Leonard's hat-trick propels Galway to second league win

alway Ladies are keeping pace with leaders Cork after recording their second win in division one of the Lidl NFL at the weekend.

Now they will enjoy a week's break from division one action before heading to the capital for a round four fixture with Dublin, who are three points before Galway after the opening three rounds.

Last weekend it was Tracey Leonard's hat-trick of goals that helped Galway notch a 3-12 to 4-5 victory over Donegal in Letterkenny, while Cork continued unbeaten.

Galway were forced to work hard after a poor start, but Leonard says it is all about character.

“We dug deep on a day that wasn’t for fancy football or anything," said Leonard. " We had to fight for it and that’s what got us over the line. We have been in awkward situations before and it’s just a matter of getting back to the process and taking it from there.”

A well-taken goal by Amy Boyle Carr on eight minutes had put the home side into a 1-1 to 0-1 lead, before Galway replied with the first goal of their own when a wind-assisted ‘45 from Roisín Leonard got a touch from Tracey Leonard to trickle over the goalline.

However, by the 13th minute, the home side had gone ahead by 3-1 to 1-2 courtesy of goals from Nicole Gordon and Geraldine McLaughlin.

Tim Rabbitt’s Galway scored the last five points of the half, through three frees, one from play from Tracey Leonard, as well as a Sarah Conneally score to level 3-1 to 1-7 at the break.

Galway went ahead for the first time with a Roisín Leonard free, this time in the 32nd minute, while at the other end Fabienne Cooney denied McLaughlin a second goal.

However, it was Tracey Leonard’s excellence in front of goal that propelled Galway. In the 39th minute she slotted home a Lucy Hannon pass for her second goal, and although Gordon managed to get a goal on 41 minutes, and McLaughlin levelled it up from a free, 4-4 to 2-10, Roisín Leonard edged Galway in front by the minimum.

Tracey Leonard then completed her hat-trick of goals on 51 minutes - Charlotte Cooney providing the assist - to ensure Galway maintain their push for the top.

Scorers: Galway, T Leonard 3-4 (3f ), R Leonard 0-3 (1f ), L Hannon 0-2, A Davoren 0-1, O Divilly 0-1, S Conneally 0-1.

Galway: L Diskin; S Lynch, N Connolly, S Molloy; L Noone, C Cooney, F Cooney; A Davoren, O Divilly; L Coen, S Conneally, A Trill; L Hannon, T Leonard, R Leonard. Subs: C Miskell for Noone (46 ), A Morrissey for Conneally (52 ), S Divily for Davoren (56 ), C Crowe for Connolly (60 ), R Ni Flaharta for Hannon (60+3 ).

 

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