Sports

Galway Set The Pace In League Encounter With Offaly

Thursday, 2 March 2017

GALWAY came away with a win on Sunday, beating a much depleted Offaly side in the Littlewoods Ireland Camogie Division 1 League, making it two wins from two for the Tribeswomen.

GALWAY ...1-11
OFFALY ...1-04

In Birr man, Paddy Kirwan's first game in charge, Offaly failed to register a single score from play over the sixty minutes and will be quite disappointed with their lack lustre performace. The Faithful seemed to lack in pace and strength and as many followers already know, they are capable of a much healthier type of performance.

Galway registered their first score of the game from an opportunist Catherine Finnerty after fifty seconds. Offaly's Michaela Morkan attempted to clear a wayward sliothar when the centre back fumbled and Finnerty struck.

Midfielder Niamh Kilkenny, who made use of the space she was granted throughout the opening half, found the uprights moments later for Galway as she lay in waiting for Aoife Donohue's handpass.

Offaly hit their first point of the game courtesy of a Siobhan Flannery placed ball and the Faithful side attempted to capitalise on the resulting puck out.

Morkan pin pointed Cailin Fitzgerald who sent the sliothar towards corner forward Arlene Watkins, who in turn made a run at the Galway defence. Watkins was the most vibrant of the Offaly side, but unfortunately didn't receive much ball time. The Birr player was fouled just outside the square by Galway defender Heather Cooney with Siobhan Flannery standing up to take the resulting twenty-one yard free.

Flannery with the wind on her back shot for goal, however Galway full back Sarah Dervan was on the line to pull off a great save, clearing up field to centre forward Ailish O'Reilly. O'Reilly won herself a free and pointed from thirty yards closely followed up by another two Galway points courtesy of Noreen Coen and O'Reilly once again.

A mere five minutes elapsed and Watkins was once again fouled heading for the Galway goalmouth, this time the corner forward was fouled inside the square, resulting in the awarding of a penalty.

Michaela Morkan was the designated taker on this occasion, rattling the net leaving Offaly in prime position to drive the game on in their favour.

Nonetheless this wasn't to be, Galway fought back and secured a goal of their own from a team effort. Niamh Kilkenny won the dirty ball at centre field, working it through their forward line. The play involved Ailish O'Reilly and Aoife Donohue but it was Noreen Coen who got the last touch, sending the sliothar past Mairead Jennings.

Siobhan Flannery followed up with another point from a placed ball but Galway looked dangerous for the remaining ten minutes of the first half with the Offaly back line working hard to keep the Tribeswomen at bay. Nonetheless Kilkenny and Finnerty struck a point each to put five points between the sides at the break.

Galway enjoyed far too much freedom on their half back line and at midfield throughout the first half, they were much quicker to react to breaking ball which was much to Offaly's detriment.

The second half proved to be more favourable for Offaly as they became much more solid in their defence, only conceding four points even when they lost defender Patrice Delaney to a second yellow card. Of those points scored, all were gained following fifteen minutes of the restart, leaving the closing fifteen minutes scoreless for the West.

Galway did manage to create a bit of fanfare in front of goals on two occasions but Offaly keeper Mairead Jennings performed quite well to keep her sheet to a lone goal.

Unfortunately for Offaly, the team only managed to convert two points in the closing half, both from Siobhan Flannery frees leaving Galway with little to fear, running out seven point clear winners at the final whistle.

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