Galway girls celebrate national cup victory

Galway WFC have been crowned U17 Só Hotels Women’s National League Cup champions after a 2-1 win over Peamount United at Eamonn Deacy Park on Sunday afternoon.

An own-goal and a header from Saoirse Healey were enough for the side to claim the club’s first title in their history, despite a late rally from Peamount and a goal from Ava Donlan.

Understandably manager Phil Trill was delighted with the win, having made it to the final last year, and he is now hoping his team can push on when they contest the semi-final of the league.

“Very happy. I am hoping it will do the girls the world of good to concede and hold on, and hopefully that grit and determination will help us to push on against Sligo in the league semi-final. Alhtough we beat them 5-0 on the way to the cup final, we also lost to them 3-2, and a local derby will always be tough,” Trill says.

Trill said Peamount made it hard for Galway.

“To be fair, Peamount had beaten Cork, Shelbourne and Wexford on their way here, and they have international players. They were dogged, and it could have gone either way in large spells, but I think our passing brought us through in the end.

“Both players and managers are now very focused on our next two games - one is guaranteed, but we hope there are two games.”

Galway had much of the possession in the first half, but Casey Palmer was impressive at the back for Peamount, foiling Galway’s advances on several occasions.

In the 16th minute her pressure on Anna Fahey in the box forced the striker into rushing her chance, which she pulled wide of the goal. And when Saoirse Healey went on an impressive run into the box in the 20th minute, Palmer managed to block her effort at the last second.

However the Galway girls were finally rewarded in the 43rd minute, courtesy of an own goal - Fiona Owens unlucky to get the last touch as the ball nestled into her own goal. It came from a dangerous cross into the box from the left flank and it ended up being turned into Peamount’s goal as both Owens and Galway’s Kayla Brady went for the ball.

Galway doubled their lead in the 52nd minute when Annie Gough sent the ball into the box from a corner, all the way to the back post where the unmarked Healey nodded the ball into the net.

Peamount, however, to set up a tense finish as they finally got a foothold in the game with eight minutes remaining. A corner from the right hand side from Watkins was met in the crowded box by Ava Donnelan who laid claim to it and forced the ball over the line.

Despite the Dublin club’s advances late into the game, Galway managed to hold strong to claim the title, having been beaten by Shelbourne in last year’s decider.

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