High drama as Galway, Kerry, Mayo and Laois book All-Ireland U16 A and B final slots

By Cóilín Duffy

HOLDERS Galway will meet Kerry in the All-Ireland Under 16 ‘A’ Ladies Football decider, while Mayo will take on Laois in the ‘B’ Final on July 25th, following Wednesday’s dramatic semi-final action.
Reigning All-Ireland Champions Galway are on the hunt for silverware once more, after a 3-22 to 4-4 win over Donegal at Owenmore Gaels GAA Club in Sligo.
Galway led by 2-12 to 2-4 at half-time, but trailed 1-0 to 0-2 after five minutes, after a Niamh McDonald goal.
Kate Slevin responded immediately with a goal for Galway, before Megan Havlin netted Donegal’s second goal at the start of the second quarter.
Galway drove on, with 1-8 without reply before the break, including an Eva Noone goal in the fourth minute of injury-time.
Therese Kinnevey got the Tribeswomen’s third goal 12 minutes into the second half, to open up a 14-point gap.
Havlin and McDonald responded with goals for Donegal, but Galway had that bit more to see them through to the decider.
Kerry dug deep in extra-time, to deliver a 6-18 to 4-16 win over Kildare in Sean Treacy Park.
The Kingdom girls delivered a place in their third final in four years against last year’s ‘B’ winners.
Goals from Siofra O’Shea and Ciara McCarthy in each period helped them to an eight-point win.
Earlier, Kerry led by 2-5 to 1-5 at half-time, with both of their goals coming early on, including one from Danielle O’Leary.
There were goals galore on the restart, with O’Shea adding both of Kerry’s second half goals, while Katie O’Loughlin netted a hat-trick for Kildare.
O’Loughlin’s third goal levelled the tie at 4-10 apiece on 51 minutes.
Although Kildare twice went ahead, Kerry moved in front, before a superb Aoife Rattigan score for Kildare forced extra-time.
Kerry proved strongest in extra-time to book a final date.

Mayo will take part in the All-Ireland B final for the first time since 2010, after a comprehensive 9-16 to 2-6 win over Armagh in Mullahoran.
The Connacht side led throughout and were 2-10 to 0-0 ahead, before Armagh opened their account in the 28th minute.
The Orchard County claimed an impressive opening score, with a well worked goal from Corina Doyle.
Mayo claiming two goals in five minutes midway through the half, thanks to a Tara Needham penalty, and a Erin Murray effort.
Armagh cut the gap as Mayo led 2-11 to 1-3 at the break, but Needham and Co. were ruthless on the restart.
Goals from Finola Collins, Ciara Middleton (2) and Louise Dowling (3) helped Mayo to a 8-16 to 1-6 lead with five minutes remaining.
A Maria Cannon goal opened up a 34-point lead with one minute remaining, with Armagh gaining a consolation goal in injury-time from Brianna Mathers.
It was much tighter in Cahir, but Laois still had plenty to spare, as they booked a place in their first final since 2014, with a 3-15 to 4-3 win over Limerick.
Limerick led by 3-2 to 2-2 at half-time. Sarah O’Brien (2), Annie Giltenane and Phena Herbert claiming Limerick’s goals over the hour
Leah Tarpey and Lisa Keane both scored 1-1 for Laois in the opening half, with substitute Kelly O’Neill also claiming that tally on the restart.
Della Doherty was the O’Moore’s top-scorer with seven points.

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