An injury time point from Niamh McGrath has put Galway back into the Irish Daily Star Camogie League Division 1 final.
The champions survived a stern examination from Limerick and the neighbours served up a treat for supporters at St Brendan’s Park in Birr. Thanks to McGrath’s composure, it was the more experienced Galwegians that prevailed by 1-11 to 0-13.
Limerick had beaten All-Ireland champions Cork in a play-off to reach the last four and they served notice once more that the strides taken under Joe Quaid have continued with John Tuohy’s stewardship.
They will certainly be contenders in the championship but will want to provide more scoring support for the stupendous Niamh Mulcahy, who was responsible for 11 of their points.
Galway looked sharp from the outset and Aoife Donoghue latched onto a dropping ball for an early goal.
Undaunted, Limerick responded and took over. Niamh Richardson was marvellous at centre-back, and Karen O’Leary and Deborah Murphy ran at Galway at every opportunity, drawing frees that were converted with aplomb by Mulcahy.
The Munster outfit deservedly led by 0-7 to 1-2 at half time and when Mulcahy pointed from a free early in the second half, the margin was three.
Galway began to show an increased urgency though as the outstanding Niamh Kilkenny slotted four points from play, while Ailish O’Reilly was also heavily influential.
The Tribeswomen moved two points clear but Mulcahy came back with three more scores and the third, a prodigious effort from a 65m free, had Limerick ahead with normal time almost up.
Ollie Bergin had introduced a number of subs by this juncture and one of those was Molly Dunne, who did well to equalise.
Everyone would probably have taken extra time at this stage but Galway had one last contribution to make, and it was a telling one, as McGrath made no mistake from a placed ball in the third minute of extra time.
Galway will play the winners of the other semi-final between Kilkenny and Tipperary, which takes place tomorrow.
It was a good day for Galway camogie as the county’s minors came out on top against Kilkenny by 0-12 to 1-5 in the All-Ireland semi-final. They will play Tipperary in the final, after the Premier County representatives blitzed Cork by 4-16 to 0-7.