Ladies Football Division 1 wrap: Wins for Cork, Galway and Westmeath

Ladies Football Division 1 wrap: Wins for Cork, Galway and Westmeath

Cork 2-13 - 2-8 Dublin

Niamh Cotter and Marie O'Callaghan hit the net as Cork gained some revenge for last year’s All-Ireland final defeat to Dublin in this Lidl National Football League Division 1 clash at Mallow.

Carla Rowe and Siobhan Killeen bagged the goals for Mick Bohan’s side, but they were second best on the day and fell to their second loss of the competition.

Victory means Cork finished the group stages in second place overall, and the sides will meet again in two weeks’ time in the semi-finals.

Dublin had beaten Cork in their last two meetings and the home side were determined not to make it three in-a-row of losses and Ephie Fitzgerald’s side were worthy winners here.

Ladies Football Division 1 wrap: Wins for Cork, Galway and Westmeath

Dublin got off to the perfect start when they got a goal in the first minute. A brilliant ball from Noelle Healy – now playing with Cork side Mourneabbey – put Rowe in and she found the back of the net.

Cork responded quickly with a point from Orlagh Farmer and with five minutes gone were unlucky not to have a goal of their own. A shot from Rhona Ni Bhuachalla went just outside the post, with Dublin keeper Rachel Fleming well beaten.

Niamh McEvoy increased Dublin's lead before Cork were back on level terms, with 11 minutes gone. Ciara O'Sullivan burst through the Dublin defence and she played in O'Callaghan who coolly slotted home, to make it 1-1 apiece.

Two minutes later the Rebels took the lead when Ciara O'Sullivan pointed, and with 15 minutes played they were unlucky not to get another goal. Ciara O'Sullivan was the provider again, but Sadhbh O'Leary's effort came back off the crossbar and the danger was cleared.

Healy equalised for the visitors, before a free from McEvoy had them back in front. Rhona Ni Bhuachalla responded at the other end from a free, to see the sides level with three minutes to go until half-time.

Cork had another goal chance just before the break when Farmer was played in, but she shot straight at Fleming for a relatively easy save, and Ni Bhuachalla pointed on the stroke of half-time to see Cork 1-4 to 1-3 in front after an entertaining opening half.

Two points from Ni Bhuachalla extended Cork's lead, before Rowe replied for Dublin. Ciara O'Sullivan and Cotter were on target for Cork and with 44 minutes gone they led by 1-8 to 1-5.

A brilliant move, involving Ni Bhuachalla and Ciara O'Sullivan set up Cotter for Cork's second goal, but credit to Dublin they hit back immediately with two points from frees by McEvoy

With 45 minutes gone Cork were reduced to 14 players when Eimear Meaney was sin-binned and Dublin made it count, with Siobhan Killeen goaling, to put a point between them, 2-8 to 2-7.

But Cork hit the next four points, through Ni Bhuachalla (2), Coppinger and Cotter to seal their win.

McEvoy and Scally, for Cork, scored late points but by then the home side's win was well secured and set them up nicely for their league semi-final meeting in two weeks’ time.

Galway 2-13 - 0-10 Donegal

By Tommy Devane in Corofin

Captain Tracey Leonard helped Galway to top spot in Division 1 with victory over Donegal in Corofin – their sixth win from seven games in the competition.

The home win and results elsewhere mean that the sides will meet again in the semi-finals at a neutral venue in two week’s time.

Playing against a strong breeze, it was the Donegal girls that made the faster start. Two quick scores from their captain Karen Guthrie got them up and running, but Galway responded well with two good points from Tracey Leonard to leave the sides level after ten minutes.

Guthrie was a thorn in Galway’s side throughout and she added another brace of points, but Mairead Seoighe’s score left the minimum between the sides after the first quarter.

Galway then hit their purple patch. First a Megan Glynn score was followed up by two quick points from corner-forward Leanne Coen, before Glynn’s quick free then found Tracey Leonard who calmly slotted the ball to the back of the net.

There was better to come for Galway though. Almost straight from the restart a defence splitting run by Olivia Divilly resulted in a penalty, and the kick was rifled home by Roisin Leonard to put Tim Rabbitte’s side in total control.

Guthrie replied with her sixth point of the day for Donegal, but Galway were still ahead at the interval, 2-8 to 0-6.

