Goals win games as Meath and Kerry record wins in National Football League 1 year ago

Goals win games as Meath and Kerry record wins in National Football League

By Frank Craig and Michael Gallagher

Meath 1-7 Donegal 0-5 

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Meath proved too strong for Donegal in Letterkenny with the current Lidl NFL Division 1 and All-Ireland champions crossing the line with five points to spare in the end. 

In a contest where scores were hard earned, both sides went in at the break all square at 0-3 apiece. 

A brace of Suzanne White efforts, including one from play, as well as a Katie Long point appeared like it was going to send Maxi Curran’s charges in with their noses in front at the midpoint. 

But with Stacey Grimes posting a late free to go alongside earlier scores from Niamh O’Sullivan and Niamh Gallogly, matters were deadlocked at the changeover. 

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Quickfire efforts from Grimes and O’Sullivan following the restart then helped push Meath in front for the first time in the contest as they went 0-5 to 0-3 clear. Ciara McGarvey got Donegal going once more on 37 minutes. 

However, just past the three-quarter mark, David Nelson’s girls stole a real march when Mary Kate Lynch’s speculative effort from out the park dropped in and over the head of Aoife McColgan. White responded for Donegal and just that green flag split the teams. 

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Meath did lose Máire O’Shaughnessy to a sin bin going into the last ten minutes. But they closed out matters for their first win of the campaign with Meadhbh Byrne and substitute Ailbhe Leahy adding late points to seal a five-point victory and condemn Donegal to a second successive loss. 

 Scorers - Meath: MK Lynch 1-0; S Gerimes 0-2f; N O’Sullivan 0-2; N Gallogly 0-1; M Byrne 0-1; A Leahy 0-1. 

Donegal: S White 0-3,2f; K Long 0-1; C McGarvey 0-1. 

Meath: M McGuirk; Á Sheridan, M Kate Lynch, K Newe; N Galloghy, S Ennis, A Cleary; M O’Shaughnessy, A Minogue; M Thynne, M Byrne, C Smyth; O Callan, S Grimes, N O’Sullivan. Subs: S Melia for Callan (42), R Casserly for Smyth (50), A Leahy for Thynne (59). 

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 Donegal: A McColgan; K Dowds, E McGinley, E Gallagher; A Boyle Carr, J McFadden, T Hegarty; S Twohig, R Rodgers; S Boyle, K Long, L Ryan; S White, S McGroddy, C McGarvey. Subs: N McLaughlin for McFadden (42), A Walsh for McGroddy (46), N Carr for Dowds (57), C Walsh for Long (59), C Gillespie and S Higgins for McGinley and McGarvey (both 60+3). 

 Ref - Kevin Corcoran (Mayo).

Kerry 3-5 Mayo 0-13 

The old adage that goals win games proved to be true at the Connacht Centre of Excellence when three second-half strikes powered Kerry to their second win in succession in Division 1 of the Lidl NFL.

Goals from Síofra O’Shea, Lorraine Scanlon and Louise Ní Mhuircheartaigh got Kerry over the line despite a powerful Mayo revival.

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Amazingly, the goals were the only Kerry scores in a second half where Mayo dominated.

The Munster women were the better team for long periods the first half but only took a one-point lead to the break, 0-5 to 0-4, after a Mayo resurgence before half time.

The Kerry forwards looked much more potent from play with Hannah O’Donoghue and Siofra O’Shea to the fore, but the home defenders were ferocious.

Lisa Cafferky was the shining light in the Mayo attack, but the home side failed to score form play in the opening half, relying on Maria Cannon and Shauna Howley for pointed frees.

Kerry might have had a goal in the opening minute, but Erica McGlynn’s shot was saved brilliantly by Mayo netminder Laura Brennan as Kerry began the game impressively.

Midfielder Niamh Carmody was busy early on for the guests, however, Mayo powered back into it with Clodagh McManamon, Roisin Flynn and Danielle Caldwell to the fore.

The Kerry goals in the third quarter looked to have sealed victory and they looked comfortable before Mayo introduced substitute Sinead Walsh and the momentum changed completely.

The home side powered forward and with Tara Needham, Walsh and Rachel Kearns prominent the gap closed significantly. However, late Mayo, misses and Kerry resilience secured the Munster women’s second win in a row and Mayo’s second defeat.

Scorers – Kerry: S O’Shea 1-1, L Scanlon and L Ní Mhuircheartaigh 1-0 each, A O’Connell, N Ní Chonchuir, H O’Donoghue and E McGlynn 0-1 each.

Mayo: S Howley 0-5f, M Cannon 0-4f, S Walsh 0-3, R Kearns 0-1.

KERRY: M.E. Bolger; C O’Brien, E Lynch, C Murphy; A O’Connell, E Costello, N Broderick; L Scanlon, N Carmody; C Evans, S O’Shea, N Ni Chonchúir; H O’Donoghue, E McGlynn, C Lynch.

Subs: K Cronin for Broderick, A Galvin for McGlynn, L Ní Mhuircheartaigh for Ní Chonchúir, F Tagney for Evans, M O’Connell for Carmody, L Galvin for Costello, R Dwyer for O’Shea.

MAYO: L Brennan; E Ronayne, R Flynn, D Caldwell; L Wallace, S Tierney, K Sullivan; C McManamon, S Cafferky; H Reape, S Howley, T Needham; L Cafferky, R Kearns, M Cannon.

Subs: S Walsh for Reape, C Needham for Sullivan, E Murray for T Needham, F McHale for Kearns.

Referee – Siobhan Coyle.