Third time lucky for Galway Ladies

Galway Ladies secure division one football after winning the Tesco Ladies National Football League division two crown on their third successive attempt.

Galway Ladies secure division one football after winning the Tesco Ladies National Football League division two crown on their third successive attempt.

Galway Ladies, unbeaten all season, claimed this year's NFL division two title to secure division one football next season.

Having lost finals in the past two seasons, Galway were deserved winners over Westmeath by 3-10 to 0-9.

Manager Barry Downey says it is "brilliant to be back" in division one.

"It is no less than the girls deserve after all the hard work they've put in. I told the girls this would be one of our toughest tests of the year, including championship."

Galway, however, had made a nervous start.

" I knew Westmeath would put us to the pin of our collar. Once the game opened up a bit we were able to kick on."

Galway led by 1-7 to 0-7 at the break - the difference being a penalty scored by Annette Clarke in the 19th minute after Louise Ward was upended by keeper Sarah Keegan who was sin-binned. And Westmeath suffered a second binning when Joanna Maher followed Keegan to the sideline.

Roisin Leonard scored four points - three from play - in the opening half, while Lorna Joyce added another two points before the break. Fiona Leavy kept Westmeath in touch with three of her four scores from free-kicks, but when Clarke converted a second penalty after the resumption, there was no way back for the Westmeath side.

Galway added their third goal within minutes through Barbara Hannon who put her side 3-9 to 0-7 ahead. Westmeath's only second-half scores came late in the game through a Leavy free and a Maher point .

Scorers: Galway: A Clarke 2-1 (2-0 pens ), B Hannon 1-1, R Leonard 0-4 (1f ), L Joyce 0-3, C Cormican 0-1. Westmeath: F Leavy 0-5 (4fs ); R Kearney, C Blundell, M Foley, J Maher 0-1.

GALWAY: J Connolly; N Ward, M Coyne, O Dixon; R McPhilbin, E Flaherty, S Burke (c ); A Clarke, G Conneally; A Daly, C Cormican, L Ward; B Hannon, L Joyce, R Leonard. Subs: O Divilly for Joyce (37 ), E Gannon for Leonard (47 ), M Moloney for Burke (54 ), G O'Connor for Hannon (57 ), S Conneally for Dixon (57 ).

WESTMEATH : S Keegan; A Martin (c ), R Dunne, T Durkan; J Rogers, A Giles, L Brennan; R Kearney, J Maher; C Blundell, M Foley, K McDermott; F Leavy, F Claffey, K Hegarty. Subs: C Kelly for McDermott (39 ), N Judge for Blundell (48 ), A Brady for Rogers (55 ), S Dolan for Leavy (57 ).

 

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