Brave Blues lose to talented Tribe
THE stone walls were a giveaway. Galway country. The home defence didn't lack cement.
Kenny Park is in the heart of Athenry. Lovely pitch. Terracing and a stand.
The sun shone. Good crowd.
Hopper McGrath had two daughters on the Galway side, Niamh and Orlaith. Both made major impacts in the 3-21 to 1-5 victory over Dublin in the Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Senior Championship last Saturday.
Niamh hit eight points, six from the placed ball. Orlaith returned 2-3.
Aislinn Connolly is the daughter of John. She scored two points.
Anne Marie Hayes was majestic at centre half-back. Her uncle is Conor Hayes.
The All-Ireland champions don't lack pedigree. Sarah Dervan excelled at full-back.
Niamh Kilkenny flourished at midfield. And the Galway bench was made of the finest timber.
The result was known a long way from harbour. Before the last whistle, some in the attendance left to see the last of the Clare-Wexford hurling drama.
But Dublin kept going. They had only a point to stir their tea at the break, 1-12 to 0-1.
But, with the breeze, they brought more zest to their efforts thereafter. And they covered more miles than Eddie Stobart.
Late on, the brilliant Aoife Donoghue turned past Dublin defender, Emma Whyte. But Emma found the energy from somewhere to win back possession.
Dublin goalkeeper, Kate Whyte, displayed crisp distribution.
And she made the save-of-the-match early in the second period when she dived full length to foil Orlaith McGrath.
Grainne Quinn got in some mighty clearances. Mairi Moynihan too. Sarah Ryan foraged at full-forward.
She was rewarded with a goal ten minutes into the second half. But within seconds, the hosts replied with their second goal from Orlaith McGrath.
Orlaith was also credited with their opening goal on eight minutes when her shot skipped past a cluster of sticks.
The Blues began brightly.They were attacking the pavilion end, and within 23 seconds of the throw-in, Miriam Twomey sent the sliotar soaring over the bar.
But Galway then began to dominate matters, producing some tasty points.
Dublin's spirits were lifted by four scores on the bounce in the opening pages of the second period, two from Orlaith Durkan, one from Ali Twomey and Ryan's goal from a tight angle on the left - 1-13 to 1-4.
Yet Galway finished well. Ailish O'Reilly got their third goal after Twomey's free completed Dublin's tally.