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A five-goal thriller was played out in Eamonn Deacy Park on Saturday evening as Kilkenny United refused to go down without a fight, with Galway WFC coming out on top as eventual 3-2 winners in the Só Hotels Women’s National League.

Kilkenny were inches away from taking the lead in the opening minutes of this one when Lia Reilly stripped the ball from Tessa Mullins in the Galway box, after an excellent corner kick from Leah F Doyle. Reilly’s shot should have hit the back of the net but the ball agonisingly hit the post and deflected away from the goalmouth.

For the rest of the half it was all Galway though and goalkeeper Lauren Davies was called into action several times to keep the visitors from conceding.

It took until the 40-minute mark for Galway to finally break the deadlock. A delivery from a corner for The Galway Girls took Kilkenny by surprise when Ailbhe Clancy played the ball to Doyle who was waiting outside the box, the midfielder smashed the ball goalward giving Davies no chance as the ball finally rattled the net for the home side.

Just three minutes into the second half, and Galway doubled their lead. Keara Cormican played a long ball through to Aoife Brennan and the forward turned excellently to keep control of the ball. The Kilkenny defence managed to dispossess Brennan but the ball was played straight to the onrushing Ailbhe Clancy who easily stroked the ball home with Davies caught out of position.

The away side were not going down without a fight and they clawed one back ten minutes later. Zara Lawless played a ball deep into the Galway box from a free-kick and some poor defending allowed Ann-Marie Byrne a great header on goal. Tara Long made sure the ball crossed the line with Ria McPhilbin caught off the line having gone to collect the ball from the free-kick.

With 63 minutes gone Kilkenny got an equalising goal. Zara Lawless took another free-kick from close to the half-way line. The away side rushed forward to get onto the ball but it seemed the bounce got the better of Ria McPhilbin as it somehow managed to nestle in the back of the net.

Galway fought right back to reclaim the lead and score the winning goal just three minutes later. Sadbh Doyle received the ball on the outskirts of the box and with her confidence up she went for another long-range effort, this one low and hard into the bottom corner of the net to claim the three points.

Galway WFC: Ria McPhilbin; Aoife Walsh (Sarah Baynes, 71), Ailbhe Clancy, Shauna Fox, Keara Cormican, Chloe Singleton, Sadhbh Doyle, Leah Brady (Kayla Brady, 71), Aoife Thompson, Aoife Brennan (Elle O’Flaherty, 80), Tessa Mullins.

Kilkenny United: Lauren Davies; Aoife Brophy, Zara Lawless, Ann-Marie Byrne, Nicole Plunket (Leah C Doyle 86), Naima Chemaou, Bronagh Kane (Kayla Cooling, 30), Leah F Doyle, Tara Long, Kerri Duffy, Lia Reilly.

Star Player: Sadhbh Doyle

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