Galway Ladies claim top spot in league with win over Donegal

Galway Ladies overcame Donegal by 2-13 to 0-10 to top the table after the final round of the Lidl National Football League division one.

It means the two sides will meet again in the league semi-final on April 20 after results elsewhere left the Tir Conaill women in fourth place (on points difference ), while Cork and Dublin will meet again in a replay of last year's All Ireland final.

Donegal enjoyed the better start, scoring the first two points in Corofin on Sunday, but Galway soon began to take over. They went ahead with two points through local player Leanne Coem, after Mairead Seoighe and Megan Glynn had brought the teams lack on terms.

With the sides trading points, it was clear a goal or two would be needed to decide the winner, and the home side scored two before half-time. First, a quick free was popped to captain Tracey Leonard, who showed great composure to finish past the keeper. The second came off a strong surging run from Oilvia Divilly, who was eventually brought down for a penalty, which was scored by Roisin Leoanrd. The first half finished with Galway in control, leading 2-8 to 0-6.

After the break Donegal again started well with the first two scores, but Galway regain the momentum with three unaswered points. With Galway looking likely winners, manager Tim Rabbitte began to make changes to his side, but Galway still maintained their defensive solidity.

Donegal needed at least a goal to get back into contention, but they failed to create any clear-cut chances for themselves, while Galway, not wanting to rest on their laurels, continued to push forward. They finished their scoring with points from Roisin Leonard and one from substitute Rhiona Ni Flatharta.

Particularly pleasing from this final round fixture was Galway's defensive dominance as they head towards championship action and another clash with Mayo in Castlebar.

With six wins from seven in the league, Galway finished top, as well as having the second highest scoring difference.

They can expect a backlash from Donegal when they meet in the semi-final, but having already beaten Cork, and only losing narrowly to Dublin, these ladies will go into the game full of confidence.

Scorers: Galway : T Leonard 1-3 (1f ), R Leonard 1-3 (1-0pen, 1f ), L Coen 0-2, M Seoighe 0-1, M Glynn 0-1, O Divilly 0-1, B Hannon 0-1, R Ni Flahartha 0-1. Donegal: K Guthrie 0-7 (2f ), N Hegarty 0-2 (1f ), M Ryan 0-1,

Galway: L Murphy, F Cooney, S Lynch, B Hannon; S Molloy, S Burke, C Cooney; L Ward, L Gannon, O Divilly, T Leonard (c ), M Glynn, R Leonard, M Seoighe, L Coen. Subs: S Conneally for M Seoighe (38 ), O Murphy for C Cooney (44 ), R Ni F for L Coen(44 ), B Murphy for B Hannon (52 ), C McCarthy for M Glynn (59 ), A Thompson for R Leonard (59 ), A Coen for L Gannon (59 ).

Donegal: A McColgan, A McGlynn, E Gallagher, E McGinley, N Carr, N McLaughlin, N Boyle, T Hegarty, M Ryan, K Guthrie (c ), N Hegarty, A Boyle Carr, S McGroddy, R Friel, J Trearty. Subs: S McLaughlin for T Hegarty (HT ). K McClenaghan for J Trearty (48 ), N McDonald for R Friel (54 ).

Referee: G McMahon (Mayo ).

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