Late flourish secures Galway’s semi-final spot

Galway 0-17 Monaghan 0-14 Galway boss Kevin Reidy heaped praise on his side following Saturday’s All-Ireland Ladies SFC quarter-final win over Monaghan at St. Brendan’s Park in Birr.

Late flourish secures Galway’s semi-final spot

With ten players on the scoresheet, Galway recorded a hard-fought three point win which sets up a semi-final against Dublin next weekend.

The spread of scorers was one area of delight for Reidy. “I never take much notice of who does the scoring, we always say it doesn’t matter who scores, as long as Galway do the scoring.

“We got a couple there near the end (of the first half) which was a great boost because we didn’t play particularly well before that but we still went in a point up.”

Monaghan started brightly when Ciara McAnespie pointed after 25 seconds before Barbara Hannon landed an equaliser. Therese McNally-Scott and Cathriona McConnell then gave Monaghan a two-point cushion, before they were controversially awarded a penalty on seven minutes when Noelle Connolly was judged to have foot-blocked a shot from McConnell. However, Monaghan keeper Linda Martin’s low kick sailed to the left of the post.

The ever-dangerous Caitriona Cormican and Ellen McCarron swapped scores before Niamh Kindlon restored Monaghan’s two-point advantage after 25 minutes.

But then came a Galway purple patch, with points from Louise Ward, Lorna Joyce, Geraldine Conneally and Lucy Hannon putting the Connacht side 0-6 to 0-5 ahead. Both sides were then reduced to 14 players in the space of two minutes, with Monaghan’s Cora Courtney – for charging on Nicola Ward – joined by Geraldine Conneally, for a heavy challenge on McNally-Scott. Kindlon levelled the game with her second score but Galway stalwart Annette Clarke ensured the Connacht champions held a 0-7 to 0-6 half-time advantage.

A pulsating second half saw Galway suffer a huge blow when skipper Sinead Burke limped off and Monaghan introduce All-Star Caoimhe Mohan, who made an immediate impact on her return from New York. Mohan’s double and a score from McNally-Scott gave Monaghan the edge once more before Clarke and McConnell swapped scores from frees to leave it 0-10 apiece.

The contest was now end-to-end as Mohan and McConnell gave Monaghan a two-point lead again. But Galway stormed back with scores from Aoibheann Daly, Cormican and Olivia Divilly (2). Ellen McCarron kept Monaghan in touch but Galway finished in style with a Tracey Leonard effort and Clarke’s free enough to seal a three-point win.

Dublin are next up for Galway and Reidy isn’t downplaying the size of the challenge. “In my book Dublin were the favourites before the competition even started. I think they’ll an awful lot of beating,” he said.

GALWAY: J Connolly; N Connolly, M Coyne, O Dixon; N Ward, E Flaherty, S Burke; A Clarke (0-4, 3f), G Conneally (0-1); L Hannon (0-1), C Cormican (0-2), L Ward (0-1); A Daly (0-1), L Joyce (0-1), B Hannon (0-3).

Subs: S Egan for Burke (33); O Divilly for L Hannon 37mins; T Leonard for Joyce (45).

MONAGHAN: L Martin; J Geoghegan, Y Connell, C Reilly; G McNally, S Courtney, A McAnespie; A Casey, N Fahey; C Courtney, E McCarron (0-3), T McNally-Scott (0-2); C McConnell (0-3, 2f), N Kindlon (0-2), C McAnespie (0-1).

Subs: C Mohan for Kindlon (31); M Atkinson for Geoghegan (39); E O’Rourke for A McAnespie (50).

Referee: M Doherty (Wexford).

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