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Shauna Molloy in action for Galway. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Shauna Molloy in action for Galway. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

Shauna Molloy in action for Galway. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Galway manager Tim Rabbitt praised his side's back-to-back wins over Dublin and Tipperary as they closed in on a spot in the Lidl National Football League Division 1 Final.

Roisín Leonard's goal eased them past Tipp in Tuam Stadium yesterday and back to the top of the standings on scoring difference, shortly after Cork stumbled against Donegal in Ballyshannon.

Dublin eased their relegation concerns with a come-from-behind win away to Waterford, while Mayo kept pace with the leaders following their convincing home win (0-10 to 2-0) over Westmeath.

Leonard's second-half penalty made sure of Galway's 1-12 to 0-4 win, but another solid defensive display pleased Rabbitt. "We wanted to put in a really good performance to back-up the one we put in against Dublin, and we challenged the girls to do that," said Rabbitt.

Dublin stormed back from seven points down to deny Waterford with goals from Siobhán Woods, Noelle Healy, Carla Rowe and Sinéad Aherne key to their 4-5 to 0-13 win.

"It was one of those days when a bit of grit was needed. I thought in the second half in that 12- or 13-minute period we were very good," said Dubs boss Mick Bohan.

Goals from Amy Boyle Carr and Geraldine McLaughlin saw Donegal inflict a first defeat on Cork.

Orla Finn kicked six points for Ephie Fitzgerald's side, but they were bettered throughout by a hungrier Donegal side, who climbed out of the relegation slot with this 2-6 to 0-8 win.

"I think we're relieved more than anything. We haven't had a great start in the league. It takes some of the pressure off," said Donegal manager Maxi Curran.

Elsewhere, an outstanding performance from Rachel Kearns propelled Mayo to a 0-10 to 2-0 victory over Westmeath in Swinford.

Lucy McCartan and Leona Archibold hit the net for Seán Finnegan's side, but Peter Leahy's outfit remain in contention for a slot in the final.

Meanwhile, in Division 2, Kerry are one point away from reaching the second tier final after they claimed a fifth straight win against Monaghan. Goals from Louise Ní Mhuircheartaigh, Niamh Carmody and Andrea Murphy made sure of the 3-10 to 2-9 win with a third for the Kingdom.

Meath climbed into second place in the table after Monaghan's defeat, and the Royals were delighted to edge past Armagh on a 1-21 to 3-5 scoreline at the Athletic Grounds.

Aisling Maguire's six points and a 1-3 haul from Roisin O'Keeffe helped Cavan to a 1-13 to 1-9 win against Clare in Doonbeg, while Tyrone are still in the hunt too after their comprehensive 4-17 to 0-3 win over Wexford.

In Division 3 Kildare guaranteed themselves a spot in the final after their 0-13 to 0-8 win over Roscommon at Dr Hyde Park. The win gives Kildare a six-point lead over Roscommon in the standings, and with a three-way tie impossible, Kildare's head-to-head record will see them through in the event of a two-way tie.

Irish Independent