Gallant Galway crush Déise dreams

Gallant Galway crush Déise dreams

Galway 1-12

Waterford 1-09

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Galway saw off a spirited display from Waterford to book their place in the All-Ireland semi-finals - bringing the curtain down on Waterford's summer.


Aoife Donohoe's second-half goal proved crucial for the Tribeswomen as they inflicted a sixth successive defeat upon the Deise.

Carrie Dolan opened the scoring for Galway after 90 seconds with a well-taken free, and alarm bells rang moments later with the sight of Player of the Year Beth Carton being down treated by three members of the Waterford backroom team.

As Beth Carton often does - she got up and got on with it and from the recycled ball - Tara Power was picked out by Abby Flynn but her effort was well saved by Sarah Healy.

From the requisite '45 - Carton opened her account and the Deise were level on 5 minutes.


It was then Waterford goalkeeper Brianna O'Regan's turn to play hero as she saved excellently from Niamh McPeake who had combined well with Ailish O'Reilly - but Niamh Mallon was on hand to send over the first point from play.

A bright start from Abby Flynn saw her draw a free which Carton fired over to make it two points apiece.

Dolan then broke up field and burst past three Deise defenders before offloading to Niamh Mallon - and she was on hand to fire her second point from play in the opening ten minutes, before Niamh Niland fired wide. That said, every time Cathal Murray's side got forward, they posed a real threat - while Rachael Hanniffy started strongly at the back, winning her individual duel with Niamh Rockett.

It was Ailish O'Reilly's turn to split the posts next as she capitalised on a poor Waterford handpass to move Galway two ahead. Hawkeye was then used at HQ to Waterford's benefit - as Orla Hickey opened her account with the Deise's first from play.

The impressive Mallon then turned provider to McPeake as Galway went 5-3 to the good. A third dead-ball of the afternoon from Carton reduced arrears to the minimum before Hickey fired wide when primed to level matters once more.

Tara Power then fired just short before another opportunity missed when Roisin Kirwan chose the wrong option when picked out by Hickey, and the injured Kirwan was then replaced by Annie Fitzgerald.

Player-of-the-match Dervla Higgins then added the score of the half as she opened out her shoulders and let rip to split the posts - but both defences were holding firm and giving attackers little room for manoeuvre.

Hanniffy and Higgins were superb at the back for Galway and their work was rewarded when Galway moved three in front courtesy of Niamh Niland - and few could argue that they weren't deserving of that advantage approaching the interval, as Waterford's final ball was deserting them.

The Deise were afforded four added minutes to try and arrest that slump, but the Tribeswomen were resolute and resilient in defence, forming a maroon wall which Jerry Wallace's side couldn't quite breach.

Galway proved they weren't perfect despite that contrary evidence, as a mistake allowed Niamh Rockett to open her account. Galway 0-7 Waterford 0-5 at the break - all to play for at GAA HQ.

The second period began in a similar vein to the first - with Carrie Dolan knocking over a free for the 2021 champions, amid a scrappy start from both sides - which didn't make for the most beautiful spectacle.

Following more rucks than an average Six Nations series, Waterford's woes were compounded when Carton fired uncharacteristically wide from a free - with pressure beginning to tell.

As is often the case, in pressure moments - big players step up - and up stepped Niamh Rockett to drive at the Tribeswomen and fire over her second of the day. Just like that, it was a one-point affair as Carton followed suit and made no mistake this time to notch her fourth of the afternoon.

Disaster struck for the Deise soon after though - as on 39 minutes, Aoife Donohoe raced through and was denied by O'Regan, but tapped home at the second attempt to drive a dagger into the Deise hearts and move the Westerners four points in front - Galway 1-08 Waterford 0-07.

Mairead O'Brien - who had struck 6-2 from play in this championship prior to today, was blooded in place of Kate Lynch as Jerry Wallace summoned all-out attack. With just 15 minutes left, it was time to throw the kitchen sink.

The lead soon stretched to five via the stick of Carrie Dolan, but a piece of All-Star quality from Niamh Rockett saw her bring her tally to 0-3 and buoy the Deise cause. Dolan was a cause of concern for Waterford again as she once again made it a five-point affair - and one began to feel Waterford needed a goal, and fast.

The perfect opportunity arrived shortly afterward as an outstanding pass from Carton found Rockett in space and she was dragged down by Dervla Higgins for a 51st-minute penalty.

Shooting into the Canal goal, Carton fired home the penalty into the right-hand corner - game on, Waterford weren't going down without a fight.

In need of another lift, Wallace called on goalkeeper Brianna O'Regan to take a long-range free - and who more reliable to call upon as she showed confidence in the extreme to fire over to leave the game hanging upon a knife edge.

Aoife Donohoe calmed the growing Galway nerves as she wriggled away from Clodagh Carroll to raise a white flag. A great piece of fielding saw Laoise Forrest win a crucial free for Waterford, and as the extra minutes were about to be announced - Carton's free tailed left and wide and Deise heads were in their hands.

Five more minutes were called as hearts were in mouths for all in attendance at Croke Park - were Galway to make it six wins on the spin against Waterford or could it be a famous day for the Deise?

The heroic Dervla Higgins dealt with everything that came her way to Waterford's demise, but Orla McGrath fired wide and handed another opportunity for the Deise to break.

Try as they might, Waterford couldn't find the elusive score - and the fresh legs of subsitute Olwyn Rabbitte saw her maraud in maroon up the field to split the posts and seemingly make it a three point victory for the Tribeswomen.

O'Regan dropped a free into the square as the Deise searched desperately for a second green flag - but Maggie Gostl's flick went wide.

A devastating day for the Deise as Galway march on to join Dublin, Tipperary and Cork in the last four.

Waterford's summer is over, but their heads can be held high following another valiant performance.

WATERFORD: Brianna O'Regan; Kate Lynch, Clodagh Carroll, Mairead Power; Keeley Corbett Barry, Laoise Forrest, Orla Hickey; Beth Carton, Lorraine Bray; Niamh Rockett, Roisin Kirwan, Allannah McNulty; Abby Flynn, Bevin Bowdren, Tara Power

SUBS: Annie Fitzgerald for Roisin Kirwan (24); Sarah Lacey for Tara Power (35); Rachel Walsh for Mairead Power (36); Mairead O'Brien for Kate Lynch (43); Maggie Gostl for Lorraine Bray (55)

SCORERS: Beth Carton (1-4; 1-0 pen; 0-2f; 0-1 '45); Niamh Rockett (0-3); Brianna O'Regan (0-1; 0-1f); Orla Hickey (0-1)

GALWAY: Sarah Healy; Rachael Hanniffy, Roisin Black, Dervla Higgins; Ally Hesnan, Aine Keane, Ciara Hickey; Aoife Donohoe, Niamh Kilkenny; Carrie Dolan, Niamh McPeake, Niamh Niland; Niamh Mallon, Niamh Hanniffy, Ailish O'Reilly

SUBS: Orla McGrath for Niamh Niland (42); Olwen Rabbitte for Ally Hesnan (57); Sabina Rabbitte for Niamh Kilkenny (58)

SCORERS: Carrie Dolan (0-4; 0-4f); Aoife Donohoe (1-1); Niamh Mallon (0-2); Dervla Higgins, Olwyn Rabbitte, Niamh McPeake, Ailish O'Reilly and Niamh Niland (0-1 each)

REFEREE: Ray Kelly (Kildare)

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