Galway need late point from Joyce to force replay

Galway rattle holders Cork in Ladies National Football League Division 1 final

Lorna Joyce's late point salvaged a replay for Galway in the Tesco Ladies National Football League Division 1 final at Parnell Park on Saturday.

Galway, runners-up in 2010, 2007, 2005 and 1979, had holders Cork rattled at the Donnycarney venue but could not 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.


Cork netted almost immediately, 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 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 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.

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 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 at a venue to be confirmed.