Both sides swapped scores in the opening 15 minutes of the second period, with Guthrie and Ryan kicking points for Donegal, while Galway’s scores came from Barbara Hannan and a Tracey Leonard free.

Galway furthered their advantage with scores two more Roisin Leonard points and one from substitute Rhiona Ni Flahartha, while a free from Niamh Hegarty just about kept Donegal in touch.

A final score from Hegarty was little more than a consolation for Donegal, with Galway finishing with a comfortable nine-point win the end. Another dominant performance from the Connacht champions.

Westmeath 5-12 - 3-8 Tipperary

Leanne Slevin hit the net twice as Westmeath’s ability to score goals at crucial stages proved crucial as they defeated Tipperary by a flattering ten-point margin in this Lidl Division 1 clash at Kinnegad.

The win was Westmeath’s second in the competition and sees them jump ahead of Tipperary into sixth position in the final standings.

Aisling Moloney put wind-assisted Tipperary in front with a point directly from the throw-in and Orla O’Dwyer added another within a minute. However, Westmeath settled and an unanswered 1-2 – the goal from a Slevin penalty in the seventh minute – put them three points to the good.

A great goal by Roisin Howard levelled the scoring at 1-3 apiece in the 12th minute and there was little to choose between the teams for the remainder of the first-half. An opportunist goal by Kelly Boyce Jordan in added-time helped the home team to a 2-5 to 1-6 lead at the break.

A goal from O’Dwyer within two minutes of the resumption of play edged the visitors in front. Westmeath regained the lead with a point each from Anna Jones and Slevin before O’Dywer pounced again for her side’s third goal. However, a rapid-fire brace of goals from Slevin and Vicky Carr respectively put the Lake County girls firmly in control by the end of the third quarter.

Westmeath lost influential midfielder Jo-Hanna Maher to the sin bin in the 43rd minute, but their fifth goal – a classy finish from close range by substitute Annie Dolan in the 53rd minute – removed any lingering doubt about the outcome.

Monaghan 2-15 - 2-15 Mayo

Drama was the order of the day in the final Lidl NFL Division 1 encounter as Mayo recovered from a change of venue and a 12-point deficit to earn a share of the spoils at the Monaghan Entekra Centre of Excellence.

Early goals from Muireann Atkinson and Aoife Mc Anespie appeared to have put the Ulster side on the road to victory, but Peter Leahy’s outfit finished powerfully and added-time goals from Natasha Gaughan and Sinead Cafferky clinched a draw for the westerners.

The draw gives Monaghan their first point of the competition at the final attempt, but their return to Division 2 had already been confirmed before the final round of games.

Despite the late change of venue Monaghan started brightly and they came racing out of the blocks to register 2-3 in the opening ten minutes. Eimear McAnespie kicked the opening point, which was followed by the goals from Atkinson and Aoife McAnespie.

The impressive Leanne Maguire landed two of her four points in the opening 30 minutes, which helped the home side into a nine-point lead.

Lisa Cafferky finally opened the visitors account in the 11th minute, but Monaghan were reduced to 14 players in the 17th minute when Cora Courtney was sent to the sin bin and Mayo immediately replied with a point from Clodagh McManamon.

The sides swapped scores until the interval, at which point Monaghan maintained a 2-7 to 0-5 lead.

The home side were very impressive after the restart too and further points from Maguire and Aoife McAnespie opened their lead out to 2-11 to 0-5.

A quick exchange of scores kept 12 between them with 18 minutes remaining, but the emptying of the Mayo bench brought an extra impetus to their attack. Six unanswered points followed in a devastating five-minute spell, which cut the lead to six points.

Ciara McAnespie replied at the other end to relieve the pressure, but Mayo could sense an unease creeping into the Monaghan rear guard.

Points from Grace Kelly and Ciara Whyte reduced the Monaghan lead to five, but Ciara McAnespie pushed it back out to a six-point difference as the game entered injury time.

Natasha Gaughan’s goal in the first minute of added time looked like just a consolation, but straight from that kick out Mayo attacked again and Sinead Cafferky’s speculative shot dipped under the crossbar to level the game.

Both sides had chances to win it, but defeat to either team would have been a travesty after this compelling encounter.

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