In a dramatic game in Nowlan Park Kilkenny today, Galway have defeated Wexford in the Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Senior Camogie Semi-final in a very tight encounter on a scoreline of 1-14 to 2-10.
It took almost seven minutes of injury time to separate the sides but a late Niamh McGrath point seen Galway book their place Croke Park in September who await Kilkenny or Cork whose semi-final is fixed for tomorrow (August 16th).
McGrath who also hit the first score of the game pointed in just under a minute of play but a quick Shelly Kehoe point made it 0-1 a piece in the opening five minutes. Points were exchanged by Emma Kilkelly, Aoife Donohue Ursula Jacob and Kate Kelly to make it three a piece in the 14th minute. Galway then began to distance themselves from Wexford, danger woman Ailish O’Reilly wearing number 15 on her back hit Galway’s three scores in a row in the 23rd minute pushing her side in front by two.
Molly Dunne showed great skill and composure to hit the first goal of the game after a long ball into the full forward line fell in front of the Eyrecourt/Mellick player who flicked the ball by the Wexford keeper Laura Brennan. Katriona Parrock found the net seconds later to cancel out Dunne’s goal after a long Parrock shot bounced by Galway keeper Susan Earner who seemed to be distracted by the Wexford corner forward Stacey Kehoe who ran in front of the shot.
Emma Kilkelly was forced off with an ankle injury before the break as deadly accurate Niamh McGrath point pushed the 2013 All-Ireland Champions four in front at the half time break on a scoreline of 1-4 to 1-8.
Niamh Kilkelly opened the second half with a point for her side from a long mid-field run as Galway now played the with wind in the second half. Parrock almost had a second goal after breaking through the Galway defense which fell at the feet of Stacey Kehoe who’s ground shot went narrowly wide, a goal which could have been a game changer for Wexford who were five points down at that stage in the game. Shelly Kehoe hit a point in the 43rd minute in an attempt to keep her side in touch after a long 15 minute gap without a score for Wexford . Ursula Jacob popped the ball over the black spot after a near goal chance rebounded off the woodwork and dropped in front of the forward who made no mistake to score.
Wexford then hit a purple patch with Stacey Kehoe bringing the gap back down to a single point after she found the net from a Jacob pass from the corner found her in front of the danger zone. Goal hungry Wexford nearly raised the green flag again when a Jacob’s shot went wide in the 57th minute of normal play with Galway leading by two. Molly Dunne scored what she probably though was the winning score in normal time but referee Cathal Egan (Cork) felt four minutes of injury time was needed. The game then took a dramatic turn in the closing minutes as three late Kate Kelly free’s leveled the side in the fourth minute of injury time. Sharpshooter Niamh McGrath was on hand to find the winning score for the 2013 champions who will be hoping to repeat history in the 2015 Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Senior Camogie final.