Galway 2-16 -
Mairead Power dejected after the game in Thurles on Saturday night. Photo: Inpho.
All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship Quarter Final
Underdogs Waterford looked so good for so long in Saturday’s All Ireland quarter final but ultimately paid the price for three missed goal chances at the start of the second half.
They were five points up after 34 minutes, after hitting the favourites with manic intensity, but Galway struck 1-10 without reply to set up a last four meeting with defending champions Cork. N17 by The Saw Doctors was played over the PA to greet a hard-earned victory.
Tribe keeper Sarah Healy pulled off crucial saves from Niamh Rockett and Annie Fitzgerald, when Waterford were in the ascendancy, while Sarah Lacey got crowded out as she advanced on the Galway goal. This all happened inside the opening five minutes of the second period. They only had a Beth Carton 45 to show for their efforts and didn’t score again for the last 31 minutes of the contest.
Galway free taker Carrie Dolan converted ten out of ten (five in each half) as Waterford got on the wrong side of referee Owen Elliott. Four frees in a row during the third quarter brought it back to the bare minimum. Two of those were hotly disputed by Déise players and management. Shona Curran received a high tackle before she was pinged for steps while Sibeal Harney was harshly penalised for a slight touch on Ailish O’Reilly. The league champions hit the front through Niamh Kilkenny with ten minutes remaining. Player of the match O’Reilly palmed the ball to the net to seal their semi final place. That was her only score of the evening but she was involved in 2-5 of Galway’s total.
In a surprise move, Carton was successfully deployed at midfield for Waterford in the opening half but didn’t get a shot off in open play on the restart. Galway introduced Catriona Cormican at midfield and maroon and white bodies bottled her up any time she grabbed possession. Donal O’Rourke’s side lost eight of their own puckouts in that second half and only managed nine attempts on goal.
The top four in the camogie world is the same as last year (Cork, Kilkenny, Tipperary and Galway). Over the last two seasons, they are the only teams Waterford have lost to in championship. They have beaten all the rest in league and championship (Meath, Dublin, Clare, Limerick and Wexford). This outing suggested that they are closing the gap.
Carton is in contention for player of the year after shooting 5-36 in six matches (3-10 from play, 22 frees, two penalties and four 45s). Lorraine Bray, Aine Lyng and Niamh Rockett should be nominated for All Stars yet again and the Cappoquin defender could sneak in at number seven.
The fun and games began before the throw in. Galway made three late switches while Waterford started Carton and Orla Hickey at midfield and switched Patricia Jackman into the attack. Fiona Morrissey replaced Emma Hannon. The Déise forwards ran around in circles to confuse their markers as Elliott prepared to throw in the sliothar.
DÉISE’S BRIGHT START
Despite the damp and dreary conditions, both sides started brightly. O’Reilly supplied Aoife Donohue for a Galway goal after just sixteen seconds. Off the next puckout, Carton soloed 50 metres before Heather Cooney brought her down in the box. She fired the penalty low and hard down the middle past the three Galway players on the line. Waterford were fired up both on and off the pitch. In the fourth minute, Annie Fitzgerald showed her soccer skills in the corner to keep the ball alive and kick it back to Morrissey. She passed it on to Carton who shot them into the lead.
The sides were level four times in that first-half. Waterford went two up on three occasions but five Dolan frees pegged them back. Aine Lyng got two points from wing forward, like she did against Cork, and the second was the score of the game. Caoimhe McGrath made an incredible catch off a Galway puckout, reminiscent of Ronan Maher against Wexford, before Lyng lashed it over from 65 metres. She raised her fist to the Waterford faithful in the New Stand. Morrissey was also on the mark from distance after a hand passing move involving Carton and Hickey. Rockett summed up the Déise desire when she blocked a Galway clearance and raised another white flag.
Waterford’s Sibhéal Harney are taken two minutes apart, devastated after the loss but still showing her class by signing autographs for young fans a few minutes later. Photo: Noel Browne
GALWAY’S STRONG FINISH
The teams were deadlocked at 1-6 apiece, with 28 minutes on the clock, when Shona Curran’s long distance free hopped past Healy and into the net. The Galway goalkeeper got distracted by the presence of Jackman and Lacey in front of her. A foul on Carton resulted in an injury time conversion (2-7 to 1-6).
The floodlights were on since 6pm in Semple Stadium but the sun came out for the second half. Within a minute, Rockett dispossessed Sarah Dervan and went through one on one but Healy blocked her effort. Fitzgerald then attempted to hand pass the ball into the corner of the net but Healy flicked it away for a 45. Carton made it a five-point game. A Lacey solo run also went unrewarded as Galway got off the hook.
The Déise supporters, among the 2,062 in attendance, chanted ‘Waterford, Waterford’ until Elliot’s final whistle. They went out on their shield.
See page seven for reaction.
Scorers:- Galway: Carrie Dolan 0-10 (10fs), Ailish O’Reilly, Aoife Donohue 1-0 each, Niamh Kilkenny, Noreen Coen 0-2 each, Ciara Murphy, Rebecca Hennelly 0-1 each.
Waterford: Beth Carton 1-4 (1-0 pen, 2fs, 1 45), Shona Curran 1-0 (1-0f), Aine Lyng 0-2, Fiona Morrissey, Niamh Rockett 0-1 each.
GALWAY: Sarah Healy; Sarah Dervan, Emma Helebert, Tara Kenny; Shauna Healy, Heather Cooney, Lorraine Ryan; Aoife Donohue, Anne Marie Starr; Niamh Kilkenny, Sarah Spellman, Maria Cooney; Carrie Dolan, Noreen Coen, Ailish O’Reilly. Subs: Catriona Cormican for Maria Cooney (H-T), Ciara Murphy for Starr (40), Catherine Finnerty for Spellman (58), Rebecca Hennelly for Donohue (60).
WATERFORD: Brianna O’Regan; Iona Heffernan, Kate Lynch, Sibeal Harney; Caoimhe McGrath, Shona Curran, Lorraine Bray; Beth Carton, Orla Hickey; Aine Lyng, Fiona Morrissey, Niamh Rockett; Patricia Jackman, Sarah Lacey, Annie Fitzgerald. Subs: Keeley Corbett-Barry for Morrissey (40), Claire Whyte for Hickey (49), Mairead Power for Harney (59), Emma Hannon for McGrath (64).
Referee: Owen Elliot (Antrim)