U18s women shine a light this season for Galway football

Galway manager Daniel Moynihan before the ZuCar All-Ireland Ladies Football U18 A final match between Galway and Kildare at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park in Longford. 
Photo by Ben McShane/Sportsfile

Galway manager Daniel Moynihan before the ZuCar All-Ireland Ladies Football U18 A final match between Galway and Kildare at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park in Longford. Photo by Ben McShane/Sportsfile

All-Ireland titles were hard to win this season, but the Galway girls lifted the doom with victory in the ZuCar All-Ireland U18 A Championship.

It was a solid victory in the end, 3-11 to 1-8 against Kildare, having overturned a two-point half-time deficit to claim the title for the seventh time with a nine point win over Kildare in Glennon Brothers Pearse Park, Longford.

The game's turning point came in the 36th minute when Kate Thompson scored a penalty to give Galway the lead for the first time - a lead they would not relinquish.

The sides had been level twice in the opening nine minutes. Kildare edged ahead for the third time in the ninth minute with a point from Sarah McGovern, and a minute later they grabbed a goal. A short kick-out was picked up by Aoife Murnane and she made no mistake, helping her side to a lead after Leah McGovern pointed in the 10th minute.

However, Galway were back in the game in the 17th minute when Aisling Madden scored a superb goal after beating a number of players before firing to the net.

Both sides had chances, but kicked a number of wides before Ava Whelan put Kildare ahead by three in the 27th minute. Thompson replied with a lovely point for Galway to leave them trailing by two at the break at 1-6 to 1-4.

Siún McGovern and Niamh Farrelly exchanged frees before Galway took the lead in the 36th minute. A free from McGovern came off the crossbar, and although Lauren O’Donnell got the rebound, she was fouled in the area by Zara Hurley, and Thompson duly dispatched the penalty.

With the game having turned in their favour, Galway were ahead by four in the 42nd minute. Although Kildare were unlucky not to grab a second goal when in the 44th minute Mayah Doyle’s effort came off the butt of the post, a minute later Edwna Birchall hit the bar with her shot.

Down the other end Galway extended their lead to five with a fine point from Thompson, and McGovern landed two more frees as the Tribeswomen were clinical in front of the posts. When Niamh Farrelly converted a free for Kildare, it was their first score in 23 minutes of play. But it was Thompson who sealed the win in the 59th minute when her free eluded everyone and ended up in the back of the net.

Scorers - Galway : K Thompson 2-2 (1-0 pen,1-0f ), S McGovern 0-5 (3fs ), A Madden 1-0, K Slattery, É Smith, É Baird, N Divilly 0-1 each. Kildare: N Farrelly 0-4 (1f ), A Murnane 1-0, S McGovern, M Doyle, A Whelan, L McGovern 0-1 each.

Galway: L O’Halloran; S Ní Scanláin, M Jordan, E Brogan; B Naughton, A Eilian, R Reddington; K Slattery, K Banek; É Smith, É Baird, A Madden; S McGovern, N Divilly, K Thompson. Subs: L O’Donnell for Smith (22 ), A O’Malley for Baird (39 ), N Daly for Brogan and Z Duggan for Reddington (58 ), G Molloy for S McGovern (59 ).

Kildare: S Knightly; J Duggan, E Glancy, Z Hurley; J Brannigan, L Dunlea, H Murphy; S McGovern, M Doyle; E Birchall, E Kendrick, A Murnane; N Farrelly, A Whelan, L McGovern. Subs: H Lyons for Murphy (26 ), A Prizeman for L McGovern (ht ), A Cahill for Whelan (40 ), C Bagnall for Brannigan and C Egan for Doyle (60 ).

Referee : Seamus Mulvihill (Kerry )

 

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