Galway ladies prove too strong for Ulster hosts

The Galway senior ladies football squad which defeated Monaghan in the LGFA National League in Clones on Sunday. Back row, left to right: Lucy Hannon, Caitriona Cormican, Chelsey Blade, Aishling Donnelly, Lisa Gannon, Noelle Connolly, Aine McDonagh, Sinead Burke, Sarah Conneally, Meghan Kelly, Ciana Ní Churraoin, Michelle Joyce, Ailbhe Davoren, Roisin Ní Chonghaile, Fabienne Cooney, Shauna Hynes, Sarah Lynch, Johanna Connolly, Barbara Hannon. Front row: Deirdre Brennan, Geraldine Conneally, Emma Reaney, Roisin Leonard, Dora Gorman, Eimile Gavin, Mairead Seoighe, Emer Flaherty, Dearbhla Gower, Shauna Hynes, Chloe Crowe, Olivia Divilly, Gillian O'Connor, Eimear O'Kane, Aoife Ní Cheallaigh, Megan Glynn.

Galway 3-12

Monaghan 1-13

GOALS from Dora Gorman, Roisin Leonard and Lucy Hannon ensured Galway bounced back from their previous defeat to Donegal to go joint top of Division One in the Ladies National Football League on Sunday.

With injuries forcing a reshuffle, Stephen Glennon’s charges found a better mix as they took the game to Monaghan in Clones from the start.

In fairness, Galway should have won this game by much more and are still guilty of scuffling some scoring chances and carelessly conceding possession on occasions. But their commitment and determination to make an impact was much improved and they now must ensure that level of intensity is maintained ahead of this Sunday’s visit of Armagh (details TBC).

What is most concerning for Galway is while their away performances have been reasonably consistent, it’s their home form that causes concern. Over the coming weeks, the Tribeswomen will be hosting Armagh, Kerry and Dublin, and positive results in those games will secure a final four spot, but they will mindful of the fact that they haven’t won their last three games in front of local support.

Galway will take many positives from this assignment including a breathtaking start that saw them 0-4 to 0-0 up inside five minutes. Emma Reaney opened the scoring on two minutes following Olivia Divilly’s pass; Sinead Burke set up Leonard for the second; a sweeping move that involved Dora O’Gorman led to Burke making it three; and Leonard finished off Ailbhe Davoren’s work for the fourth.

The visitors had numerous goal chances and should have done better than their final haul of three with Gorman unlucky to hit the side netting on six minutes. But Monaghan’s one chance at the start also highlighted their threat as Ciara McAnespie was denied by the woodwork.

The Farney women opened their account through an Ellen McCarron free in the eighth minute and reduced arrears to the minimum as Cora Courtney and McCarron converted. Leonard responded with two Galway points before McAnespie finished a move to leave the visitors leading 0-6 to 0-4.

What looked the game’s defining score arrived on 19 minutes when Galway struck their first goal.  Monaghan didn’t seem to handle Davoren and Leonard very well and when the two combined on the left, Gorman finished to the net.

It should have been two within 60 seconds. Aine McDonagh showed great vision and work rate over the hour for someone only minor last year. Her quick free into space for Leonard nearly yielded another major only for Sharon Courtney to manage a block. However, Leonard did send the ball back into the danger area but Mairead Seoighe missed the crucial touch.

Full coverage in this week’s Connacht Tribune.