Bonner the late hero as Donegal salvage draw against Galway

Lidl National Football League Division 1

Donegal 1-13 Galway 0-16

By Chris McNulty

Yvonne Bonner was ice cool on her home turf in Glenfin to arrow over a superb 40-metre free that earned Donegal a last-ditch draw with Galway.

Bonner knows Pairc Taobhoige like the back of her hand and the Donegal ace landed the perfect free to rescue this one from the embers.

Donegal led at half-time, but lost their way in the second half and looked to be heading for defeat when sub Mairead Seoighe’s four points had them with their noses in front heading down the home stretch.

But Donegal dug deep and Bonner was the hero of the hour with a long-range free that gets their first point of the league on the board.

Niamh Hegarty put Donegal ahead after just ten seconds, but three Tracey Leonard frees saw Galway respond well.

Yvonnne Bonner helped herself to three points and Doherty clipped over another and the teams were level heading for the half-hour marker when Donegal assumed a real grasp of the game.

Doherty raced forward in an excellent passage of play. After a series off give-and-goes, the Carndonagh woman found herself in an advanced position.

A final exchange with Bonner allowed Doherty in on goal and the defender riffled past Dearbhla Gower.

Aoife McDonnell landed a majestic point to give Donegal a four-point lead, but Leonard kept Galway in touch with frees. 

It was the 30th minute before Emma Reaney notched their first from play, but Katy Herron and Karen Guthrie helped the home side lead 1-8 to 0-8 at half-time.

Donegal keeper Aoife McColgan brilliantly denied Reaney after Aine McDonagh teed her up. 

Further McColgan saves to thwart Ailbhe Davoren and Reaney again ensured that Donegal were still in the hunt after Galway went into the driving seat with six points in the final ten minutes. 

Scorers – Donegal: Y Bonner (4f) 0-6, T Doherty 1-1, K Guthrie (2f) 0-3, A McDonnell, N Hegarty, K Herron 0-1 each

Galway: T Leonard 0-7f, M Seoighe (2f) 0-4, E Reaney (1f) 0-3, S Connolly 0-2

Donegal: A McColgan; T Doherty, N McLaughlin, O McCafferty; AM McGlynn, C Hegarty, Aoife McDonnell; K Herron, E Gallagher; K Guthrie, N Hegarty, B McLaughlin; Alanah McDonnell, Y Bonner, SJ McDonald.

Subs: G Houston for Gallagher (36), N Carr for McGlynn (48), E Ward for McDonald (50), R Friel for Alanah McDonnell (50).

Galway: D Gower; B Quinn, N Connolly, E Gavin; C Cooney, N Ward, S Burke; A McDonagh, S Divilly; L Walsh, L Ward, D Brennan; E Reaney, T Leonard, O Divilly.

Subs: A Davoren for Leonard (40), S Connolly for Quinn (42), F Cooney for O.Divilly (44), M Seoighe for Ward (47), L Gannon for Walsh (51),  L Coen for S.Divilly (55), S Molloy for Cooney (57).

Referee: G Chapman (Sligo)

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