EIMEAR Scally’s second half penalty proved crucial as holders Cork took the chance to move three points clear of Galway at the top of Division 1 of the Lidl Ladies National Football League.
Cork ran out 1-11 to 2-5 winners against Galway in a top-of-the-table clash in Mallow. At half-time, Cork had recovered from the concession of an early goal to lead by 0-6 to 1-2.
Roisin Leonard netted in the eleventh minute for Galway, but Scally was very much to the fore as the hosts worked their way back into contention.
Galway began the second half in fine fashion as Lucy Hannon bagged their second goal before Barbara Hannon added a point soon after, as the Tribeswomen opened up a 2-3 to 0-7 lead.
But a pair of Scally points, and another from All-Star Orla Finn, had Cork back in the ascendancy once again – before Scally converted a penalty goal to help seal the win.
Elsewhere in Division 1, Kerry saw off Armagh by 0-11 to 0-9 in Duagh, a result that leaves the Kingdom very much in the hunt for a top-four finish.
The sides were level at 0-3 each early on but Kerry hit three-in-a-row (two from Laura Rogers and another from Louise Ní Mhuircheartaigh) to lead by 0-6 to 0-3 in the 23rd minute.
But Armagh finished the first half in brilliant fashion, hitting four unanswered points to lead by 0-7 to 0-6, Aimee Mackin and Caroline O’Hanlon both scoring two each.
In the second half, Armagh were restricted to just two points as Kerry did enough at the other end of the pitch.
Kerry were 0-10 to 0-8 clear before O’Hanlon brought Armagh to within a point with nine minutes of normal time left.
Ní Mhuircheartaigh pointed in the 55th minute, the final score of the game, and Kerry survived a late onslaught from Armagh to hold out.
In a cracking fixture in Termon, Donegal beat Ulster rivals Monaghan by just a single point, 3-12 to 1-17.
Returning forward Yvonne McMonagle, Karen Guthrie and Eilish Ward scored Donegal’s goals as they came from behind to prevail.
Monaghan raced into an early six-point lead as Eimear McAnespie goaled and the Farney girls picked off three points within four minutes.
McMonagle, back in Donegal colours after a stint in Australia, goaled in the 14th minute and by half-time, the hosts were well in touch, trailing by 1-7 to 1-9.
Guthrie’s 41st minute goal had Donegal a point behind – 2-8 to 1-12 – and Ward’s penalty gave them something to hold onto.
Monaghan, who are bottom of the table, will meet Armagh in the final round of group fixtures in what is a relegation six-pointer but Donegal are safe in the knowledge that they’ll be playing top flight football again next year.
The top of Division 2 remains extremely congested as Laois, Cavan and Westmeath lead the way on 12 points, followed by Clare on ten, and Tyrone and Sligo on nine.
There were victories on Sunday for Cavan, Laois, Westmeath and Clare. In Division 3, Tipperary are out in front after maintaining their 100 per cent record, a sixth victory of the campaign coming at home to Leitrim.
There were also third tier wins for Offaly, Wexford and Roscommon while in Division 4, Wicklow beat Antrim and Fermanagh saw off Carlow.
After an afternoon of high drama in Division 1 of the Allianz League, the only certainties are that Dublin will definitely play in next month’s final while Roscommon will play Division 2 football next season.