa Bolger for Gordon

Referee: C Egan (Cork)


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