Galway Ladies rue slow start

A late Galway rally was not enough to see off neighbours Mayo in their round three National League fixture in Pearse Stadium on Sunday.

Galway were unable to recover from a slow start as Mayo struck two goals and raced into a seven-point lead. And despite Galway's best efforts, they were unable to stop Mayo sealing a second win, 2-7 to 1-7, which saw them leapfrog Stephen Glennon's side in the division 1 table.

Mayo led by six points at the short-whistle, 2-6 to 0-6, thanks to goals from Grace Kelly and Sinead Cafferkey after Rachel Kearns opened with a point in the first minute.

Galway quickly responded when Sarah Conneally pointed for Galway, but Mayo took total control for the next quarter-of-an hour with Grace Kelly kick-starting a scoring burst of 1-4 without reply with a fine effort from out on the right on four minutes.

Less that 60 seconds later the Moy Davitts' attacker had the ball in the back of the net when Kearns' shot dropped short and caught out Dearbhla Gower in the Galway goal.

Gower saved another Mayo effort before Kelly kicked two more points to stretch the visitors' lead to six after 15 minutes.

It did not get any better for Galway when Cafferkey struck the second goal, and when Kelly added her third point, Mayo were well in front, 2-5 to 0-1.

Galway, however, gained a foothold with Tracey Leonard and Cathriona Cormican hitting two apiece, but Mayo's Eilis Ronayne finished the half with another Mayo point to keep them 2-6 to 0-6 in front.

In a scrappy second half, in which both sides picked up two yellow cards, Cathriona Cormican’s goal 10 minutes from time cut the gap to just three points, swinging the momentum in Galway’s direction.

Mayo played the closing stages of the game with 14 players after captain Sarah Tierney became the second Mayo player to be shown a yellow card, but Galway could not add to their score. Emma Reaney did her best, but Mayo goalkeeper Elaine Murphy pulled off a point-blank save to deny her a goal.

Galway: D Gower; F Cooney, S Lynch, N Connelly; C Cormican, N Ward, S Burke; A McDonagh, A Davoren; L Gannon, L Ward, D Brennan; S Conneally, T Leonard, M Seoige. Subs: C Cooney for N Connolly, O Divilly for D Brennan, S Molloy for F Cooney, E Reaney for S Burke, L Walsh for L Ward, E O’Kane for O’Divilly.

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