Mayo battle back but Galway hold on to claim Connacht title

LGFA: Connacht SFC Final; Mayo 1-8 Galway 1-12

Four points for Shauna: Shauna Howley hit four points for Mayo but Galway were able to see them off to claim the Connacht title. Photo: Sportsfile.

Four points for Shauna: Shauna Howley hit four points for Mayo but Galway were able to see them off to claim the Connacht title. Photo: Sportsfile.

Mayo put a poor first half behind them to work their way back into contention in this Connacht LGFA Senior Football Championship final on Sunday afternoon. 

But Galway were able to hold on to the advtange they had built up in the first half to hold off a second half surge from Mayo to claim the provincial title. 

Galway went in leading by five points at the break, having held Mayo scoreless until the final few moments of the first half.

The Tribeswomen were by far the better side in the first half having the majority of the possession and pushing up on Mayo’s kick-outs making it difficult for them to get the ball out of their defence.

Both sides took a while to find their way into the game early on, the first real scoring chance fell to Kate Geraghty who broke through the heart of the Mayo defence and should have went for goal, but opted to try and fist it over the bar - but it drifted wide of the target.

Tracey Leonard opened the scoring from a free eight minutes in after Mayo goalkeeper Aisling Tarpey was penalised for taking to long on her kick-out. Mayo had two good chances to register their first scores in the next few minutes but efforts from Sarah Mulvihill and Sinead Walsh both went wide of the posts.

Galway were finding their groove at this stage and the were able to reel off six points on the spin and have Mayo under serious pressure as the half moved along. Alisish Morrisey pointed after winning a high ball dropped into the danger area. Andrea Trill hit two with Leonard adding another in between Trill’s scores to have Galway 0-5 to 0-0 up with 23 minutes gone on the clock.

Lara Finnegan hit point number six for her side and a Leonard free to put her side 0-7 to 0-0 up with 28 minutes played on the stop watch.

Mayo did finally get the scoreboard moving in their favour when Shauna Howley pointed a close range free after Sinead Walsh had been unceremoniously fouled on her way to goal. Ciara Needham then added one from play just before the break to leave five between them at the short whistle.

Howley put just four between the teams five minutes into the second half, but that was responded too quickly by a Shauna Molloy point. Tamara O’Connor hit back for Mayo with her first touch of the game after she came on, but Leonard was quick to respond to keep Galway five clear.

Howley kept Mayo in touch from another free, however the game looked to have been put to bed when Galway substitute Lyndsey Noone rifled the ball home to the back of the net form close range to put her side 1-9 to 1-5 up, which was quickly followed by another Leonard point with 12 minutes gone in the second half.

But mayo weren't going to go away that easily and they bravely fought back into the game. Lisa Cafferkey was on hand to get a goal from Mayo from a tight angle after some good work by Sinead Walsh and Eilis Roynane in the build-up.

They then reeled off three points on the spin through Tamara O’Connor, Howley and Sinead Cafferkey to close the gap back to two points. However, it was Galway who were able to find that extra gear down the home straight and points form Noone and Leonard pushed the gap back out to four and they held on to claim the Connacht title.

Scores

Mayo: Shauna Howley (0-4, 4f ), Lisa Cafferkey (1-0 ), Tara Needham (0-1 ), Siena Cafferkey (0-1 ), Ciara Needham (0-1 ), Tamara O’Connor (0-1 )

Galway: Tracey Leonard (0-6, 3f ), Lyndsey Noone (1-1 ), Andrea Trill (0-2 ), Lara Finnegan (0-1 ), Ailish Morrisey (0-1 ), Shauna Molloy (0-1 )

Mayo: Aisling Tarpey; Éilis Ronayne, Saoirse Lally, Caldwell; Ciara Needham, Fiona McHale; Kathryn Sullivan; Sinéad Cafferky, Aoife Geraghty; Sinéad Walsh, Shauna Howley, Sarah Mulvihill; Lisa Cafferkey, Ciara Whyte, Tamara O’Connor. Subs: Tara Needham for Sarah Mulvihill, Rachel Kearns for Ciara Whyte, Nina McVann for Tamara O’Connor

Galway: Alanah Griffin; Shauna Molloy, Sarah Ní Loingsigh, Eimíle Gavin; Charlotte Cooney, Nicola Ward, Kate Geraghty; Ailbhe Davoren, Louise Ward; Leanne Coen, Olivia Divilly, Laura Finnegan; Andrea Trill, Ailish Morrisey, Tracey Leonard. Subs: Lyndsey Noone for Laura Finnegan, Hannah Noone for Charlotte Cooney, Roisin Leonard for Ailish Morrisey, Kate Slevin for Andrea Trill, Siobhan Divilly for Ailbhe Davoren.

Ref: Gus Champman (Sligo )

 

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