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Etna Flanagan Int County Captain 2013.

TG4 Connacht Senior Ladies Football Final   24/06/2018


Connacht Senior Ladies Football Final – Sunday, 24
th June 2018  

Galway 0-17 Mayo 1-12  

In a game that lived up to its theatrical billing beforehand, Connacht’s senior counties delivered an epic joust before Galway prevailed to successfully retain the CBE Cup. 

When Sinead Cafferky finally got Mayo on level terms with four minutes remaining, a rematch in seven days looked set as the sides were deadlocked at 1-12 to 0-15. 

Fiona Doherty’s 49th minute goal brought Peter Leahy’s charges back in contention having trailed following an early Galway blitz.  But the Tribeswomen got the critical late points to ensure they maintained their title thanks to Tracey Leonard and Louise Ward. 

This was seen as the first clash between two of the country’s heavyweights and they didn’t disappoint.  From the start, Galway attacked hitting three scores in as many minutes through Roisin Leonard, Nicola Ward and Tracey Leonard. 

Much talk before centred on Cora Staunton’s involvement and the four-time All-Ireland winner answered her county’s call lining out at centre forward. 

Niamh Kelly got Mayo off the mark after could link-up play with Doherty before a Staunton free opened her account.  Aine McDonagh replied for Galway but a Grace Kelly placed ball on 10 minutes left Mayo just 0-4 to 0-3 in arrears. 

This final, with multiple shifts in momentum, was always destined to be swayed on purple patches and three unanswered points gave Galway a 0-7 to 0-3 lead on 17 minutes.  Olivia Divilly, Tracey and Roisin Leonard troubled the umpires and Tracey Leonard added two more placed balls before the break. 

That gave Galway a 0-9 to 0-7 interval advantage but Mayo were back in the hunt through Staunton, Grace Kelly and Sinead Cafferky.  But the opening exchanges proved costly as Mayo missed four straight forward chances. 

Roisin Leonard put Galway three ahead before Staunton cancelled that effort.  Mairead Seoighe got her first on 37 minutes but Staunton and Niamh Kelly left the deficit at 0-11 to 0-10 after 40 minutes. 

However, Stephen Glennon’s team weathered a Mayo spell with their lead intact and responded with Tracey Leonard, Sarah Conneally and Emer Flaherty finding the target.  That put them 0-14 to 0-10 with 12 minutes remaining but Charlotte Cooney’s yellow card gave Mayo a glimmer of hope. 

They didn’t disappoint as the home support vocally got behind their team.  And after good work from Fiona McHale, Doherty finished to the net to put Mayo back in contention. 

Galway pointed through Seoighe but the All-Ireland finalists sensed one last chance as Staunton and Cafferky raised white flags to leave it 0-15 to 1-12.  The money was on Mayo but Galway found one last burst. 

Tracey Leonard capped off her player of the match performance with a score before setting up Louise Ward for the last.  Mayo’s afternoon ended in frustration as Danielle Caldwell picked up a yellow card.   

But those who witnessed this classic in Castlebar left with the feeling they’ll dance together again before the summer is complete. 

Scorers: 

Galway - Tracey Leonard 0-6 (two frees), Roisin Leonard 0-3 (one free), Mairead Seoighe 0-2, Nicola Ward 0-1, Olivia Divilly 0-1, Aine McDonagh 0-1, Emer Flaherty 0-1, Sarah Conneally 0-1, Louise Ward 0-1 

Mayo - Cora Staunton 0-6 (four frees), Fiona Doherty 1-0, Grace Kelly 0-2 (one free), Sinead Cafferky 0-2, Niamh Kelly 0-2 

Galway: Lisa Murphy; Fabienne Cooney, Sarah Lynch, Sinead Burke; Emer Flaherty, Nicola Ward, Charlotte Cooney; Caitriona Cormican, Aine McDonagh; Olivia Divilly, Tracey Leonard, Ailbhe Davoren; Mairead Seoighe, Roisin Leonard, Leanne Coen.  Subs used: Sarah Conneally for Coen (38 mins), Noelle Connolly for Lynch (38 mins), Louise Ward for R. Leonard (52 mins), Deirdre Brennan for Davoren (56 mins). 

Mayo: Aisling Tarpey; Emma Lowther, Sarah Tierney, Kathryn Sullivan; Rachel Kearns, Danielle Caldwell, Doireann Hughes; Fiona McHale, Clodagh McManamon; Niamh Kelly, Fiona Doherty, Sinead Cafferky; Grace Kelly, Sarah Rowe, Cora Staunton.  Subs used: Orla Conlon for McManamon (53 mins), Marie Corbett for Hughes (54 mins), Shauna Howley for G. Kelly (57 mins). 

Referee: Gerry Carmody (Roscommon) 






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