The Galway Senior Camogie team enjoyed a winning start in the opening National League fixture, recording a five-point victory over Clare in Kenny Park, Athenry.
Although Clare produced the better opening in Athenry with some superb long-range points, Galway took control in the second half.
There were performances from Dervla Higgins, Sarah Dervan and Emma Helebert in defence, while Aoife Donohue, Ailish O’Reilly, Siobhán McGrath and Niamh Kilkenny were on song up front. And the introduction of 2019 player of the year Niamh Kilkenny at the end of the first half proved vital for Galway, along with other substitutes throughout the game.
However, there are injury concerns for Niamh Hanniffy and Heather Cooney, but Galway enjoy a bye this week before travelling to Limerick on Saturday May 29.
On Saturday it was the visitors who opened strongly, working the ball through their lines to set up Emer Kelly for the first score of the game, but from the puck out, Carrie Dolan delivered into Siobhán McGrath who finished it to the back of the net.
Clare fought back, scoring two more points from a Chloe Morey free and a long range effort from Marie McGrath to leave it Galway 1-0 Clare 0-3 after nine minutes.
When Niamh Hanniffy intercepted to score, Kelly replied, and it was to become the start of a scoring streak for Clare. Morey added another monster free from inside her own half, and with points from Orlaith Duggan, McGrath and Áine O’Loughlin, Clare held a four-point lead.
However, nearing the water break, Dolan again won the puck out, and delivered a good ball into Ailish O’Reilly. She took on the Clare defence before finding Siobhán McGrath who buried the ball into the back of the net for her second goal of the day. And when O’Reilly was fouled in the 19th minute, Dolan converted to level matters again.
Morey and Aoife Keane added to Clare’s tally, but Galway struck for goal again when Niamh Kilkenny found O’Reilly who finished the ball into the back of the Clare net. At the other end Kelly added another point for Clare to leave it Galway 3-2 Clare 0-12 at half-time.
Galway enjoyed a strong start to the second half with Aoife Donohue (2 ) and Siobhán McGrath (1 ) all raising white flags in the opening three minutes to take the lead which they never lost for the remainder of the game.
Although Morey added another Clare point, Donohue replied with two to keep their noses in front, 3-7 to 0-13 coming up to the 40-minute mark.
When Morey struck two frees, again Galway replied through McGrath and Niamh Kilkenny, before O’Reilly and Catherine Finnerty added points for Galway in the closing stages.
The game is available to watch on the Camogie Association's YouTube page.
Galway Scorers: Siobhán McGrath 2-2 Aoife Donohue 0-4 Ailish O’Reilly 1-1 Niamh Killkenny 0-1 Noreen Coen 0-1 Catherine Finnerty 0-1 Carrie Dolan 0-1 (0-1 Free )
GALWAY: S Healy, S Healy, S Dervan (C ), T Kenny, R Black, E Helebert, D Higgins, A Donohue, N McGrath, C Dolan, S Spellman, N Hanniffy, S McGrath, A O’Reilly, N Coen. SUBS: H Cooney for Kenny, S Gardiner for Black, AM Starr for N McGrath, N Kilkenny for Hanniffy, O McGrath for N Coen and C Finnerty for S Spellman.
Clare Scorers: Chloe Morey 0-6 (0-6F ) Eimear Kelly 0-4 Marie McGrath 0-2 Orlaith Duggan 0-1 Áine O’Loughlin 0-1 Aoife Keane 0-1
Clare: D Murphy, C Grogan, C Hehir, C Doyle, A Ryan, L McMahon, S Conlon, A Keane, Z Spillane, Or Duggan, C Morey, M McGrath, E Kelly, Áine O’Loughlin, B Foley. Subs: R Minogue for Conlon, S Daly for Daly, B Dinan for McGrath, G Hickey for Keane.