Galway Women’s FC completed their final game of the season forcing a well-earned 1-1 draw against league leaders Wexford Youths in Eamonn Deacy Park on Sunday afternoon.
This final fixture was one of the games of the year, with Galway denying the visitors a win and the championship crown. Now the league leaders will face a title decider against Shelbourne to wrap up this season's Continental Tyres Women's National League.
Galway came out strongest in the opening half and took the lead on 13 minutes. Therese Hartley played a ball out of her own half to Méabh De Búrca, whose cushioned header forward split the Wexford defence to allow Lynsey McKey run in on goal to finish past the advancing Tamara Furlong.
The goal rocked the crowd into life and Wexford, who should have been level on 26 minutes when Emma Hansberry fired over from six yards out.
Galway, too, had their chances to extend the lead when a great through ball from Jess Nolan found Elle O’Flaherty, but she was unable to get a shot away from close range, while at the other end Tina Hughes in the Galway goal pulled off a wonderful save from a Kylie Murphy volley.
Just before the hour mark Wexford equalised when former Galway captain Ruth Fahy headed home from a corner on her first visit back to Eamonn Deacy Park since her departure.
Wexford began to press for a winner, but a second Fahy header was excellently denied by Hughes. And they were given a lifeline with 16 minutes of injury time added as a result of a number of injuries in a fiercely contested second half. In the seventh additional minute Alana Moran nearly got a winner for the home side, but her shot went just wide, while on 105 minutes Kylie Murphy could have won the league for Wexford, but her shot also went wide.
The fixture was followed on Sunday evening by the Galway WFC awards in the Lough Rea Hotel and Spa. Keara Cormican was named player of the year, while her centre half partner Shauna Fox won the most improved player award. Aoife Walsh was named young player of the year.
The club also recognised the achievements of captain Méabh De Búrca on recently winning her 50th cap for Ireland, while Ireland’s first women’s soccer captain, Nono McHugh, was presented with her international cap by the FAI after a 43 year wait.
Galway WFC: Tina Hughes; Aoife Walsh, Keara Cormican, Shauna Fox, Chloe Moloney; Ellerose O’Flaherty (Aislinn Meaney 62 ), Méabh De Búrca, Therese Hartley, Caroline Carter (Lisa Casserly 74 ); Jess Nolan (Alana Moran 81 ), Lynsey McKey. Subs not used: Anesi Igunma, Sorcha Ni Bhraonáin, Carol Manion.