It took 36 minutes of Galway’s opening game of the All-Ireland senior camogie championship before Galway had their opening score when Ann Marie Hayes split the posts against Kilkenny at Kenny Park, Athenry on Saturday last.
By then Kilkenny had scored 1-6 to lead by nine points, leading by 0-6 at half time having played with the breeze in the opening half. While in the end only two points divided the sides which was won by Kilkenny, the lack of scoring power in the forwards has certainly dashed the hopes of Galway supporters of taking the O’Duffy Cup back to Galway for the first time since 1996.
While Galway staged a credible comeback with Ann Marie Hayes scoring a goal, an Emer Haverty point was the only other score from play. This was a very poor performance by a Galway side and having reached All-Ireland finals in recent years, the chance of making that breakthrough looks to be now in the far distant future. Maybe there is a chance that Galway might yet come good and maybe even pull off a shock against Wexford, reaching a semi-final by topping the group now looks to be an uphill battle.
The loss of veteran quality forwards like Veronica Curtin – who wasn’t called into the panel this season – and the unavailability of Aislinn Connolly is noticable and neither have been replaced with quality. And while Ann Marie Hayes has been drafted into the attack from defence, there looks to be a long building process ahead before Galway take the O’Duffy Cup west again.
Meanwhile the Galway Intermediate team had a good win over Meath while Galway U-16 team defeated Clare on Sunday at Feakle which improved morale among camogie supporters.
Pearses and Ardrahan through
What money could be got on Pearses and Ardrahan as the first two teams through to the quarter finals of the hurling championship and Portumna being beaten by Clarinbridge? Results at the weekend have opened up some games in the final round to be right crackers. All-Ireland champions St Thomas’ have to beat Clarinbridge; Turloughmore have to get a result against Ardrahan; Kinvara and Castlegar both need a win; Loughrea, Gort, Kiltormer, Portumna, Kiltormer and Killimordaly are all still chasing victories; and Mullagh, Tommie Larkins and Craughwell are out of quarter finals but have a lot of pride to play for.
Over the years we have watched some great freetakers and some woeful ones also on the hurling fields of the county. The game of Camogie has ‘45s’ not ’65s’ and last weekend a young U-16 Galway player Emma Helbert from Ballinderreen pointed five ‘forty fives’ as Galway defeated Clare. The young centre-back puts it up to many senior hurlers.