Galway and Donegal maintain perfect starts to league campaign as they battle it out at the top

Three wins for three after Galway’s win over Westmeath and Donegal’s defeat of Monaghan.

Galway's Tracey Leonard and Donegal's Geraldine McLaughlin were two of the scoring stars this afternoon.
Galway's Tracey Leonard and Donegal's Geraldine McLaughlin were two of the scoring stars this afternoon.
Image: INPHO

Galway 3-11
Westmeath 2-5

GALWAY MAINTAINED THEIR 100 per cent start to the season as goals from Roisin Leonard, Tracey Leonard and Aoife Thompson gave them all three points in this Lidl National Football league clash at Clonberne.

Manager Tim Rabbitte saw his side dominate the majority of tussle, and with a trip to face rivals Mayo up next the Tribesgirls will be keen to maintain this whirlwind start to the season.

With Roisin and Tracey Leonard hitting the net before the break Galway were in total control as they held a 2-7 to 0-1 head at half-time, but Westmeath improved somewhat after the restart.

With 14 minutes remaining an Anna Jones goal gave Westmeath some solace, while Annie Dolan added a second, but there was no beating Galway in this form.

Galway only needed 14 seconds from the throw in to get on the scoreboard as a devastating move involving Aine McDonagh and Louise Ward was calmly finished by Roisin Leonard.

Westmeath responded immediately with a Leanne Slevin free, but two points from Olivia Divilly and one from Roisin Leonard had Galway in a commanding 1-3 to 0-1 lead after ten minutes.

Despite being reduced to 14 players when Aine McDonagh picked up a yellow card on 13 minutes, Galway pushed on with further scores from the ever-dangerous Roisin Leonard and a free from Tracy Leonard to leave them leading 1-5 to 0-1 after 20 minutes.

A leg injury for Roisin Leonard after 28 minutes only seemed to spur Galway on, and her replacement Lucy Hannon combined with Sarah Conneally to set up Tracy Leonard for Galway’s second goal just before the interval.

With personnel changes for both sides during the interval it was Westmeath who started the brighter with points from Lucy McCartan and Leanne Slevin. But half-time substitute Aoife Thompson fired Galway’s third goal to put them 15 points clear.

Westmeath then gave themselves a lifeline with two brilliantly taken goals in the space of 60 seconds with Jones and Dolan on target, but two super saves by Galway goalkeeper Roisin Ni Chonghaile denied Jess Hennessy and Jones, which stalled their revival.

  • Scorers for Galway: T Leonard 1-3 (1f), R Leonard 1-3, O Divilly 0-3, A Thompson 1-0, L Hannon 0-1, R Ni Fhlatharta 0-1.
  • Scorers for Westmeath: A Jones 1-0, A Dolan 1-0, L Slevin 0-2 (2f), L McCartan 0-1, J Maher 0-1, B McNamee 0-1 (1f).


Donegal 2-17
Monaghan 0-7

DONEGAL’S PERFECT START continued to the Lidl Ladies NFL Division 1 campaign as the Ulster champions soared to victory over Monaghan in Letterkenny.

Roisin Friel’s early goal saw Donegal lead 1-8 to 0-2 at half-time with the hosts well in command. Midway through the second half, Julie Trearty drilled in a second Donegal goal, finishing well, giving Brídín Tierney no chance in the Monaghan goal.

Geraldine McLaughlin, creator of both Donegal goals, added seven points to help secure a third win on the trot for Maxi Curran’s team.

McLaughlin set the scoreboard alight and put Donegal in the driving seat, scoring three points in just over a minute before laying the game’s opening goal on a plate for Friel in the seventh minute. The move started with McLaughlin’s sister, Nicole, winning possession with a superb challenge in her own half. At the other end, Geraldine McLaughlin’s majestic pass offered Termon club-mate Friel a chance she took without even a second thought.

Karen Guthrie, Niamh Hegarty, Katy Herron and Shannon McGroddy were all on the mark as Donegal extended their lead to nine points by the 20th minute. Monaghan, coming in off the back of defeats to Westmeath and Galway, began with scores from Leanne Maguire and Ciara McAnespie.

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Donegal quickly took control, but Maguire almost stemmed Donegal’s flow, only to be denied by the base of Aisling Nee’s post.

Friel had a sight of the target again soon after, but flashed wide, while a brave goal-line block by Hannah McSkane prevented Friel from turning in at the post after Ciara Grant’s ball in dropped invitingly.

Substitute Eadaoin Treanor ended a 39-minute barren spell for Monaghan when she clipped over just seconds after her introduction. Donegal, though, were well on their way with McLaughlin having arched over her fifth of the afternoon.

McLaughlin off-loaded for Trearty to hammer home and put the game beyond the reach of Monaghan, ensuring a 100 per cent record with Tipperary up next for Maxi Curran’s charges.

  • Scorers for Donegal: G McLaughlin 0-7 (3f), R Friel 1-1, J Trearty 1-0, K Guthrie 0-3 (1f), K Herron 0-2, S McGroddy, N Carr, N Hegarty, L Carr (f) 0-1 each.
  • Scorers for Monaghan: L Maguire 0-3 (1f), C McAnespie, R Courtney, C Courtney, E Treanor 0-1 each.

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