Tuesday 22 August 2017

Leonard's return helps steer Galway past Kerry

Galway’s Sinead Burke in action against Kerry’s Sarah Murphy during their Lidl Ladies Football league clash in Corofin. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
Galway’s Sinead Burke in action against Kerry’s Sarah Murphy during their Lidl Ladies Football league clash in Corofin. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Jackie Cahill

Ace forward Tracey Leonard made a welcome late return from cruciate knee ligament damage, as Galway joined holders Cork at the head of affairs in Division 1 of the Lidl Ladies National Football League.

Two Róisín Leonard goals, and another from Ailbhe Davoren, helped the Tribeswomen to see off Kerry by 3-6 to 1-10 yesterday afternoon.

Dublin could have made it a three-way tie at the top, but the Leinster champions suffered a surprise 3-5 to 3-12 defeat against Armagh in Abbottstown.

Leonard's first goal was the first decisive piece of action in Corofin and that strike helped the hosts to lead by 1-4 to 0-5 at half-time. But Kerry took control early in the second half and Louise Ní Mhuircheartaigh's 34th-minute goal opened up a 1-7 to 1-4 lead for the Kingdom.

Galway regained the initiative when Leonard and Davoren netted quick-fire goals, while Kerry lost Denise Hallissey to the sin bin.

Victory makes it four wins in five league outings for Stephen Glennon's Galway this year, with Tracey Leonard brought on in the 59th minute.

In Dublin, Aimee Mackin scored 1-9 for visiting Armagh, who collected their second win of the campaign.

Mackin's haul included 1-7 from play, as the Orchard County dented Dublin's hopes of a top-four finish.

Elsewhere, the scheduled Donegal v Mayo game was postponed, due to a bereavement in the Donegal camp.

On Saturday, it was revealed that Cork's 11-time All-Ireland senior medallist Deirdre O'Reilly is retiring from inter-county football.

The Leesiders still managed to come from behind and secure a valuable 2-14 to 1-12 victory against hosts Monaghan in Clones, with Rachel McKenna's sin-binning for Monaghan proving to be a turning point.

In Division 2, Cavan beat Waterford by just a single point, 2-7 to 0-12, as Westmeath saw off Laois by two points, 0-14 to 1-9.

In yesterday's only Division 3 game, Wexford won by 3-13 to 0-14 at home to Meath and in Division 4, there were victories for Longford, Wicklow, Carlow and Derry.

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