Galway ladies lose out to late Dublin goal

Galway’s Olivia Divillyon the ball against Sinead Aherne of Dublin during the Lidl Ladies Football National League division one semi-final match at Coralstown, Kinnegad GAA, in Kinnegad, Westmeath.

Galway’s Olivia Divillyon the ball against Sinead Aherne of Dublin during the Lidl Ladies Football National League division one semi-final match at Coralstown, Kinnegad GAA, in Kinnegad, Westmeath.

The Galway senior ladies will be totally gutted this week after losing by a single point to Dublin in the NFL division one semi-final on Sunday.

Galway were ahead for 59 minutes and led by two points going into injury time, 2-07 to 1-08 before Dublin struck for a late goal.

Unfortunately it was in the last mintue when Galway lost possession on the way out of defence before Dublin substitute Nicole Owens raced through from deep, played a few one-twos on the way forward, and then smacked a looping shot past Dearbhla Gower in the Galway goal to win by the narrowest of margins.

Dublin will now face Mayo who were far too strong for Cork in the other half of the draw, while Galway will be kicking themselves for a little naive play in the lead up to Owens' goal.

The Dublin forward was in possession twice before she walloped a good effort to the Galway net. Most other teams, including Dublin, might have taken a sin-binning at that stage of the game in order to stop the Dublin player.

Bright start

Galway had made a super start to the game and had the ball in the opposition net after only 60 seconds. Following strong support play and running from Tracey Leonard, Caitriona Cormican and Nicola Ward, Corofin's Leanne Coen popped the ball into the Dublin net.

At the other end goalkeeper Dearbhla Gower also made a few crucial saves that kept Galway in the ascendancy with the wind at their back. before they struck for another major.

After a super run by Áine McDonagh, Clonbur's Mairead Seoighe finished coolly to the net, and the maroon women led by 2-0 to 1-4 at the break.

Stephen Glennon's charges were 2-7 to 1-5 ahead on 38 minutes with Coen and Leonard raising white flags, but those were their final scores, which was to prove crucial.

Quesionable decisions

It is hard for any team to go without scoring for more than 20 minutes and still get a win, and Galway manager Stephen Glennon was understandably disappointed with the defeat to the raging hot favourites and current All-Ireland champions.

"We had the winning of the game in the palm of our hands," Glennon said. "That said, we are really proud of the girls. There were a fair few questionable decisions against us over the hour and we definitely did not get any of the marginal calls. However, we will have to suck that up and get on with things.

"Our girls put in a Trojan effort and their movement was very good, but Dublin came very strong in the last few minutes and unfortunately we lost possession on the way out near the end, and at this level you will be punished by the top teams."

Despite the defeat Glennon was looking at the positives after a progressive league campaign.

"We have made huge progress and we pushed the All-Ireland champions to a point and could have won. This group of girls never gives up and that is a crucial trait to have in any squad. We need to keep the score-boarding ticking over and we will learn from the defeat.

"We are not too far away from the top sides, and if we can show a little bit more composure in possession at times, then we can have a very good championship."

Galway: Dearbhla Gower, Fabienne Cooney, Sarah Lynch, Sinead Burke; Charlotte Cooney, Nicola Ward, Caitriona Cormican; Lisa Gannon, Olivia Divilly (0-1 ), Aine McDonagh, Tracey Leonard (cpt, 0-5, 4fs ), Ailbhe Davoren, Mairead Seoighe (1-0 ), Sarah Conneally, Leanne Coen (1-1 ). Subs used: Roisin Leonard for Conneally (41m ), Deirdre Brennan for Coen (46m ), Emma Reaney for Seoighe (54m ).

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