By the sounds of it, this afternoon’s Connacht LGFA decider at MacHale Park was a real belter. Champions Galway led by four at the break but great rally by the home team saw them lead before Galway hit back to force a draw. The replay will take place on 7th July, with the finer details to be confirmed later.
Galway grabbed the initiative in this contest right from the start, with Louise Ward rattling the Mayo net two minutes in. Mayo’s hopes of getting back on terms weren’t helped when Ciara Whyte was sin-binned and the visitors instead went on to increase their advantage to five points.
Three points on the spin, however, from Sinead Cafferkey, Sara Rowe (a free) and Rachel Kearns, brought the challengers back into it but Galway responded with two points at the other end to lead by four at half-time.
Galway extended their lead with a point on the resumption but Mayo hit back straight away, with Rachel Kearns sliding the ball to the net. A second Mayo goal followed, this one from Eilis Ronayne, with the challengers now in front and hopes of a shock victory rising.
But back came Galway, with three points without reply putting them back in front. The action was now swinging from end to end and the home team got the chance to go back in front when they were awarded a penalty, for a foul on Fiona Doherty that saw Galway’s goalkeeper Lisa Murphy sin-binned. Sarah Rowe’s spot-kick was, however, saved by Galway’s substitute ‘keeper Dearbhla Gower.
A point from captain Niamh Kelly, followed by a superb solo goal by her sister Grace, put Mayo back in the driving seat once again. In a frantic finish, however, Niamh Kelly was red-carded and then Galway snatched an equalising point with five minutes still left on the clock.
They had a chance to win it too when they were awarded a free forty metres out, which was moved up for dissent. Captain Tracey Leonard miscued her effort at the posts, however, and so the game ended level.
Match reports: Mayo Advertiser, Galway Bay FM, Irish Times.
3 thoughts on “Ladies final ends level”
Was in Castlebar and I have to say a draw was a fair result. How will the replay go? Think Galway will be a bit more up for it as I suspect they may have been a little bit complacent. The missed free at the end was, I think, an example of pressure getting to the taker as there would not have been time for a Mayo reply. Plus and against for the on field clock. On the other hand it should do Mayo’s confidence no end of good and one or two players, particularly Sarah Rowe, have room for improvement. Sarah penalty effort was a poor one, hit at an ideal height for the keeper and just before that she hit a very scorable free wide from the left having claimed the ball from Grace Kelly. Sarah should not be taking frees from her left. Congrats to corner back Danielle Caldwell on the Player of the Match award. She put in some storming ball carrying runs down the wing , esp. just when they were needed in the second half.
Only one comment on Ladies Conacht Final! Does that say something about our collective rating of Ladies sport?
The foot pass to Grace Kelly for Mayo’s 3rd goal was sublime & deserves recognition. The team members & above all their coach Peter Leahy, deserve our gratitude for gaining some respite from successive Galway defeats inflicted upon Mayo GAA teams over the past few years.