A last minute penalty managed to see Kildare Ladies navigate their way to a draw in their opening outing in the Ladies 2013 National League Division 2, writes Tara Byrne.
Ladies National Football League Division 2
Deep into injury time a free from Gillian Behan to the onrushing Áine Gately set her free in space as she headed menacingly towards the Galway goal, a late side step left Galway defender Sinead Burke wrong footed as Gately breezed past.
A tight one-two with second half substitute Siobhan Hurley had Gately bearing down on goal before a tackle from behind forced the hand of referee Paul Fahy into awarding the penalty.
Behan made no mistake as she dispatched the placed ball low and to the right, beyond the reach of Galway keeper Johanna Connolly.
Kildare began the brighter of the sides going into a two point lead within the opening three minutes with points from Gately, and Stacy Cannons.
Galway hit back with a free from the boot of the superb Edel Concannon. The sides exchanged points until Concannon worked a free for her side on the 45m line, she managed to drop the ball straight into the hand of the waiting Deirdre Brennan, fouled by Michelle Carey, the referee didn’t hesitate in awarding the penalty. Annette Clarke stepped up converting with ease to send Galway into the lead for the first time.
A further trading of points set the stage for Kildare’s first of four goals. A shot from Cannon rifled off the upright, falling to the waiting Behan who made no mistake with the follow-up and the lead had swayed yet again.
As half time neared Roisin Leonard of Galway sprung to life with 1-1 within the space of 60 seconds. The first a point off the right boot, before netting past Hederman in the Kildare goal. Three quick Galway points looked to have Kildare on the ropes as the clock ticked into injury time.
Cue the Gately sisters, Áine beating two Galway defenders before spotting sister Deirdre unmarked and bearing down on goal, fist passing over the top the latter made no mistake with the finish slicing the ball into the top left corner beyond the reach of Connolly. Leaving the sides with a three point half-time difference to contemplate.
Kildare began the second as they began the first with Gately and Cannon pointing before Concannon came to Galway’s rescue yet again, with two frees either side of a yellow card for Aishling Savage.
With fourteen players Kildare saw their early work go to waste as the lead was quickly back to three.
Moments laters Kildare were further reduced as a harsh yellow card for corner forward Behan gave her a quick unscheduled ten minute breather.
Just after the reintroduction of Savage Kildare were on the attack yet again, as Áine Gately had broke clear of the Galway back line crossing to the waiting Maria Moolick, unmarked in the centre her shot scraped over the fingertips of Connolly leaving Kildare only one adrift as the game entered its final 8 minutes.
Two final points, one from the ever present Concannon and one from full-forward Leonard, left the sides separated by a goal as the clock passed 60.
A late penalty won by Áine Gately and converted by Behan ensured the Ladies would be bringing a point home to Kildare to prepare for the trip to the Breffni county next weekend.
Aoife Hederman; Kiri Lowry, Paula Keatley, Aisling Curley; Michelle Carey, Aishling Savage, Aoife Herbert; Joanna Timmons, Niamh Quinn; Brianne Leahy, Áine Gately 0-3, Maria Moolick 1-0; Deirdre Gately 1-1, Stacy Cannon 0-4 (3f), Gillian Behan 2-0 (1pen). Subs: Kate Leahy for Quinn, 30; Ashling Holton, 30; Caoimhe Keoghan for Keatley, 30; Roisin Byrne for Herbert, 49; Elaine Dillion for D Gately, 50; Siobhan Hurley for Cannon, 58 Grace Clifford for Curley, 58; Mary Hulgraine for A Gately, 61
Johanna Connolly; Mairead Coyne, Sarah Conneally, Nora Ward; Rebecca McPhilbin, Emer Flaherty, Sinead Burke; Annette Clarke 1-2 (1pen), Claire Hehir; Geraldine Conneally 0-1, Deirdre Brennan, Aoibheann Daly; Gillian O’Connor 0-1, Roisin Leonard 1-2, Edel Concannon 0-8 (7f). Subs: Barbara Hannon for S Conneally, 30; Lorna Joyce for Brennan, 35; Eilis Gannon for G Conneally, 52.
Paul Fahy (Roscommon).