Galway senior camogie hopes of an All Ireland title came to an end in Semple Stadium on Saturday when Kilkenny edged extra time, winning by 3-25 to 1-19.
Kilkenny's Anne Dalton produced the crucial score when she bagged a goal direct from a sideline cut by Anne Dalton six minutes into the first half of extra time, and it was enough to give her side the momentum to see them over the line.
They looked to have crossed it nearing the end of normal time, but a goal from Galway's Ailish O’Reilly in the 73rd minute gave the Tribeswomen hope as the game went to extra time.
Although O’Reilly had opened the scoring for Galway after just 49 seconds, Kilkenny's response was quick Shelly Farrell was hand-passed beyond goalie Susan Earner after a good run from older sister Anna.
Aoife Donohue slotted a couple of points to steady Galway, but Kilkenny kept their noses in front thanks to scores from captain Michelle Quilty and Anna Farrell.
Kilkenny, always looking dangerous, were denied a second goal courtesy of Susan Earner when she stopped a rasper from Shelly Farrell after another Anna Farrell run, and then managed to stop Quilty’s hand pass. However the captain made no mistake a few minutes later when Anna Farrell and Katie Power combined to send her away, giving Earner no chance.
Kilkenny held a 2-7 to 0-9 interval lead, but Galway upped their intensity after the break with two points from Niamh McGrath and others from Niamh Kilkenny and Molly Dunne bringing them to within one.
Once again Kilkenny replied with a brace of points from Denise Gaule and another from Meighan Farrell to stretch the margin to four with a minute left.
O’Reilly, however, came to the rescue, producing a point and then a goal to make it 2-13 to 1-16, sending the game to extra time. Although Niamh McGrath slotted her seventh point to move Galway ahead, Dalton then stuck for the crunch goal.
KILKENNY: E Kavanagh, J Frisby, D Tobin, C Dormer, C Phelan, A Dalton, D Keane, D Gaule, M Farrell, A Farrell, M Walsh, K Power, M Quilty, JA Malone, M Farrell. Subs: G Walsh for Malone (43 ), KA Doyle for Power (60+3 )
GALWAY: S Earner, T Kenny, S Dervan, H Cooney, C McGrath, R Hennelly, L Ryan, A Starr, N Kilkenny, A Donoghue, N McGrath, S Healy, O McGrath, A O’Reilly, N Coen. Subs: M Dunne for Coen (42 ), J McGill for O McGrath (60+1 ), A Callanan for Starr (78 )
REFEREE: R Kelly (Kildare )