Galway and Dublin Inseperable in Minor A Decider

Dublin 3-10

Galway 3-10


By Jackie Cahill at MacDonagh Park, Nenagh


CIANA Ni Churraoin’s injury-time point salvaged a draw for Galway at the end of an incredible All-Ireland minor A ladies football final against Dublin at MacDonagh Park, Nenagh, on Monday afternoon.

Holders Dublin had come from eleven points down to almost snatch victory at the death when sub Margaret Mohan and wing-forward Carla Rowe netted stoppage time goals.

But there was still time for Ni Churraoin, sister of Galway senior footballer Fiontan, to respond and earn a deserved replay for the Westerners.

Galway won comfortably when these counties met in an All-Ireland U16 semi-final two years ago but looked winners from an early stage as three first half goals helped them to lead by 3-5 to 0-5 at half-time.

Ni Churraoin, Emma Reaney and Shauna Hynes all netted for the Tribeswomen and red-hot favourites Dublin, who trailed by 0-3 to 3-5 approaching the break, were in all sorts of trouble.

The Sky Blues couldn’t capitalise on sin-binnings for both of Galway’s corner backs – Michelle Joyce and Alice Meagher – as the Tribeswomen had the upper hand.

The second half was even more bizarre as both sides finished without their full compliment of players.

Galway wing-back Emilie Gavin was issued with a straight red card 13 minutes from time.

And in the closing minutes, Dublin lost the services of Muireann Ní Scanaill and Mohan to yellow cards.

Shortly after half-time, Leah Mullins dragged Dublin back into contention with a scrappy goal from close range, after Rowe’s free caused havoc in the Galway full-back line.

Bit by bit, Dublin inched their way back into contention but Galway were five points ahead in stoppage time before Mohan and Rowe struck to turn the game on its head.

In front of a vocal attendance, it looked like there was more heartbreak on the cards for Galway against Dublin but Ní Churraoin stepped forward with a fine point from play to level the game.

And Galway, powered by the Ward sisters Nicola and Louise, felt aggrieved soon after when Delahunty awarded a free out to Dublin for overcarrying when Tribes wing-forward Olivia Divilly appeared to have been fouled.

Delahunty blew for full-time seconds later to end the game that had everything.


Scorers for Dublin: C Rowe 1-2 (0-2f), M Mohan 1-1, L Mullins 1-0, M Davoren 0-2, M Lamb, C McGuigan, É Rutledge, M McGrath & K Dwyer 0-1 each.


Scorers for Galway: C Ni Churraoin 1-3 (0-1f), S Hynes 1-2, E Reaney 1-0, O Divilly 0-2 (1f), N Ward, L Ward & D Kehoe 0-1 each.


DUBLIN: E Ní Éafa; A Curran, M Ní Scanaill, N Harney; C Regan, O Carey, K Murray; F Tuite, M Lamb; C Rowe, M Davoren, N Rickard; C McGuigan, L Mullins, É Rutledge.


Subs: D Mullany for Regan (29), K Dwyer for McGuigan (h.t.), A O’Brien for Harney (37), M Mohan for Tuite (43), M McGrath for Davoren (55).


GALWAY: C Ní Laoí; A Meagher, S Gormally, M Joyce; E Gavin, N Ward, M Glynn; S Gavin, M Heneghan; O Divilly, L Ward, S Hynes; E Reaney, C Ni Churraoin, M Kelly.


Subs: D Keane for Kelly (44), N Conway for Joyce (56), S Ní Shuilleabháin for Meagher (60+3).


Referee: K Delahunty (Tipperary).

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