Ladies: O'Rourke the hero as Galway tear up the script to dethrone Dublin

July 06, 2024

Dublin's Olwen Carey tackles Mairead Glynn of Galway ©INPHO/Leah Scholes

Galway 3-7
Dublin 1-12
(after extra-time)

by Daire Walsh

Aoife O’Rourke grabbed the crucial match-winning score at Parnell Park as Galway secured a sensational extra-time win to dethrone 2023 champions Dublin in a gripping TG4 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship quarter-final encounter.

A week on from their male compatriots producing an identical result at the expense of Dublin in the Sam Maguire Cup at nearby Croke Park, the Tribeswomen pulled out all the stops to set up a semi-final showdown with Cork at Glenisk O’Connor Park on July 20.

While Galway opened the scoring in the third-minute with a routine free from Olivia Divilly, Dublin — who lined out without the services of team captain Carla Rowe — subsequently opened up a three-point lead with unanswered scores from Sinead Goldrick, Jennifer Dunne, Nicole Owens and Hannah Tyrrell.

However, the visitors were back on level terms when corner-forward Roisin Leonard buried a low shot to the net on 14 minutes and proceeded to move back in front when the same player convincingly slotted a free between the posts.

Dublin looked like they were going to end the opening period in the ascendancy when Tyrrell dispatched a 28th minute penalty to the net, only for a second goal from the excellent Leonard on the stroke of half-time to offer the westerners a slender 2-2 to 1-4 buffer heading into the dressing rooms.

Yet despite registering a number of wides either side of the interval, Dublin eventually regained their lead with the help of two points on the bounce from Anabelle Timothy and Tyrrell. The latter score was immediately preceded by the sin-binning of opposition wing-back Aoife Ni Cheallaigh and in her absence, Owens and Tyrrell points either side of another dead-ball special by Leonard had the holders within reach of a last-four spot.

Galway refused to give in, however, and points from substitute Ailish Morrissey and Leonard meant that an additional 20 minutes were required to produce a winner.

Yet with defender Niamh Donlon and six-time All-Ireland winner Sinead Aherne supplementing a brace of scores from Tyrrell, Dublin led 1-12 to 2-7 at the start of the second half in extra-time and were once again in a strong position to push on for victory.

A 0-2 salvo from Olivia Divilly was all that Galway had mustered in the additional periods up to this point, but the Tribeswomen dramatically found themselves back in the driving seat when O’Rourke found a way past Jackies’ net-minder Abby Shiels with an unstoppable left-footed shot four minutes from the end.

Dunne and Tyrrell had opportunities in the tense final moments to force this compelling affair into a free-taking contest, but much to the relief of the Galway faithful in attendance, their efforts fell just short of the target.

Scorers for Galway: R Leonard 2-3 (0-3f), O Divilly 0-3 (3f), A O’Rourke 1-0, A Morrissey 0-1.

Dublin: H Tyrrell 1-5 (1-0 pen, 0-4f), N Owens 0-2, N Donlon, S Goldrick, J Dunne, A Timothy, S Aherne 0-1 each.

GALWAY: D Gower; M Jordan, S Lynch, K Geraghty; A Ni Cheallaigh, N Ward, C Cooney; M Glynn, A Davoren; O Divilly, L Ward, N Divilly; E Reaney, L Coen, R Leonard. Subs: A Morrissey for Reaney (39), M Walsh for Glynn, A Trill for N Divilly (both 44), S Hynes for Coen (55), A O’Rourke for Leonard (67), M Banek for Cooney (68), Coen for Davoren (72), E Gavin for Geraghty (79).

DUBLIN: A Shiels; N Donlon, L Caffrey, A Kane; S Goldrick, M Byrne, L Magee; J Dunne, O Carey; C O’Connor, N Crowley, E Gribben; H Tyrrell, N Hetherton, N Owens. Subs: A Timothy for Gribben (h-t), G Kos for Carey, S Aherne for Kane (both 51), J Tobin for Magee (61), Magee for Owens (70), C Darby for Donlon (77).

Referee: Seamus Mulvihill (Kerry).

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