University of Galway romp home in Purcell Cup camogie decider

University of Galway   5-27

SETU Carlow 1-9

UNIVERSITY of Galway delivered the perfect weekend culminating in a first camogie Purcell Cup in six years last Sunday following this 30-point demolition of SETU Carlow.

It came just 23 hours after Kevin Connolly’s side took apart Mary Immaculate College (Mary I) in the semi-final by 4-11 to 0-8 and his charges showed no signs of fatigue as they wrapped up this decider well before half-time.

Goals in the second quarter from Tegan Canning, Aoife Power, Áine O’Loughlin and Mairéad Dillon had the hosts in Bekan 18-points up at the interval. And there was still time for 17 more scores with 12 different players finding the target over the hour.

After playing their respective semi-finals outside, both teams came indoors to a different environment but for University of Galway, it was business as usual. Tiffanie Fitzgerald and Niamh McPeake both split the posts inside the opening minute. Muireann Faherty then set up Dillon for a third before a Ciara Kavanagh free got SETU off the mark.

The Carlow college were managed by Kilkenny legend Ann Downey, but they had a frustrating half trying to match UG’s relentlessness. Downey was sent off for venting her anger at referee Gavin Donegan before half-time but still returned to the sideline for the second period.

Catherine Hanley landed a Galway free before Tegan Canning delivered her first quality score out left on six minutes making it 0-5 to 0-1. After Aimee Nolan got Carlow’s first from play, another Canning special was signalled wide after initially been given.

Galway’s momentum slowed as SETU reduced arrears. After Hanley added another free, Aimee Collier and Kavanagh left the visitors 0-6 to 0-4 behind on 13 minutes. Hanley also saw a penalty go wide.

But it was only a matter of time before University of Galway opened the floodgates and Canning made the breakthrough. Ciara Hickey’s influence was growing and she set up the Mullagh winger who rattled the net. Hickey responded with two more points.

And on 17 minutes, Dillon and McPeake did the spadework before Aoife Power’s work rate resulted in the second goal. Another Canning white flag on 21 minutes had the Galway college 2-9 to 0-4 clear.

Kavanagh’s free gave Carlow a temporary reprieve but Galway weren’t in the mood to let up. Canning and McPeake both finished strong moves and the half concluded with two more goals.

Dillon and Power helped Aine O’Loughlin to the third green flag. And wing back Joanne Daly pushed forward in injury time to allow Dillon reap a fourth goal her efforts deserved.

What was impressive about University of Galway was their link up play and ability to move between the lines swiftly. And while SETU Carlow had improved fortunes during the third quarter, scoring1-4, they couldn’t make any inroads. Points from McPeake, Dillon (2), Olwen Rabbitte and Laura Kelly were complemtented by the fifth goal.

Alannah Kelly’s ball into the square only found defender Sarah Condon, but the Limerick player’s attempted clearance was blocked down by Power and she got her second.

University of Galway led 5-16 to 1-9 entering the final quarter with Sophie Bermingham getting Carlow’s three-pointer. They wouldn’t trouble the umpires again as Galway concluded with 11 unanswered points.

Pictured: The University of Galway camogie team which captured the Purcell Cup by overcoming SETU Carlow in the Connacht GAA Air Dome in Bekan on Sunday. Back row, left to right: Niamh Spellman (Kilconieron), Ciara Hickey (Davitts), Leah Cummins (Turloughmore), Cliodhna Ní Mhianaín (Derry), Muireann Faherty (Ballinderreen), Alannah Kelly (Portumna), Olwen Rabbitte (Athenry), Sabina Rabbitte (Athenry), Catherine Hanley (Davitts), Jessica Donlon (Carnmore), Mairéad Dillon (Kilconieron), Sarah Lyons (Kiltormer), Laura Freeney (Athenry), Laura Kelly (Salthill/Knocknacarra), Paige Foley (Kilkenny), Aíne O’Loughlin (Clare), Cría Langton (Kilkenny). Front row: Emily O’Connor (Sylane), Reitséal Kelly (Sarsfields), Jacqueline Glynn (Skehana), Maoiloisa Walsh (Turloughmore), Joanne Daly (Sarsfields), Tiffanie Fitzgerald (Kilkenny), Niamh McPeake (Liam Mellows), Tegan Canning (Mullagh), Keisha Coleman (Craughwell), Fiona Ryan (Ballinderreen), Aoife Power (Clare), Sorcha McGinley (Salthill/Knocknacarra).

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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