GALWAY LGFA: (Match Report) – GALWAY 0-13 WESTMEATH 0-7

Aine McDonagh of Galway. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile

(Photo – Ladies Football)

Ladies National Football League – Sunday, 8th April 

Galway 0-13 Westmeath 0-7 

Darren Kelly in St. Loman’s, Mullingar 

They made tough work of it but Galway won’t mind as they secured their place in the Ladies National Football League semi-finals last Sunday.  Strong finishes to both halves gave Stephen Glennon’s charges the desired result putting them into a final four showdown with Dublin in two weeks’ time.

With Donegal beating Cork on Saturday night and Mayo dominant over Monaghan, it was all about a result for Galway who’d advance past the Tir Conaill women based on the criteria of kicking more white flags in February’s head-to-head match.

Some of Westmeath’s results, including their nine-goal trimming to Donegal, would have questioned their right to play Division One football.  But their improvement over the seven round series showed how important this competition is to emerging counties.

And they looked up to the task as Fiona Claffey got the game’s opening score.  While Galway were in a contest, they could have made life easier for themselves kicking 12 wides.  But Roisin Leonard, making her first start of the year, got her first minor on three minutes.

Westmeath went back in front through Fiona Coyle before Mairead Seoighe split the posts.  Karen Hegarty got in behind the Galway defence on 17 minutes to put Westmeath 0-3 to 0-2 ahead but Galway finished the half with five unanswered points started by Tracey Leonard’s equalising score.

Galway led for the first time as Roisin Leonard scored and Olivia Divilly finished a move for a 0-5 to 0-3 lead on 27 minutes.  Leanne Coen saw one effort go across goal but she did add two points in injury time.  The first blazed just over the crossbar; the second made it 0-7 to 0-3 at half-time.

Within two minutes of the restart, Hegarty converted two Westmeath points.  Tracey Leonard settled Galway with two points and Ailbhe Davoren registered for a 0-10 to 0-5 advantage.  However, Hegarty and Laura Lee Walsh troubled the umpires either side of a Burke yellow card leaving Galway with just 14 players until injury time.  But Galway’s growing maturity continues to shine as Tracey Leonard, Emma Reaney and Leanne Walsh kicked the insurance points.

Galway: Dearbhla Gower; Sarah Lynch, Noelle Connolly, Sinead Burke; Leanne Walsh (0-1), Nicola Ward, Charlotte Cooney; Lisa Gannon, Aine McDonagh; Ailbhe Davoren (0-1), Tracey Leonard (0-4, one free), Olivia Divilly (0-1); Mairead Seoighe (0-1), Roisin Leonard (0-2), Leanne Coen (0-2).  Subs used: Sarah Conneally for R. Leonard (41 mins), Emma Reaney (0-1) for Seoighe (44 mins), Deirdre Brennan for Davoren (60 mins).

Westmeath: Karen Walsh; Laura Brennan, Amie Giles, Nicole Feery; Rachel Dillon, Jennie Rogers, Fiona Coyle (0-1); Karen McDermott, Fiona Claffey (0-1); Lucy McCartan, Maud Annie Foley, Johanna Maher; Kelly Boyce Jordan, Laua Lee Walsh (0-1), Karen Hegarty (0-4, two frees).  Subs used: Ellen Cronin for Claffey (34 mins), Ciara Blundell for Jordan (44 mins), Anna Jones for Coyle (54 mins).

Referee: Gerry Carmody (Roscommon)