Division Two awaits Galway women

Galway 0-9 Waterford 0-11

Galway’s Kate Geraghty is flanked by Waterford’s Hannah and Eve Power in action from the Lidl Ladies National Football League game at Duggan Park, Ballinasloe, on Sunday. (Photo: Mike Shaughnessy)

Galway’s Kate Geraghty is flanked by Waterford’s Hannah and Eve Power in action from the Lidl Ladies National Football League game at Duggan Park, Ballinasloe, on Sunday. (Photo: Mike Shaughnessy)

Waterford footballers produced a powerful final quarter to emerge two-point victors at Duggan Park, Ballinasloe, sending Galway down to Division Two next year.

The Tribeswomen led on a score-line of eight points to six with 20 minutes remaining, but were beaten by a resilient Waterford effort when the tie was in the balance.

Lauren McGregor’s free at 42 minutes was followed by Emma Murray’s equaliser 60 seconds later, and the Munster side didn’t look back.

Two late goal surges were repelled, the second a superb block from Waterford’s Hannah Power. Kate McGrath also suffered an injury time yellow card, thwarting the advances of Ailbhe Davoren.

Conditions underfoot were superb with a dry sod, however a strong wind made kicking difficult. Two early Waterford frees were cancelled out by Shauna Hynes and Emma Reaney.

Galway then enjoyed their best spell, putting three between the sides. Hynes scored her second after good work from Nicola Ward and Davoren - Leonard registered a free - and Leanne Coen finished off a four-player move before the 17 minute mark.

But they did not add to their advantage as Clare Walsh profited from Emma Murray’s pass for a Waterford score. Even though Olivia Divilly and Reaney increased the Tribeswomen’s total, McGregor and Katie Murray ensured it remained a two-point game at the break; 0-7 to 0-5.

McGregor had tested Galway keeper Dearbhla Gower before the interval, while a long Hogan delivery also required Gower to be alert upon the restart. Katie Murray reduced arrears to the minimum on 38 minutes before Leonard replied.

This was a winner-takes-all battle, and as a result, Galway drop to Division Two in 2025. They will reflect on multiple missed opportunities in the game's last minutes.

Waterford are growing in influence, and finally hit the run that preserved their top-flight status and sent Galway back to Division 2 for the first time in 10 years.

 

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