A fortuitous injury-time goal from Rosin Leonard ensured Galway senior ladies footballers maintained their unbeaten run in the National League, but this fifth round clash in Kinnegad on Sunday did nothing for the faint-hearted.
No doubt, this was a tough affair for Barry Downey’s charges who on a cold, blustery day found scores hard to come by. This, though, was the case for both sides and it was ten minutes into the opening period before Westmeath opened the account.
Geraldine Conneally responded for the visitors before Edel Concannon secured Galway the lead with a 22nd minute free. However, in the last two minutes of the half, Westmeath scored 1-1 to lead 1-2 to 0-2 at the change of ends.
In the second period, substitute Emma Curley began to boss the game in midfield and, consequently, the Tribeswomen started the second half much stronger and put the Westmeath back line under pressure.
Unfortunately, Galway got little reward for their endeavours. Tracey Leonard had a penalty saved in the 33rd minute while Concannon saw two goal opportunities go narrowly wide while a fisted effort that ended up in the net was ruled out for square ball.
By this time, Westmeath were now down to 14 players and, by the three-quarter mark, Galway had levelled up the scores through Roisin Leonard and Concannon.
Although a second Westmeath player was sin-binned in the 53rd minute – temporarily reducing the Midlanders to 13 players – they took an unlikely lead with three minutes to go and it seemed the league points were destined to remain in the Lake County.
As the clock went into injury time, though, a probing high delivery from Roisin Leonard was misjudged by the Westmeath goalie and the ball ended up in the back of the net to secure Galway a two-point victory and, more importantly, guarantee them a home draw for the league semi-finals with two rounds remaining.
For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.