Monday 20 November 2017

Tesco NFL round-up - Cork earn final date with Galway

Galway’s Sinead Burke is challenged by Dublin’s Niamh McEvoy during their Ladies NFL Division 1 semi-final
Galway’s Sinead Burke is challenged by Dublin’s Niamh McEvoy during their Ladies NFL Division 1 semi-final

Jackie Cahill

Eamonn Ryan's Cork are through to an eighth successive Ladies' NFL Division 1 final, in which they will face Galway.

The Rebelettes moved to within an hour of a third successive league title by defeating Munster rivals Kerry by three points yesterday on a 0-13 to 0-10 scoreline.

The reigning league and All-Ireland champions showed all their renowned composure to tough it out against the Kingdom in Dromcollogher, thereby booking their passage through to the final on Saturday, May 9.

Galway were comprehensive winners of their semi-final against Dublin at St Loman's, Mullingar, as the Westerners scored a 4-13 to 3-4 success.

Cork and Kerry were level six times in the first half of their last-four clash before the winners edged 0-7 to 0-6 ahead at half-time.

But the Rebelettes' interval lead was one they would not relinquish, as Kerry were held to just four points in the second half - all of which came from frees.

Galway, meanwhile, had most of the hard work done by half-time against Dublin, with Tracey Leonard netting twice in the first half to help open up a 3-4 to 1-3 interval lead.

Galway's other goal was scored by Noelle Connolly, whose speculative shot skipped off the wet surface and into the bottom corner of the Dublin net.

Nicole Owens grabbed the first of her two goals in the first half but Galway picked up where they left off after half-time when Patricia Gleeson rewarded Annette Clarke's excellent approach play to register a fourth goal for the Tribeswomen.

Hannah Noonan responded with a Dublin goal and when Owens netted again, Dublin had a glimmer of hope, trailing by 3-3 to 4-10. Dublin's cause was helped when Sinead Burke was sin-binned for ten minutes but Galway held out to set up a first Division 1 final meeting with Cork since 2010.

Meanwhile, Ulster rivals Donegal and Armagh will meet in the Division 2 final for the first time since 2005.

Donegal comfortably beat Westmeath by 3-10 to 1-4 in their semi-final after Ulster champions Armagh saw off Cavan by 2-20 to 1-8 in Clones.

Armagh were 1-11 to 1-4 clear at half-time, with leading scorer Aimee Mackin helping herself to 1-4 in the first half. Aisling Sheridan netted early for Cavan but, with Mackin in scintillating form, Armagh rallied superbly to recover from a four-point deficit.

Donegal fulfilled their part of the semi-final bargain in style, getting off to a flyer as Amber Barrett netted after just 90 seconds against Westmeath.

Yvonne McMonagle registered a second Donegal goal to help her side lead by 2-1 to 0-3 at the break.

McMonagle added a second goal after half-time and while Karen McDermott scored a superb goal for Westmeath, there was no way back for the Midlanders.

Donegal and Armagh will now battle it out on May 9 for the right to play Division 1 football next year and the Division 3 decider will be contested by Waterford and Sligo.

Waterford hammered Roscommon by 4-15 to 0-9 in Nenagh as Sligo edged out Connacht rivals Leitrim on a 2-9 to 1-8 scoreline in Ballyhaunis.

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