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*Eimear Kelly tries to get a block in. Photograph: Veronica McMahon

A fortunate goal three minutes into the second half proved crucial as Galway ended Clare’s All-Ireland senior camogie ambitions for 2021 at a sun splashed Kenny Park in Athenry this Saturday afternoon.

Galway 2-12
Clare 2-06
Venue: Kenny Park, Athenry

The goal from Niamh Kilkenny gave the home side a four point advantage and five minutes later they had extended the advantage to nine points with the score at 2-8 to 0-5.

Clare goalkeeper Doireann Murphy who was outstanding throughout and in the opening half in particular was unfortunate that Kilkenny’s effort for a point from outfield fell from her hand in the glaring sunshine and dropped over the goal line.

With the game drifting away from the Banner ladies, the team management made a number of changes, both positional and in personnel and they fought back strongly.

However, they were dealt another blow as, with all of their permitted five substitutions used, Roisin Begley hobbled off the pitch a few minutes after her introduction and Clare had to play the closing fifteen minutes with just fourteen players.

Two Clare goals in as many minutes with just over five remaining closed the gap to three points but last year’s finalists finished strongly and landed the last three points to seal victory and a place in the knock out stage.

Points were exchanged four times in the opening half before a Niamh Kilkenny point in the fifth minute of injury time edged Galway into a 0-5 to 0-4 half time lead.

The sides had arrived at the first water break locked together at 0-3 each. The second quarter looked like it was going to be scoreless before Chloe Morey gave Clare the lead for the only time in the game after twenty eight minutes. Niamh McGrath and Niamh Kilkenny finished the half with points for the winners.

Clare will be back in action on Saturday when they entertain Westmeath who are also pointless having lost to both Kilkenny and Galway. The losers of next week’s game will go into a relegation play off and this is something Ger O’Connell’s side won’t want

Scorers Galway: Niamh Kilkenny, Siobhan McGrath (1-2) each; Niamh McGrath (0-3) Aoife Donoghue, Ailish O’Reilly (0-2) each; Catherine Finnerty (0-1)

Scorers Clare: Chloe Morey (1-4) Aine O’Loughlin (1-0) Orlaith Duggan, Aoife Keane (0-1) each

1: Sarah Healy (St. Tholas)

2: Shauna |Healy (Ardrahan)
3: Sarah Dervan (Mullagh)
4: Siobhan Gardiiner (Ardrahan)

5: Emma Helebert (Ballindereen)
6: Niamh Hanniffy (Oranmore-Maree)
7: Dervla Higgins (Athenry)

8: Ann Marie Starr (Killimor)
9: Niamh Kilkenny (Pearses)

10: Niamh McGrth (Sarsfields)
11: Sarah Spellman (Sarsfields)
12: Aoife Donohue (Mullagh)

13: Siobhan McGrath (Sarefields)
14: Ailish O’Reilly (Oranmore-Maree)
15: Catherine Finnerty (Mountbellew-Moylough)

Noreen Coen (Athenry) for Spellman (49)
Tara Kenny (Sarsfields) for Spellman (50)
Maria Cooney (Sarsfields) for Starr (54)
Ciara Murphy (Clarinbridge) for Hanniffy (54)
Roisin Black (Oranmore-Maree) for Higgins(56)

1: Doireann Murphy (Clarecastle);

2: Susan Daly (Scariff/Ogonnelloe),
3: Clare Hehir (Inagh-Kilnamona) Captain,
4: Ciara Grogan (Clooney-Quin);

5: Alannah Ryan (Kilkishen),
6: Niamh O’Dea (Kilmaley),
7: Roisin McMahon (Newmarket);

8: Orlaith Duggan (Clooney-Quin),
9: Zi Yan Sillane (Feakle/Killanena);

10: Aoife Keane (Inagh-Kilnamona),
11: Maire McGrath (Sixmilebridge),
12: Rebecca Foley (Truagh/Clonlara);

13: Eimear Kelly (Truagh/Clonlara)m
14: Chloe Morey (Sixmiebridge),
15: Robyn Conway (Feakle/Killanena);

17: Laura McMahon(Newmarket) for R. McMahon (42);
30: Roisin Begley(Truagh/Clonlara) for E. Kelly (42);
26: Siofra Ni Chonaill(St. Josephs) for Spillane(45);
11: Aine O’Loughlin(Truagh/Clonlara) for Conwy(46);
7: Sinead Conlon (Tulla) for Daly(46)

Referee; Liz Dempsey, Kilkenny

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