GALWAY 3-18 DUBLIN 1-12
The mercury was touching 27 degrees in Coolock at the superb Parnell’s venue on Saturday when Dublin senior camogie team scorched into a 1-5 to 0-2 lead after just 12 minutes.Galway playing their first championship match of the season were rocked and looking extremely vulnerable every time Dublin raided.But in a 10 minute spell Galway stopped the rot and struck 2-4 that possibly saved their day.
Dublin were worth a four or five points half-time lead but as it was it was the Westerners that went to the dressing rooms in front 2-8 to 1-9.
Had Dublin taken a half time lead of 4-5 points – it might not have been enough to win the game but it would certainly have given them a platform that their first half performance deserved.Dublin had played close to top gear in the half - Galway found a higher one in the second.
Dublin will be disappointed with the two goals conceded in the 14th and 23rd minutes.Before Aoife Donohue dispatched both to the net, the Dublin defence’s uncertainty and lack of ruthlessness in clearing the danger led to the chances being created in the first place.
Encouragingly on each each occasion, Dublin responded with great points from Ali Twomey and Aisling Maher in the 15th minute and 21st minutes.And again when Galway got the second goal, Siobhan Kehoe and Ali Twomey showed tremendous resilience to level the game.But Ailish O’Reilly was in super shooting form and would finish the game with 0-11.
Playing into the scoreboard end Dublin scored first thanks to an Aisling Maher free.Galway took the lead by the 3rd minute through two frees by Ailish O’Reilly but Dublin then hit 1-4 without reply.
Dublin were level from the puckout.Miriam Twomey who had another super game was covering the pitch and from one of her deliveries Aisling Maher took possession to raise a sublime white flag from almost on the sideline.
Faye McCarthy in her first season in the senior colours is already making a name for herself.She pointed a great free from almost on the sideline in the 5 th minute to give Dublin the lead.Another belter from 80m had danger written all over it and so it proved as it ended up in the net.No sooner had she that done, when she was on her way to the sideline 45m from the Galway posts to nail another free for a foul on Miriam Twomey.Again off another Faye McCarthy, Siobhan Kehoe took a great score.
Could it get better?Unfortunately not and the concession of those softish goals brought life back into the Galway side that had been seriously troubled by Dublin’s running and tigerish tackling.
Despite the setbacks, Dublin had reason to feel optimistic going into the second half.The good vibes grew further when 2 minutes after the restart, Faye McCarthy pointed from 80m and Dublin were within a point of a Galway side laden with All-Stars.
But they have those awards for a reason.Galway had sorted their problems out at half-time and playing with an extra defender in their own half of the field, Dublin could make little headway in attack where the Connacht side’s half backline of Lorraine Ryan, Rebecca Hennelly and Heather Cooney was superb.Building from their own half, Galway were clinical in the second half and time and again were able to find their danger players Ailish O’Reilly and Aoife Donohue.Maria Cooney was also a key cog in the half-forward line.
Dublin defended bravely with Aisling Carolan having her moments at No. 6 but the concession of frees and a penalty would yield 1-5 for Galway in the second period.Playing their second game in 7 days may not have helped Dublin in the searing heat but the side was in contention until the clinical finish from a penalty in the 47th minute from Rebecca Hennelly put significant daylight between the teams.Teams of the quality of Galway do not allow one back at this juncture in a championship game.
Dublin had introduced Ali Maguire at half-time and brought on Claire Donnelly, Zoe O’Donoghue as well as debutantes Eimear O’Leary and Megan Lewis but the experienced Galway girls had come good.There were no routes through the defence and try as Dublin did they were limited to one point in the period from the 32 nd to the 59 th minute.
A disappointment but hard lessons will have been learnt and the three weeks gap to the crucial away game with Waterford will be a welcome break to get the girls missing due to the Leaving Certificate and injuries back into playing contention.
SCORERS – Galway: Ailish O’Reilly (0-11), Aoife Donohue (2-3), Maria Cooney, Niamh McGrath, Fiona Keely, Noreen Coen (0-1 each). Dublin: Faye McCarthy (1-4), Aisling Maher (0-3), Siobhan Kehoe (0-2), Ali Twomey (0-1), Alison Maguire (0-1).