Ladies Football: Fahy finds the net to rescue Galway

Mayo 1-10, Galway 1-10

However, even though it was his team which actually levelled the game, through Cora Staunton, Mayo manager Finbarr Egan was anything but happy with the outcome.

Two of his players had been sin-binned at the start of the second half and ironically, a short time after being restored to full strength (in the 42nd minute), centre-forward Diane O'Hora was sent off for a high tackle.

Egan questioned her dismissal - pointing out that in six years in charge they had never had a single player sent off and wondered how a Galway defender had stayed on after being ticked and then committing three fouls.

"I felt it was terrible," he said.

"I don't normally give out about refs.

"This is the sort of thing that's killing ladies' football, not applying the rules fairly."

Not surprisingly, given the huge effort it had taken his team to claw their way back, the Galway manager T.J. Fahy was delighted with the results. "When we played Mayo in the semi-final last year we were six points up at half-time but they came back and drew with us. What happened today was almost a carbon copy of that," he added.

Cora Staunton, one of the game's most prolific scorers (she finished with 1-8) gave Mayo the perfect start with a goal after only three minutes. At the end of the first quarter, they led 1-3 to 0-3 and Galway weren't to score again before the break.

This was rather unexpected, given that they had beaten Mayo 0-16 to 0-2 in the Connacht final. At the break, it was 1-6 to 0-3, with Mayo finishing without two of their forwards who had been sin-binned.

By the 12th minute of the second half both players were back on the field and they had scored two points to a single score from Niamh Duggan during that period.

However, after O'Hora's dismissal, Galway gained in confidence steadily. And they were boosted by Duggan's free-taking and a good score from play through Gillian Joyce. After Duggan's point six minutes from the end left only a goal between the sides, Galway sniffed victory.

The pressure earned them a close-in free which Fahy cheekily took a goal from and the skilful Patricia Gleeson was rewarded with a lead point almost immediately afterwards. Typical of Mayo, they came back, through the irrepressible Staunton.

Scorers: Mayo C. Staunton 1-8 (0-4 frees); C. Heffernan and D. O'Hora 0-1 each.

Galway: N. Duggan 0-6 frees; N. Fahy 1-0 free; S. Joyce 0-2; A. McDonagh and P. Gleeson 0-1 each.

MAYO: L. Connolly; N. O'Shea, H. Lohan, M. Garvey; C. O'Hara, Y. Byrne, E. O'Reilly; C. Egan, C. Heffernan; F. McHale, D. O'Hora, K. Colleran; C. McDermott, M. Heffernan, C. Staunton. Subs: J. Moran for Heffernan (48th minute); E. Biggins for Garvey (50th); T. McNicholas for Colleran (51st).

GALWAY: U. Carroll; M. O'Connell, R. Stephens, F. Wynne; A. Daly, A. Gilmore, E. Flaherty; L. Cohill, A. Clarke (capt.); G. Joyce, N. Fahy, G. Conneally; P. Gleeson, N. Duggan, L. Joyce. Subs: A. McDonagh for Conneally (23rd minute); E. O'Malley for Wynne (40th); E. Concannon for Flaherty (49th); M. Delaney for G. Joyce (57th).

Referee: T. Clarke (Dublin).

The replay will be next Saturday, with Hyde Park the expected venue.

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