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Third time's the charm for Galway ladies as they win Division 2

The Tribeswomen lost finals in 2012 and 2013

Mairead Coyne and Sinead Burke with Fiona Leavy battle for possession.
Mairead Coyne and Sinead Burke with Fiona Leavy battle for possession.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

GALWAY 3-10 WESTMEATH 0-9

GALWAY LADIES WILL be playing top-flight football next year after clinching promotion in Saturday’s Tesco Homegrown Division 2 League final victory over Westmeath.

It was a case of third time lucky for the Galway girls, who lost Division 2 finals in 2012 and 2013.

Although they laboured in Parnell Park to break Westmeath’s resistance in the first half, they were the superior force after the break and having won nine games out of nine to reach this decider, they confidently kicked for home once they built up a decent lead.

The crucial score of the first half was Galway’s penalty scored by Annette Clarke in the 19th minute.

Louise Ward was put through on goals after a pass from Caitriona Cormican and was upended by Westmeath goalkeeper Sarah Keegan, who conceded the penalty and was sin-binned.

Clarke dispatched the penalty past cornerback Triona Durkan, who stepped in as the replacement ‘keeper.

Roisin Leonard and Fiona Leavy hit four points apiece in the opening period for their respective teams.

Westmeath midfielder Johanna Maher was sin-binned in the sixth minute when the sides were level at one point each, and by the time she rejoined the action, her team were trailing by 0-5 to 0-3.

Leonard scored three points from play for Galway while Leavy kept Westmeath in touch with three of her four scores coming from free-kicks.

Galway full-forward Lorna Joyce also hit two points from play as the favourites led by 1-7 to 0-7 at the break.

Annette Clarke converted a second penalty in the 44th minute, after Geraldine Conneally was fouled by Westmeath captain Aileen Martin who was sin-binned for the foul.

Three minutes later, Galway got their third goal. Clarke turned provider for Barbara Hannon who buried a low shot into the far corner to put Galway 3-9 to 0-7 ahead.

Westmeath failed to score in the second half until the 51st minute through a Fiona Leavy free. Johanna Maher landed their only other point of the second half a few seconds later as Galway coasted to victory.

Scorers for Galway: A Clarke (2-1, 2pens), B Hannon 1-1, R Leonard 0-4 (1f), L Joyce 0-3, C Cormican 0-1.
Scorers for Westmeath: F Leavy 0-5 (4f), R Kearney, C Blundell, M Foley, J Maher 0-1 each.

GALWAY: J Connolly; N Ward, M Coyne, O Dixon; R McPhilbin, E Flaherty, S Burke (capt); A Clarke, G Conneally; A Daly, C Cormican, L Ward; B Hannon, L Joyce, R Leonard.

Subs: O Divilly for Joyce (37), E Gannon for Leonard (47), M Moloney for Burke (54), G O’Connor for Hannon (57), S Conneally for Dixon (57).

WESTMEATH: S Keegan; A Martin (capt), R Dunne, T Durkan; J Rogers, A Giles, L Brennan; R Kearney, J Maher; C Blundell, M Foley, K McDermott; F Leavy, F Claffey, K Hegarty.

Subs: C Kelly for McDermott (39), N Judge for Blundell (48), A Brady for Rogers (55), S Dolan for Leavy (57).

Ref: G Corrigan (Down).

Report is provided by the Ladies Gaelic Football Association (LGFA). 

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