Galway 4-6 Dublin 2-6
Galway boosted their Lidl National Football League Division 1 prospects with a convincing win against Dublin at the DCU Sportsgrounds.
With the Leonard cousins – Roisin and Tracey – recording a combined tally of 3-3, Tim Rabbitt's charges were worthy victors in this round four clash. Carla Rowe once again led the way for Dublin with a 1-4 tally as Mick Bohan’s side succumbed to a second defeat on the bounce.
This game was a repeat of last year’s TG4 All-Ireland Senior decider when Dublin secured their third national title in succession courtesy of a 2-3 to 0-4 victory.
Following early traded frees between Galway’s Roisin Leonard and Rowe, Ailbhe Davoren’s powerful tenth-minute strike found the roof of the Dublin net.
Despite suffering this early set-back, the hosts responded immediately with a three-pointer of their own from the impressive Rowe. The Tribeswomen continued to pose a threat in attack, however, and bagged their second goal of the contest on the first-quarter mark.
The industrious Davoren released Tracey Leonard in space and the Corofin ace angled a low shot beyond the reach of Dublin goalkeeper Ciara Trant. The 2019 All-Star has started the season in spectacular style and subsequently added a point to stretch the visitors further in front.
While another Rowe effort offered the Metropolitans some respite, Roisin Leonard matched her relative's opening haul of 1-1 by firing into the bottom left-hand corner in the 23rd minute.
This provided Galway with a convincing 3-2 to 1-2 interval cushion, which was extended on the resumption thanks to Andrea Trill’s quickfire two-point salvo.
And they effectively placed the outcome beyond doubt when Roisin Leonard fired home at the tightest of angles for her second goal on 41 minutes. A free from Tracy Leonard bolstered her side’s stranglehold on the proceedings, before Rowe fired back with a much-needed point for Dublin at the opposite end.
Dunne also cancelled out Trill’s third score for Galway in advance of a strong finish from the 2018 league champions. After converting her fourth free of the day, Rowe coolly slotted a 59th minute penalty past Dearbhla Gower.
Muireann Ní Scanaill also flicked over a late point, but Galway had already done enough to secure a third successive triumph by that stage.
Scorers – Galway: R Leonard 2-1 (1f), T Leonard 1-2 (1f), A Trill 0-3, A Davoren 1-0. Dublin: C Rowe 1-4 (1-0 pen, 4f), S Woods 1-0, J Dunne 0-1, M Ní Scanaill 0-1.
Galway: D Gower; C Crowe, S Lynch, S Molloy; C Cooney, F Cooney, L Coen; O Divilly, S Divilly; A Davoren, T Leonard, L Noone; L Hannon, R Leonard, A Trill. Subs: S Conneally for R Leonard (47), A Morrissey for Hannon (47), A Molloy for Trill (53), R Ní Flahartha for S Divilly (62).
Dublin: C Trant; É Rutledge, M Ní Scanaill, M Byrne; N Collins, L Caffrey, O Nolan; J Dunne, L McGinley; N Sweeney, C Rowe, L Kane; H O’Neill, S Woods, C O’Connor. Subs: R McDonnell for Kane (25), N Hetherton for O’Connor (h-t), L Davey for Sweeney (h-t), C O’Connor for Nolan (39), C McGuigan for O’Neill (47), J Egan for O’Connor (57), G Kos for Rutledge (57), C Sultan for McDonnell (57).
Ref: Maggie Farrelly (Cavan).