Galway vs Dublin: Páirc Uí Chaoimh, 4 August 2018
The weather gods continued to shine on the second of the two camogie quarter-finals in Páirc Uí Chaoimh, on Saturday, for the match between Galway and Dublin. Dublin were seeking a repeat of last year’s historic appearance in an All-Ireland semi-final, while Galway were eager to get back to a semi-final after last year’s defeat, in an attempt to revisit their All-Ireland winning ways.
Dublin came out of the traps determined and strong in the first minutes of the half, registering the first score through a point from Orla Beagan. This was the only time the Dubs would be ahead in the whole match. Caitríona Cormican levelled things for Galway moments later. The Dublin defense was solid in the early exchanges, Aisling Carolan and Niamh Gannon in the full-back line, working hard and marking well. Dublin continued attacking and were unlucky on a few occasions, full-forward Mairi Moynihan failing to control a pass from Ali Twomey, while Beagan saw her free drop short. Noreen Coen scored a free for Galway, and Niamh McGrath added another point from play which saw Galway pull ahead by 3 points to 1.
Minutes later, Cormican caught a puck-out and pucked the sliotar straight over the bar. Emma Flanagan struck the ball wide after a great block on a defender, however, the referee called play back for advantage and Dublin were awarded the free. Orla Beagan again put the ball over the bar for Dublin’s 2nd point of the day, but the Dubs wouldn’t score again in the first half. Beagan charged up the field after some neat hand-passing out of the backs, and was unlucky to see her shot go wide. Goalie, Faye McCarthy, had a chance to gain a point for the Dubs but her free dropped short. Coen (2 frees) and Aoife Donoghue scored 4 points between them to see Galway go in at the break ahead by 8 points to 2.
Galway continued their dominance of the game in the second half, Coen registering another point from a free almost immediately upon the restart. A penalty was awarded and Dublin goalie, McCarthy, was yellow carded for a foul in the square. Galway goalie, Sarah Healy, was brought forward to take the penalty, demonstrating Galway’s intent to go for the jugular. However, her attempt to smash the sliotar into the top of the net went just a little too high and sailed over the bar. Galway lea 10 points to 2.
Cormican chipped in with her 3rd score of the match and there was no stopping Galway. The Galway backs were relentless in their pursuit of possession and the half-backs and midfielders were constantly looking up and finding the forwards with diagonal passes. 37 minutes in, Dublin finally got their first score of the half and 3rd of the match, when Beagan caught a puck-out, soloed forward and gave a hand-pass to Alex Griffin who scored a fine point, leaving the score 11 points to 3. McGrath and Kilkenny chipped in with another score each and Beagan fired over another point for Dublin after another solo run forward, which had the score at 13 points to 4 for Galway.
Galway dominated the last 15 minutes of the match scoring another 6 points. Kilkenny and Donoghue continued their scoring spree, with additional scores by subs Finola Keely, Siobhán McGrath and Clíodhna Walsh, Walsh’s a particularly nice point after getting out in front of two Dublin defenders. The efforts resulted in a final scoreline of 20 points to 4 for Galway.
In reality, the scoreline probably didn’t reflect the game as a whole. The Dublin backs were unfortunate as they marshalled Galway’s attack well much of the time. The Galway defense, however, was completely on top and never gave the Dublin forwards a chance. Whenever Dublin cleared the ball, it came right back down the pitch. Galway full-back, Sarah Dervan, was playing the proverbial stormer, clearing any ball that came near her and the entire half-back line was just as mean with possession. While they didn’t really create many goal chances, on the back of this performance Galway will be very confident going into the semi-final against Kilkenny in two weeks time.
See how Tipperary got on against the Waterford side in the first quarter-final of the day at Pairc Uí Chaoímh.