In the end only two points divided the teams but Galway were totally outclassed for most of their opening game of the Galway senior camogie championship when they went down to Kilkenny at Kenny Park, Athenry on Saturday last.
While Kilkenny had the assistance of the strong breeze in the opening half, Galway failed to score and by half-time trailed by 0-6 to 0-0.
Katie Power and Ann Dalton pointed frees for Kilkenny but four quality points from the Noresiders Claire Phelan, and three from the lively Shelley Farrell had Galway reeling at the break.
Apart from Siobhan Coen and Heather Cooney, Galway struggled in every position. Galway never looked like scoring in that opening half and missed frees certainly didn’t help their cause.
Two minutes into the second-half Denise Gaulle had the ball in the back of the Galway net and from there the Tribesgirls had a mountain to climb.
Ann Marie Hayes hit Galway’s opening point before Niamh McGrath pointed her first free. When Emer Haverty pointed, Galway had scored three in a row but a Kilkenny pointed free stopped the Galway girls briefly.
When Ann Marie Hayes crashed to the Kilkenny net it was a case of game on as Niamh McGrath pointed twice that left Kilkenny just two points ahead with 12 minutes still to play.
However Galway lacked leadership out the field to send enough ball into Hayes who was their most proficient player in attack and Kilkenny broke the momentum with successive points from Gaule and Power.
While Niamh McGrath slotted over two more frees, a Katie Hamilton point left Galway three behind as the game went into injury time. Therese Maher dropped a free into the danger area that could have given Galway a draw, but the decision of Niamh McGrath to opt for a point deep in injury time denied Galway’s chance of grabbing a share of the spoils.
Galway: E Concannon; T Manton, S Dervan, H Cooney; S Coen, C McGrath, L Ryan; N Kilkenny, T Maher; E Haverty (0-1), N McGrath (0-6, 5frs, 1’45), E Kilkelly; B Hanney, A M Hayes (1-1), A O’Reilly.
Sub: M Brehony for Kilkelly (45 mins).
Kilkenny: E Kavanagh; M Power, K McDonald, J Frisby; G Walsh, E Keane, E Aylward; C Phelan (0-1), A Dalton; K Power (0-5, 4frs), A Dunphy, C Dormer; S Farrell (0-3), D Gaule (1-0), A Neary.
Sub: K Hamilton (0-1) for Dalton (h-t), M Quilty for Neary (44 mins).