Paul Corcoran reports from Dangan
Galway took a big step in their search for the Women’s National League under-19 title with a 2-1 win over Peamount United on Saturday afternoon.
Saoirse Healey and Aoibheann Costello put the home side in front in the first half with Michelle Doonan getting one back for the visitors in the second half to set up a tense end to the game on the banks of the Corrib.
The Tribeswomen came into Saturday a point behind Peamount and this crucial win has allowed them leapfrog United into first place with just two games to go in this campaign.
Healey put Galway in front almost immediately after kick-off with a goal in the first minute. The winger nicked the ball over Summer Lawless from close range after an excellent lateral pass into Healey’s path in the box.
It was end to end stuff at times throughout the first half and just minutes later Peas went close from a Kate O’Dowd corner to the back post which found Scarlett Herron who headed the ball towards goal but Galway shot stopper Hanna Walsh was well placed to deny the visitors.
United went close to equalising in the 23rd minute when Orlagh Fitzpatrick was through on goal but an excellent intervention from Sorcha McCarney denied the attacker inside the box.
Walsh held on to the ball well in the 34th minute after a blistering shot from Fitzpatrick and the goalkeeper made another stop two minutes later with an effort from Peamount’s Tara O’Hanlon.
Galway’s Aobhín Donnelly was a lively presence up front and in the 16th minute she managed to beat the goalkeeper with some great play, but the forward could only square the ball across goal with no teammate able to take advantage of the chance.
She went close again ten minutes later with a great turn in the box as she received the ball before rattling a shot on goal with Lawless able to pull off a good save to deny the striker.
Kate Slevin was a danger from free kicks throughout the game with Shauna Brennan nodding the ball narrowly over the crossbar from a set-piece in the 24th minute.
Galway doubled their lead from a Slevin free kick in the 37th minute with the high ball turned into the net by Costello from close range.
The second half wasn’t quite as open but in the 58th minute Peamount United secured a foothold in the game with Doonan striking the ball beyond Walsh into the net.
Second half substitute Rola Olusola went close in the 70th minute with a long run deep into Peamount territory but Lawless was able to block the forward’s shot.
Abbie Callanan and Olusola combined with chances from close range in the 87th minute with the first shot saved before Olusola struck the ball narrowly wide.
Amber Cosgrove nearly claimed a point for the visitors late in the game with Tara O’Hanlon finding her teammate in the box with a great cross.
Hannah Walsh saved her team with two great blocks one after another to deny Cosgrove and secure an important victory for the Tribeswomen.
Galway WFC: Hannah Walsh; Emer O’Neill, Sorcha McCarney, Saoirse Healey, Aoibhín Donnelly, Aoibheann Costello, Kate Slevin, Ailbhe Whyte, Emma O’Donnoghue, Aoife Staunton, Shauna Brennan.
Substitutes: Peggy Forde, Ella Gilmore, Jane Trehy, Bryna Milton, Eve Dossen, Kate Thompson, Rola Olusola, Abbie Callanan.
Peamount United: Summer Lawless; Abby McHugh, Tara O’Hanlon, Scarlett Herron, Sarah Power, Kate O’Dowd, Rachel McGrath, Eve Conheady, Michelle Doonan, Rebecca Watkins, Orlagh Fitzpatrick.
Substitutes: Amber Cosgrove, Emily McCann, Jessica Fitzgerald, Ella O’Toole, Leah Marry, Eden Tyler, Chloe Smullen, Aoife O’Leary.
Referee: Declan Toland
Extratime.com Player of the Match: Kate Slevin (Galway).