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Inspired Second Half Sends Kilkenny Past Galway

Inspired Second Half Sends Kilkenny Past Galway
By Paul Shaughnessy

Reporting from Croke Park

Kilkenny and Galway played out an enthralling contest on Saturday evening in Croke Park. It was Kilkenny who came out victorious proving too strong for the All-Ireland champions in the final quarter.

The game got off to a frantic start with scores frequently appearing in the opening period.

Kilkenny raced into a two point lead with good work on the wing Julianne Malone and a 65 from Denise Gaule putting them ahead. On 11 minutes the sides were deadlocked at 0-3 apiece after two Carrie Dolan placed balls and the lively Catherine Finnerty leaving nothing between the sides. On 22 minutes, Galway took the lead for the first time racing into 0-6 - 0-5 lead.

Cathal Murray's side will be left frustrated with two missed goal chances in the opening half after Niamh Hannify raced through the centre of the Kilkenny defence and her shot was saved by Aoife Norris. Soon after that Siobhan McGrath was fouled inside the small square up stepped Sarah Healy and her penalty was terrifically saved by the Cats Goalkeeper Norris.

Galway led 0-8 - 0-6 at the break but there consensus around Croke park that the tribeswomen should of been a lot further ahead at the break.

Straight away after the break Gaule narrowed the gap to the minimum. Carrie Dolan responded with a 65 to extend Galway's lead to two points once again.

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On 36 minutes a terrific crossfield ball found Kilkenny wing back Laura Murphy in acres of space she drove forward and slotted the ball into the bottom corner of the net to have Brian Dowling's side leading 1-07 - 0-09.

A Katie Nolan free and a neat point from Julianne Malone pushed the victors into a three point lead.

By 50 minutes Galway had this contest back on level mattters, landing three points in a row through the lively Aoife Donohue and two Carrie Dolan frees.

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Ultimately Galway didn't score from then on in. Kilkenny's hunger and desire was prevalent and they went on to hit the last four points of the game as the 2020 All-Ireland champions hung on for a hard fought victory.

Old rivals Cork await them in the final in two weeks time.

SEE ALSO:  Cork Battle Past Spirited Waterford

 

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