Cork 3-8 Galway 1-14
Lorna Joyce’s late point salvaged a replay for Galway in this afternoon’s enthralling Tesco Ladies National Football League Division 1 final at Parnell Park.
Galway, runners-up in 2010, 2007, 2005 and 1979, had holders Cork rattled at the Donnycarney venue but couldn’t deliver the knockout punch.
Galway led by four points in the second half when they were awarded a penalty after Cork goalkeeper Martina O’Brien impeded Geraldine Conneally.
The penalty responsibility fell to Annette Clarke, who converted two in last year’s Division 2 decider, but the midfielder dragged her effort well wide.
Having wriggled off the hook, Cork netted almost immediately at the other end, Valerie Mulcahy picking up the pieces after Doireann O’Sullivan’s shot was well saved by Johanna Connolly.
Cork sub Rhona Ní Bhuachalla made a positive impact with eight minutes left, netting a third goal for the Rebelettes as they moved two points clear, 3-8 to 1-12.
But Galway had a kick left in them and after Tracey Leonard kicked her eighth point, and sixth from play, Joyce swung over the leveller.
Leonard had five points from play in the first half for Galway, who trailed by 0-6 to 1-6 at the break.
Ciara O’Sullivan’s 15th minute goal separated the sides, palmed over the line following a neat interchange of passes with Valerie Mulcahy, scorer of 1-5.
The sides had been level twice in the early stages before O’Sullivan’s goal but Leonard kept the Tribeswomen in the hunt with a remarkable display of sharpshooting.
But Galway opened the second half with a run of 1-4 without reply to transform a three-point deficit into a four-point lead.
Points from Clarke and Louise Ward brought Kevin Reidy’s Westerners to within a point before former All-Ireland minor medallist Ward banged home a stunning goal six minutes after half-time.
Leonard added two frees for a four-point lead but resilient Cork were boosted by Clarke’s miss and did enough to claim a replay, which will take place next Saturday, May 16 at a venue to be confirmed.
Scorers for Cork: V Mulcahy 1-5 (0-4f), C O’Sullivan & R Ní Bhuachalla 1-0 each, R Buckley, A Walsh & D O’Sullivan each.
Scorers for Galway: T Leonard 0-8 (2f), L Ward 1-1, A Clarke, B Hannon, P Gleeson, E Concannon & L Joyce 0-1 each.
CORK: M O’Brien; M Ambrose, R Phelan, B Stack; V Foley, R O’Sullivan, G O’Flynn; R Buckley, B Corkery; C O’Sullivan, A Hutchings, A Walsh; D O’Sullivan, V Mulcahy, O Finn.
Subs: E Scally for Finn (38), R Ní Bhuachalla for Hutchings (42), L Joyce for Concannon (57), G Kearney for Walsh (51).
GALWAY: J Connolly; S Gormally, E Flaherty, Á Seoighe; N Connolly, N Ward, S Burke; A Clarke, G Conneally; B Hannon, P Gleeson, L Ward; O Divilly, T Leonard, E Concannon.
Subs: C Cormican for N Connolly (38), O Farmer for D O’Sullivan (57), A Daly for Divilly (51).
Referee: G Corrigan (Down)