Lidl Ladies National Football League Division 1
IN tricky conditions this afternoon in Pearse Stadium in Salthill, both Mayo and Galway served up an intriguing encounter, with Peter Leahy’s charges surviving right at the death thanks to a late point-blank save from Mayo custodian Elaine Murphy to deny Emma Reaney.
First half goals from Grace Kelly and Sinead Cafferkey propelled Mayo into the ascendancy in the opening stanza, with the soft underfoot conditions posing problems for both sets of players. Rachel Kearns and Sarah Conneally traded early points, before Kelly grabbed a scrapbook goal when her dipping shot sailed over the head of Dearbhla Gower.
Kelly tagged on another point, with Gower also pulling off a superb save to deny Fiona McHale. Niamh Kelly opened her account in the 15th minute and moments later they extended their cushion to six points thanks to a superb strike from Sinead Cafferkey, following good link up play with Fiona McHale. Grace Kelly added another point, and then Galway broke a barren seventeen-minute spell without a score with Tracey Leonard on target.
Louise Ward and Leonard reduced the gap to seven, but an excellent score from Eilish Ronayne who popped up from corner-back got Mayo motoring again. Late scores from Catriona Cormican pared the deficit to six at the break for Galway.
Scores were at a premium in the early stages of the second period, with Shauna Howley knocking over a free. Indeed, the game turned scrappy with Galway’s Mairead Seoighe and Ailbhe Davoren brandished yellow cards by referee Seamus Mulvihill.
Fiona McHale once again forced Gower into producing another point blank save in the 47th minute, with Mayo’s Aileen Gilroy also sent to the sin-bin for a heavy foul on Louise Ward. Mayo captain Sarah Tierney was also flashed a yellow card for a late challenge on Olivia Divilly in the 55th minute.
Galway kicked into another gear in the closing stages, with Sarah Conneally reducing the gap to six points. Catriona Cormican gave Galway hope with a late strike, but in the end Mayo survived the late onslaught with a stern defensive display.
E Murphy; E Ronayne (0-1), N Moran, O Conlon; M Corbett, S Tierney, D Hughes: C McManamon, A Gilroy; S Cafferkey (1-0), F McHale, F Doherty; N Kelly (0-1), R Kearns (0-1), G Kelly (1-3).
S Ludden for C McManamon (32 mins), S Howley (0-1, 1f) for R Kearns (36 mins), R Flynn for D Hughes (53 mins), A Dowling for F Doherty (65 mins), S Mulvahill (67 mins)
D Gower; F Cooney, S Lynch, N Connolly; C Cormican (1-2), N Ward, S Burke; A McDonagh, A Davoren; L Gannon, L Ward (0-1), D Brennan; S Conneally (0-2), T Leonard (0-2, 2f), M Seioghe.
C Cooney for N Connolly (18 mins), O Divilly for D Brennan (ht), L Coen for A McDonagh (42 mins), S Molloy for F Cooney (47 mins), E Reaney for S Conneally (49 mins), L Walsh for L Ward (52 mins).
Referee: S Mulvihill (Kerry)