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Galway show great character to overcome Donegal

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Leonard: “Leaking three early goals was hard to come back from but it just came down to sheer character.” Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile

Leonard: “Leaking three early goals was hard to come back from but it just came down to sheer character.” Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

Leonard: “Leaking three early goals was hard to come back from but it just came down to sheer character.” Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile

Galway's Tracey Leonard said her side's character shone through as her hat-trick of goals helped Galway to an impressive Lidl NFL Division 1 win over Donegal in Letterkenny.

The win sees last year's league and All-Ireland finalists stay in touch with leaders Cork, who picked up their third win against Dublin in Croke Park on Saturday evening.

With games being cancelled right around the country due to the effects of Storm Ciara, Galway recovered well to earn a 3-12 to 4-5 win over Donegal after a slow start.

"Leaking three early goals was hard to come back from but it just came down to sheer character," said Leonard. "We dug deep on a day that wasn't for fancy football or anything. We had to fight for it and that's what got us over the line."

Nicole Gordon hit two goals for Donegal, while Amy Boyle Carr and Geraldine McLaughlin also found the net, but Maxi Curran's side fell short.

For Cork it was Orla Finn who did most of the damage once again, and her five points meant Carla Rowe's second-half penalty was not enough to rescue Mick Bohan's team.

A third straight win has the Munster side three points clear of Galway in the standings and their manager Fitzgerald was delighted.

"I think we played some fabulous football," said Fitzgerald. The first 40 minutes we were well on top. What brought them back into it was the penalty. They got a lift from that obviously.

"I thought if we got one more score it would have settled us, but I was absolutely thrilled with the attitude of the girls and the commitment."

Dublin boss Mick Bohan was left to ponder what might have been: "It's probably not the result that's frustrating for us, rather the number of opportunities they had that they just squandered. Very disappointing, really poor execution and an awful lot of the basics of the game just not executed. That becomes a huge source of frustration."

Meanwhile, in Division 2 of the Lidl NFL, Tyrone defeated Clare 3-7 to 1-7, while Bridgetta Lynch's goal early in the second half secured a 1-13 to 0-9 win for Meath against Monaghan.

Kerry maintained the only 100 per cent record in the division as they held on to claim a 2-12 to 2-10 win against Armagh after the Kingdom had led by seven points at the interval.

Aoife McCoy and Blaithin Mackin goaled late on for the Ulster side but the Munster side had just enough in reserve to claim their third win and sole leadership at the top of the standings.

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