Aoife O’Rourke’s last-minute free gives Galway late draw against Meath

Reigning champions looked set to go home happy when Emma Duggan gave them the lead

Galway 0-9 Meath 0-9

Super-sub Aoife O’Rourke scored a last minute free to give Galway a share of the spoils in an enthralling Lidl NFL Division 1 clash with holders Meath.

The reigning champions were playing their first game at Páirc Tailteann this year in front of a huge home support and the majority of the crowd looked set to go home happy when Emma Duggan put Meath ahead after 56 minutes. The TG4 All-Star forward, who was a half-time substitute, kicked three points but it wasn’t enough for the win.

The opening half was a tense affair with both sides showing their defensive solidity. It was the hosts that started the quicker as an incisive attacking move culminated in wingback Niamh Gallogly firing over.


However, Maghnus Breathnach and Fiona Wynne’s side survived a scare when Olivia Callan’s shot almost deceived Alannah Griffin in the Galway goal but she did enough to prevent the concession of a goal.

Galway produced a move of real quality as Olivia Divilly and Kate Slevin combined to set up Shauna Brennan to arrow over the equaliser. Meath’s restart didn’t travel the required distance as Slevin slotted the resulting Galway free.

With the boisterous Meath fans providing loud support, Davy Nelson’s players were boosted when Galway’s Leanne Coen was sent to the sinbin. However, it was Galway who responded well to their numerical disadvantage as Slevin converted a placed ball after Megan Glynn was fouled.

Meath needed a score and after the home side won a turnover deep in their own territory, they countered quickly with Meadhbh Byrne kicking a badly needed score with Galway leading 0-3 to 0-2 at the break.

Eva Noone and Slevin scored early in the second half for Galway but Meath responded through Stacey Grimes and Ciara Smyth. Three Slevin efforts helped Galway inch ahead with Duggan kicking two of her own.

Grimes, Gallogly and Duggan helped Meath lead by one but O’Rourke stepped up to ensure a share of the spoils for Galway.

Scorers – Galway: K Slevin 0-6 (3f), A O’Rourke 0-1 (1f), S Brennan 0-1, E Noone 0-1. Meath: E Duggan 0-3 (1f), S Grimes 0-2 (2f), N Gallogly 0-2, M Byrne 0-1, C Smyth 0-1.

Galway: A Griffin; K Geraghty, S Ní Loingsigh, E Gavin; C Cooney, L Ward, A Molloy; A Davoren, L Coen; S Brennan, O Divilly, C Miskell; M Glynn, K Slevin, L Noone.

Subs: E Noone for Glynn (ht), H Noone for E Noone (47), J Burke for Brennan (47), A O’Rourke for Miskell (56).

Meath: M McGuirk; K Newe, MK Lynch, A Sheridan; N Gallogly, S Ennis, A Cleary; M O’Shaughnessy, A Minogue; M Thynne, M Byrne, N O’Sullivan; O Callan, S Grimes, C Smyth.

Subs: E Duggan for Callan (ht), A Leahy for Smyth (47) A Sherlock for Byrne (47).

Referee: Gavin Finnegan (Down).

Dublin 4-13 Cork 3-15

Carla Rowe scored the last two points of the game as Dublin used all of their experience to get over the line in a thriller against Cork in the Lidl NFL Division 1.

By half-time it looked like Dublin had secured the points when four first-half goals saw them lead by double scores, 4-8 to 0-10. However, a storming restart from Cork saw them back in contention and with five minutes to go they were in front at Páirc Ui Rinn.

The home side got two early second-half goals to put only three points between the sides at that stage. But a couple of late frees from Rowe saw the visitors run out winners by a single point.

Cork got off to the better start with Eimear Kiely putting them in front and from the kick-out they regained possession to see Katie Quirke add their second inside two minutes.

Daire Kiely set up her twin sister Eimear for her second score as Cork dominated the early exchanges. Hannah Tyrrell got Dublin off the mark before she set up Jennifer Dunne.

But the home side continued to dominate and points from Libby Coppinger, Quirke, Rachel Leahy and Eimear Kiely made it 0-7 to 0-2 after 14 minutes.

Ellen Gibben and Tyrrell scored for Dublin before a mistake by the Cork defence saw Kate Sullivan set up Rowe for Dublin’s opening goal. Three minutes later Dublin turned the game on its head when Rowe assisted Caoimhe O’Connor for her goal, to make it 2-5 to 0-8.

Sullivan and Quirke exchanged points before Abby Shiels made a point-blank save from Quirke to deny Cork a goal. At the other end Dublin continued their ruthless streak with Tyrrell and Sullivan both finding the back of the net to make it 4-8 to 0-10 at half-time.

Cork started the second strongly and were back in contention when a ball from Erika O’Shea was palmed to the net by Dublin substitute Lauren Magee.

Then Eimear Kiely scored their second goal and it was game on. Three from Tyrrell kept Dublin in control as they lead 4-11 to 2-13 after 45 minutes.

Shiels made another great save, this time from Coppinger before Quirke pointed to make it a three-point game with 10 minutes to go.

Coppinger won possession from the kickout and she played in Orlaith Cahalane to put Cork back on level terms, 3-14 to 4-11. And with six minutes to go Quirke had Cork back in front.

Nevertheless, Rowe drew the sides level again from a free and she was on target from another placed ball to seal the win.

Scorers – Dublin: H Tyrrell 1-6, C Rowe 1-3 (2f), K Sullivan 1-2, C O’Connor 1-0, J Dunne 0-1, E Gribben 0-1. Cork: E Kiely 1-3, K Quirke 0-6 (3f), L Magee 1-0 (OG), O Cahalane 1-0, L Coppinger 0-3, R Leahy 0-1, A Healy 0-1, H Looney 0-1.

DUBLIN: A Shiels; R Brennan, M Byrne, J Tobin; L Caffrey, D Lawless, E Deeley; J Dunne, E O’Dowd; O Nolan, C Rowe, E Gribben; C O’Connor, H Tyrrell, K Sullivan.

Subs: L Magee for Brennan (15), S Wylde for Deeley (22), K Owens for Sullivan (46), N Hetherton for Tyrrell (48).

CORK: M O’Sullivan; S Kelly, S Leahy, D Kiniry; A Healy, H Looney, M Duggan; M O’Callaghan, E O’Shea; E Cleary, L Coppinger, D Kiely; K Quirke, E Kiely, R Leahy.

Subs: L O’Mahony for O’Callaghan (ht), A Ryan for Kiniry (ht), O Cahalane for D Kiely (ht), B O’Sullivan for O’Shea (45), K Redmond for Leahy (46), R Phelan for Duggan (58), A Ring for Kiely (58).

Referee: Garryowen McMahon (Mayo).