Galway senior ladies have made it four wins from four in the Lidl National Ladies Football League division one after victory over Connacht rivals Mayo, but manager Tim Rabbitte is not getting carried away.
“We are delighted to get the win. It puts us in a good position in the league, but it’s early doors yet," Rabbitte says. "We will take the points and move on to the next day."
In one of 13 double headers in this season's league campaign, Galway secured the 1-11 to 0-8 victory in McHale Park on Saturday, helped by Sarah Conneally's early second-half goal.
“The performance is a bit of a mystery to us now, but the conditions were so difficult,” says Rabbitte. “I don’t think we are in a place where we can be casual about the league. We have to take every game seriously.”
The wind was expected to have a massive impact on proceedings, but Galway still took a 0-6 to 0-4 lead at half-time despite facing into the elements.
Mayo captain Niamh Kelly had elected to play with the breeze in the opening half, but Galway kicked the first three scores of the game.
Olivia Divilly scored in the third minute, and points followed from cousins Róisín and Tracey Leonard.
Mayo, however, began to make use of the elements, driving the ball long into their dangerous forward line. In the sixth minute Niamh Kelly pointed off her right, while sister Grace Kelly reduced the arrears further with a free.
The teams were level for the first time when Niamh Kelly sent over her second point at the end of the first quarter, but after that it was Galway who powered on.
Mairead Seoighe and Louise Ward gave Rabbitte's ladies a two-point lead with seven minutes remaining in the first-half, which it ended 0-6 to 0-4.
However, Mayo substitute Natasha Gaughan, one of three to come on after half-time, scored two frees to tie the game after 35 minutes.
But the crucial goal arrived three minutes later when Róisín Leonard put Conneally through and she blasted to the top left corner. And at the other end Fabienne Cooney came to her team’s rescue when she dispossessed a goal-bound Grace Kelly.
The two sides meet again on June 23 when Galway defend their provincial crown, while Galway will be in action again on St Patrick's Day, away to Tipperary.
Scorers: Galway: S Conneally 1-1, T Leonard 0-3 (3f ), R Leonard 0-3, M Seoighe 0-1, L Ward 0-1, O Divilly 0-1, A Thompson 0-1. Mayo: N Gaughan 0-3 (3f ), G Kelly 0-2 (2f ), N Kelly 0-2, T O’Connor 0-1.
Galway: L Murphy; S Lynch, M Coyne, F Cooney; B Hannon, S Molloy, C Cooney; Á McDonagh, L Ward; M Seoighe, T Leonard, O Divilly; S Conneally, R Leonard, L Coen. Subs: L Gannon for B Hannon (40 ), L Hannon for Coen (45 ), R Ni Flatharta for Conneally (51 ), A Thompson for McDonagh (59 ), N Daly for Seoighe (64 ).
Mayo: S Murphy; N O’Malley, R Flynn, N Meehan; E Brennan, D Caldwell, R Durkin; Clodagh McManamon, D Finn; S Cafferky, N Kelly, A Roddy; G Kelly, R Kearns, F Doherty. Subs: Ciara McManamon for Caldwell (22 ), N Gaughan for Kearns (ht ), K Sullivan for Durkin (ht ), N Prendergast for Roddy (ht ), E Needham for Meehan (46 ), Kearns for G Kelly (52 ), T O’Connor for N Kelly (54 ), L McManamon for Finn (56 ), L Dervan for Clodagh McManamon (58 ), A Sheridan for Doherty (59 ).
Referee: Maggie Farrelly (Cavan ).