Galway have reached the All-Ireland Senior Ladies semi-finals for the first time since 2005 after disposing of Clare in Birr on Saturday evening by 5-19 to 2-16.
Although Galway struggled in the early stages, they struck five goals against a stubborn Clare outfit which was spearheaded by Niamh O’Dea.
The Banner county had taken a 0 - 6 to 0 - 3 lead after 12 minutes courtesy of three Ailish Considine frees. However points from Niamh Keane and O’Dea kept Galway in touch until Edel Concannon launched an attack and found Annette Clarke who fired into the net.
Claire Hehir and Clarke pointed before Galway grabbed their second goal. Concannon again linked up with Clarke who finished with a low drive to propel Galway 2-6 to 0-6 in front.
Scores from O’Dea and Considine for Clare were cancelled by Concannon and Daly, but Clare did narrow the gap to three on the stroke of half time when O’Dea sent a wonderful ball to Roisin Looney who produced an ever better strike into the top corner, making it 2-6 to 1-6 in favour of the Connacht champions at the interval.
However Galway never looked back after a stunning start to the second half when they scored 1-5 without reply. Within seconds of the restart Emma Curley sprinted forward from midfield to fire home the third goal and Galway never looked bck.
Although O’Dea grabbed a second Banner goal and won the player of the match award, Concannon netted Galway’s fourth goal and Curley her second from a penalty after Hehir was tripped while bearing down on goal.
Galway: L Higgins; M Coyne, S Conneally, R McPhilbin; B Hannon, E Flaherty, S Burke; E Curley (2-0 ) (A Rohan 59m ), A Daly (1-1 ); G Conneally (0-2 ) (N Duggan 55m ), D Brennan (L Joyce 44m 0-2 ), C Hehir (0-2 ); E Gannon (0-1 ) (G O’Connor 30m 0-3 ), A Clarke (1-2 ), E Concannon (1-6, 3frees ).
Clare: E O’Driscoll; S Kelly, L Kelly, L Ryan; R Looney (1-0 ), L Henchy, M Delaney (S Harvey 31m ); M Considine, F Lafferty; N Carroll, N Keane (0-1 ), M Kelly; N Lardner (E Considine 24m 0-1 ), N O’Dea (1-8, 2 frees ), A Considine (0-6, 5 frees ).