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Kilkenny were expected to come out with all guns blazing, but it was Galway who dominated the opening ten minutes of the restart as they outscored Kilkenny 1 3 to 0 1. The Tribeswomen squandered three goal chances during the opening half and a well taken goal by 15 year old Maria Breheny following good work by Clodagh McGrath put Galway in a commanding position 1 11 to 0 6.
However, late points in succession from Aoife Murphy and a free from Lisdowney club mate Claire Phelan put Kilkenny in a much better position as the second half approached.
What a way to win a thrilling contest. The full back line of Claire Aylward, Ruth Jones and the imperious Orla Walsh were superb, while Aisling Dunphy became a greater influence as the second half progressed. Claire Phelan led the way Converse Jack Purcell Women
Heartache as minors winning run comes to an end
Kilkenny appeared to have gotten out of jail, before Clodagh McGrath the daughter of former All Ireland winner medalist Michael McGrath went on a scintillating solo run as she raced away from Grace Walsh before striking over a superb point.
in attack as she almost single handedly dragged her side back into contention, while Shelley Farrell and Ciara Holden were always a threat. However, in the overall analysis it was Galway day and deservedly so. They squandered numerous scoring chances and also shot 11 wides Converse Low Cut Blue to their opponents four over the hour.
Subs: Jennifer Cunningham (Danesfort ), Miriam Walsh (Tullaroan ), Ciara Holden (Mullinavat ), Niamh Dowling (Tullaroan ).
However, it was heartache for Kilkenny whose gallant and splendid fightback came up short in a heartbreaking manner as they yielded their long standing at minor level to Galway since the under 18 competition began in 2006. Kilkenny, were chasing their five in a row, and following a victory away to Galway in the opening round of the group stages, they would have felt confident of reaching another All Ireland final.
Alas, it wasn to be. Playing with a stiff breeze advantage during the opening half, Galway built up an 0 8 to 0 3 as Kilkenny were losing every individual battle.
Kilkenny: Laura Walker (Windgap ), Claire Aylward (Glenmore ), Ruth Jones (Glenmore ), Orla Walsh (St. Martins ), Meghan Farrell (Thomastown ), Grace Walsh (Tullaroan ), Davina Tobin (Emeralds ), Aisling Dunphy (Graigue Ballycallan ), Niamh Byrne (Clara ), Eimear Mulhall (Lisdowney ), Claire Phelan (Lisdowney ), Shelley Farrell (Thomastown ), Aisling Curtis (Clara ), Noelle Maher (Tullaroan ), Aoife Murphy (Lisdowney ). Converse Trainers Girls
Hence, the start of the Kilkenny comeback. Claire Phelan led the way upfront. She pointed twice from placed balls, before Maria Breheny added a point as Galway remained in control. Brendan Williams took action introducing Jennifer Cunningham, Miriam Walsh, Yellow Converse High Tops Toddler
Ciara Holden and Niamh Dowling. The switches worked with Holden in particular causing havoc. Phelan converted a 50th minute penalty to give Kilkenny hope, and she added further points including a superb point from play to narrow the deficit approaching the closing five minutes. However, Galway never panicked and Ailish O blazed over a point with the goal at her mercy, before Kilkenny drew level in a dramatic fashion approaching full time. A well worked move saw a delivery by Aisling Dunphy cause panic amidst the Galway full back line, and Shelley Farrell unmarked in front of goal had the clearest of paths to handpass the sliothar into an empty net 2 10 to 1 13.
Kilkenny Claire Phelan 1 7 (1 0 penalty 0 5 frees 0 1 ), Shelley Farrell 1 0, Aisling Curtis, Aoife Murphy + Niamh Byrne (45 ) 0 1 each.
Galway Rebecca Hennelly 0 6 (0 4 frees ), Maria Breheny 1 1, Clodagh McGrath + Tracy Murray (free ) 0 1 each, Laura Mitchell, Aoife Donuhue + Ailish O 0 1 each,
Galway: Olivia Lane, Noreen Murphy, Karen Brien, Siobhan Coen, Tara Kenny, Laura Donnellan, Lorraine Farrell, Laura Mitchell, Shauna Healy, Tracey Murray, Clodagh McGrath, Rebecca Hennelly. Ailish O Aoife Donohue, Maria Breheny.
This compelling and absorbing All Ireland minor semi final clash was a splendid advertisement for camogie.
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