Photo Credit: Donegal LGFA
Report By Cóilín Duffy
It was an eventful weekend in Division 1 of the Lidl Ladies Football League with two live TV fixtures; a match abandoned midway through due to heavy snow; and a postponement.
Eir Sport and TG4 provided live coverage of Dublin and Cork; and Galway and Mayo on Saturday and Sunday respectively – the first fixtures to gain coverage outside of the finals of the Lidl Ladies Football League.
Saturday’s fixture at Croke Park provided a cracker of an encounter, with reigning All-Ireland Senior champions Dublin pipping league holders Cork by 3-9 to 1-14.
Unbeaten heading into this clash, it looked at times that might continue to be the outcome, with the close nature of this tie, meaning a draw could have been the final outcome.
Cork staged a strong comeback late on, but Dublin held out for a slender win.
With 20 minutes to go, Mick Bohan’s side were eight points clear – goals from Olwen Carey and Carla Rowe putting them in the driving seat – 2-5 to 1-6 clear at the break.
However, it wasn’t all about Dublin and the early stages belonged to Cork who bagged an Eimear Scally penalty goal after just two minutes.
In the second half Carey claimed Dublin’s third goal, but sin-binnings for Katie Murray and Lucy Collins made it tough.
Doireann O’Sullivan was dismissed for Cork, but Orla Finn (0-7), Melissa Duggan and Scally kept things going, but time ran out for the Rebelettes.
The TG4 live clash brought together Connacht rivals Galway and Mayo for a midday showdown at Pearse Stadium.
The visitors edged a 2-7 to 1-7 win, with the winners goals arriving in the opening half.
In testing conditions in Salthill, Grace Kelly and Sinead Cafferkey netted for Mayo – one in either quarter.
Kelly’s goal coming, after Rachel Kearns and Sarah Conneally swapped early scores.
Kelly pushed Mayo four ahead, before Fiona McHale cut through for a goal chance, but was denied by Galway keeper Dearbhla Gower.
Niamh Kelly added a point before Cafferkey’s goal opened up a six-point cushion, with McHale the provider.
Grace Kelly further extended Mayo’s lead, before Galway ended a 17-minute score-less streak with Tracey Leonard slotting over the bar.
This kick-started a good period from Galway, with Louise Ward and Leonard on target, before Eilish Ronayne and Catriona Cormican traded scores.
Substitute Shauna Howley fired a free for Mayo on the restart, but scores were hard to comeby.
Mairead Seoighe and Ailbhe Davoren were both sin-binned, before McHale again proved to be goal-hungry, but was once more denied by Gower in the 47th minute.
Mayo duo Aileen Gilroy and Sarah Tierney also picked up yellow cards late on.
Galway worked until the ended with Conneally on target, while Cormican netted a goal, but Mayo held out for a three-point win.
Donegal looked on target for victory over Westmeath, but heavy snowfall forced referee Garryowen McMahon to abandon the game on the 4G surface at St. Loman’s GAA Club, with the Ulster side leading by 3-9 to 1-8 after 45 minutes.
Donegal were 1-7 to 1-4 ahead at half time, with Yvonne Bonner netting a 17th minute goal for the visitors.
Maud Annie Foley claimed Westmeath’s goal from a free.
Wind assisted, Donegal pushed on, on the restart with Eilish Ward netting two goals, but snow proved to be the winner.
It’s unclear when this game will be refixed for, and if Westmeath will have a home venue.
Meanwhile, Monaghan’s clash with Kerry at Inniskeen was postponed early. The fixture had been down to take place as part of a double-header with the respective mens football teams at Páirc Grattan.