TG4 All-Ireland Ladies Senior Football Championship Semi-Final
Monaghan 0-16 Galway 0-11 31/8/13
Monaghan’s senior ladies footballers qualified for their second All-Ireland final in three years when they battled past Galway at Breffni Park last Saturday. Monaghan were pushed all the way by Galway, but any fears that they might be caught cold after the comfortable manner of the quarter-final win over Laois proved unfounded as Gregory McGonigle’s side ground out the win. Cathriona McConnell’s accurate free-taking was key for Monaghan, who also had Gráinne and Therese McNally and Cora and Sharon Courtney to the fore.
Aoibheann Daly gave Galway an early lead, but points by Therese McNally and Ciara McAnespie got Monaghan up and running and even though Tracey Leonard brought Galway back on level terms, the Ulster champions then hit four in a row; three from Cathriona McConnell and one by Christina Reilly. Geraldine Conneally and Barbara Hannon halved Galway’s deficit, but a save by goalkeeper Linda Martin and a great block by Gráinne McNally kept Monaghan ahead by 0-6 to 0-4 by half-time.
Therese McNally and McConnell gave Monaghan a positive start to the second half, but frees by Tracey and Róisín Leonard kept Galway in touch. Cora Courtney then won a free for McConnell to convert and she was also involved, along with Gráinne McNally, in creating a first point for Caoimhe Mohan, but she was then sent to the sin bin for ten minutes. Gillian O’Connor got one back for Galway, but Mohan raced through to provide a quick reply. Catriona Cormican again closed the gap to three, but she was then sin-binned and McConnell and Eileen McKenna kicked points to keep Monaghan on the front foot, although Tracey and Róisín Leonard responded in kind for the Connacht champions. Youngster Orla Divilly came off the bench to bring Galway within two, but Ellen McCarron quickly hit back and Cora Courtney marked her return to the game by winning another free for the unerring McConnell to convert, before curling over a nice score of her own to secure victory for Monaghan, who now await the winners of the second semi-final between Cork and Kerry in the September 29 decider at Croke Park.
Monaghan: L Martin; G McNally, S Courtney, C Reilly (0-1); L McEnaney, Y Connell, A McAnespie; E McCarron (0-1), A Casey; T McNally (Capt., 0-2), C McConnell (0-7, 6f), C Courtney (0-1); N Kindlon, C Mohan (0-2), C McAnespie (0-1).
Sub: E McKenna (0-1) for Kindlon (H-T).
Galway: J Connolly; N Ward, M Coyne, B Hannon (0-1); R McPhilbin, E Flaherty, S Burke; A Clarke, G Conneally (0-1); C Cormican (0-1), A Daly (0-1), T Leonard (0-3f); R Leonard (0-2, 1f), G O’Connor (0-1), E Concannon.
Subs: T Hession for Concannon (39 mins), O Divilly (0-1) for O’Connor (48), N Ward for Hannon (54), A Rohan for Daly (56).
Referee: G Corrigan (Down).