Kilkenny 3-11 Galway 0-17
A storming second-half performance steered Kilkenny to their first National League Division 1 title since 1993 following a deserved win over Galway at Nowlan Park this afternoon.
Goals from Michelle Quilty and Edwina Keane in a four-minute spell, midway through the second half, paved the way for this historic success.
Galway, managed by Liam O'Donoghue, got off to a flying start. They raced into a 0-04 to 0-00 lead after nine minutes with Veronica Curtin (0-02), Jessica Gill and Lourda Kavanagh taking the points.
Katie Power got the Cats off the mark in the 10th-minute and although Kilkenny cut the gap to two points with seven minutes remaining in the first half, Galway, thanks to scores from Curtin and Gill, broke five points clear as half-time approached.
However, with four minutes of injury-time, Kilkenny reduced the gap again and an Aoife Neary goal cut the gap to two points, before a fifth Gill point left the score at 0-11 to 1-05 at the break.
The hosts came bursting out of the blocks in the second half and outscored Galway by four points to one after 10 minutes.
Aoife Neary was on target with two excellent points from play while Ann Dalton and Sinead Millea also contributed scores, to level the contest for the first time.
Kilkenny were in the driving seat as a third Millea point put the Cats in front and goals from Quilty and Keane saw them take a 3-10 to 0-13 lead with 13 minutes remaining.
Despite Galway piling on the pressure in the closing stages with scores from substitute Lorraine Ryan and freetaker Gill (0-02), Ann Downey's charges held firm for the win.
Kilkenny: A Neary 1-03 (0-01f), S Millea 0-05 (0-03f, 0-01 '45'), M Quilty, E Keane 1-00 each, K Power, A Dalton, M Dargan 0-01 each.
Galway: J Gill 0-08 (0-0f), V Curtin 0-05 (0-02f), L Kavanagh 0-02, B Kerins, L Ryan 0-01 each.
KILKENNY: C Ryan; A Butler, A Fahy, E Lyng; E Aylward, KA Cottrell, J Frisby; A Dalton, L Lyng; A Neary, K Fennelly, K McDonald; M Quilty, S Millea, K Power.
Subs used: M Dargan for McDonald (18 mins), JA Woodcock for Lyng (half-time), E Keane for Cottrell (46), C Dormer for Fennelly (58), M O'Connor for Quilty (61).
GALWAY: S Earner; S Noone, S Cahalane, S Keane; AM Hayes, T Maher, Hillary; S Tannion, A Kelly; J Gill, V Curtin, N Kilkenny; O Kilkenny, L Kavanagh, B Kerins.
Subs used: L Ryan for A Kelly (25 mins), C Kelly for Tannion (36).
Referee: Eamonn Bowne (Tipperary)