Thursday 18 January 2018

galway girls secure parnell park ticket

Tribes-women impress in Division 1 semi-final against Dublin

DUBLIN and Galway had All Kinds of Everything as their backing track this season.

In their League meeting in Tuam, the match was delayed due to fog.

Then last Sunday, the sides had to endure a Mullingar Monsoon.

The Tuam tie was a draw, but in the Tesco Home Grown NFL Division 1 semi-final, it was Galway who won, 4-13 to 3-4.

Disappointment for the Dubs, but a slice of reality too.

They were in bonus country. The squad has seen so many changes since last season.

Dubs boss, Gregory McGonigle, stressed at the start of the campaign that the journey would be different this time.

Last year, Dublin were the only unbeaten side in the country as they advanced to their first Division 1 final.

Gregory predicted that there would be bumps and hollows along the road as he sought about moulding a new side.

"The big positive from the League was the amount of game-time that the new players have got at this level," Gregory reflected.

Now the focus will be on high summer and the Leinster Championship. Dublin begin business on July 5th in the semi-final.

The Blues are seeking their fourth Leinster title in succession.

And before all of that, the county championship begins in two weeks. That will be some party. Hopefully, the weather won't be as bad as it was in St Loman's on Sunday.

But the Galway full-forward, Tracey Leonard, was wearing the right studs. She scored two first half goals.

Galway were playing with pace and width.

Their ball handling was superb. Their calibre was underlined by their third goal in the 23rd minute. A wonderful move concluded with a strike from half-back, Noelle Connolly.

Galway led by 3-4 to 1-3 at half-time. Nicole Owens got Dublin's goal. And after the restart, Galway hit five unanswered points.

That had been the plan.

"We knew we had to play well from start to finish," reflected the Galway captain, Geraldine Conneally.

"In our drawn League match, we didn't settle well. We knew Sunday was going to be tough against the Dubs who are such a good and fast team."

Galway confirmed their ticket for the final when Patricia Gleeson scored their fourth goal in the 37th minute.

But the Jackies responded with two goals in two minutes midway through the second half from Owens and Hannah Noonan, who has impressed this term.

Owens was the hat-trick hero from Dublin's Aisling McGing U21 All-Ireland final success last June.

Nicole was also involved as Dublin reached the All-Ireland final where they came so close to beating Cork. Cork, the League holders, will be back in the capital on Saturday, May 9th for the League final against Galway.

Cork beat Kerry by three points in the other semi-final.

It will be well worth the trip to Parnell Park. Galway will certainly put it up to the Rebels. And, on this form, they will be well in the frame for the Brendan Martin Cup.

So too will the Dubs. The Galway manager, Kevin Reidy, is sure of it. We all know that. There's some fantastic talent in Dublin."

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