*Orlaith Duggan breaks her hurley while making a block. Photograph: Gerard O’Neill

A SINGLE GOAL separated Clare from successive victories in the Glen Dimplex All-Ireland senior camogie championship.

Galway 1-13
Clare 0-13
Venue: Cusack Park, Ennis

In a ferocious battle with torrential rain and a swirling wind wreaking havoc a blistering start to the second half ultimately proved the difference between the teams as Galway progress to the knockout stages of this year’s Championship.

Level at six points apiece at the interval an Aoife Donuhue point thirty seconds into the second half was quickly followed by the only major of the evening. A long delivery was latched onto by corner forward Siobhan McGrath with a superb first touch. The Sarsfields star forward then left the Clare defence for dead before firing an unstoppable rocket into the top corner of the net and suddenly Galway now had a four point lead, one they would ultimately never relinquish.

The entire opening thirty minutes was a stop start affair due to the horrendous conditions. Both teams though to their credit tore into each other with the physicality levels soaring. Sabina Rabbite got the first point of the day inside the opening minute before the always reliable Lorna McNamara replied with a free, one of eight placed balls the Feakle-Killanena sharpshooter converted on the day.

The sides traded scores and at the end of the opening quarter the teams were deadlocked at three points apiece. Clare though were struggling to break the lines and constantly ran into trouble, either being pulled for over carrying or being overturned in possession. Niamh McPeake benefitted from such a scenario when the Clare defence was turned over once more when trying to run the ball out and the Liam Mellows player fired over.

In response Niamh O’Dea gloriously plucked the sliotar from the heavens before being fouled and another Lorna McNamara free was superbly converted.

The rain did stop for the second half and Galway began to move the ball alot faster causing serious problems for the John Carmody managed side.

To their immense credit they responded magnificently to the early concession of that 1-1 when a super point from play by Orlaith Duggan brought it to a one score game. Moments later an audacious Aine O’Loughlin flick on the sliotar saw it just go over the crossbar by inches when a green flag would have been a massive score at that stage.

Two points in quick succession from Sabina Rabbite and substitute Sarah Spellman gave the tribeswomen a five point lead with eight minutes to play but once more the Clare girls showed their character with a series of points including a super Niamh O’Dea score. Approaching full time there was only three in it and despite Clare throwing everything at Galway they never really created a goal opportunity before referee Barry Nea’s final whistle.

It’s do or die now for Clare as they will face Cork in two weeks time with the winner progressing to the quarter final while the loser will exit the Championship.

This game will be in Cusack Park and it really should be a cracking contest as these Clare girls will once more give everything they have for the Saffron and Blue.

Scorers for Galway: Carrie Dolan 0-5 (5f), Siobhan McGrath 1-1, Niamh McPeake, Sabina Rabbite 0-2 each, Niamh Hanniffy, Aoife Donuhue, Sarah Spellman 0-1 each

Scorers for Clare: Lorna McNamara 0-9 (7f, 1 45), Aine O’Loughlin 0-2, Orlaith Duggan, Niamh O’Dea 0-1 each

TEAMS

GALWAY
1: Fiona Ryan (Ballinderreen)

2: Shauna Healy (Ardrahan)
3: Roisin Black (Oranmore-Maree)
4: Dervla Higgins (Athenry)

5: Aine Keane (St.Thomas)
6: Emma Helebert (Ballinderreen)
7: Sarah Dervan (Mullagh)

8: Aoife Donohue (Mullagh)
9: Rachel Hanniffy (Oranmore-Maree)

10: Sabina Rabbite (Athenry)
11: Carrie Dolan (Clarenbridge)
12: Niamh Hanniffy (Oranmore-Maree)

13: Siobhan McGrath (Sarsfields)
14: Ailish O’Reilly (Oranmore-Maree)
15: Niamh McPeake (Liam Mellows)

Subs:
22: Sarah Spellman (Sarsfields) for E Helebert (40)
23: Shannon Corcoran (Sarsfields) for A O’Reilly (51),
17: Siobhan Gardiner (Ardrahan) for A Donuhue (59)
20: Jennifer Hughes (Carnmore) for C Dolan (59)

CLARE
1: Doireann Murphy (Clarecastle)

2: Ciara Grogan (Clooney-Quin)
3: Susan Daly (Scariff-Ogonolloe)
4: Caoimhe Kelly (Kilkishen)

5: Chloe Morey (Sixmilebridge)
6: Clare Hehir (Inagh-Kilnamona)
7: Abby Walsh (Scariff-Ogonolloe)

8: Caoimhe Carmody (Kilmaley)
9: Lynda Daly (Scariff-Ogonolloe)

10: Orlaith Duggan (Clooney-Quin)
11: Niamh O’Dea (Kilmaley)
12: Zi Yan Spillane (Feakle-Killanena)

13: Muireann Scanlon (Sixmilebridge)
14: Aine O’Loughlin (Truagh-Clonlara)
15: Lorna McNamara (Feakle-Killanena)

Subs:
26: Aoife Keane (Inagh-Kilnamona) for L Daly (HT)
18: Eimear Kelly Truagh-Clonlara for Zi Yan Spillane (37)
19: Amy Keating (Inagh-Kilnamona) for M Scanlon (44)
17: Alannah Ryan (Kilkishen) for C Morey (49)
25: Laoise Ryan Inagh-Kilnamona for A Keane (54)

REFEREE: Barry Nea (Westmeath)

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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