Galway Ladies’ NFL campaign is up and running with a solid 1-12 to 0-6 victory over Down in Tuam Stadium on Sunday.
Barry Downey’s charges went into the game with little experience of the visitors who were last year’s division three champions, but they were well prepared for an expected tough test after Down had won their first game against the former division one outfit Meath.
However Galway had too much in the tank after taking a 1-3 to 0-3 half-time lead.
Barbara Hannon got Galway off the mark in the third minute with a well-taken point, but Down levelled two minutes later. Although Hannon scored her second point in the 10th minute, Galway lost Nicola Burke to the sinbin. It enabled Down to drew level by the 18th minute with another free, but that was all the visitors could muster in the opening half as Galway began to come to terms with the pace of the game.
Another Hannon point in the 21st minute was followed by some brillant fielding by the Dunmore player who set up an attack for Deirdre Brennan who was hauled to the ground in the box. The referee awarded a penalty which Annette Clarke scored before the break.
Caitriona Cormican increased the lead soon after the restart, and although Down pulled a point back, another two from Cormican and one each from Hannon and sub Roisin Leonard ensured Galway were in control.
A Roisin Leonard point sandwiched two from Down, but Galway closed out the game with Ger Conneally(2 ) and Roisin Leonard on the scorbaord.
Galway: Johanna Connolly, Nicola Warde, Mairead Coyne, Orla Dixon, Rebecca Mc Philbin, Emer Flaherty, Sinead Burke (capt ), Annette Clarke, (1 goal, pen ), Geraldine Conneally (0-02 ), Aoibheann Daly, Caitriona Cormican (0-03 ), Nicola Burke, Barbara Hannon (0-04 ), Deirdre Brennan, Lorna Joyce. Subs: Roisin Leonard (0-03,1 free ) for Lorna Joyce, Olivia Divilly for Dierdre Brennan, Claire Hehir for Nicola Burke, Charlotte Cooney for Annette Clarke, Sinead Egan for Caitriona Cormican.
• Galway Ladies are holding their 2014 celebration night in the Claregalway Hotel on Saturday February 22. Tickets are now on sale for €25.