Galway are still very much in contention to add a camogie championship crown to their league title after securing a 2-12 to 1-10 victory over Limerick in Athenry.
Although group one leaders Kilkenny are unbeaten, Cathal Murray's charges have now edged ahead of Limerick on points difference (21 v 7 ) into second spot with their eyes still very much on booking a place in the Liberty Insurance All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship's quarter-finals.
Galway's remaining match is against Wexford on Saturday in Enniscorthy (5pm ) and the hosts will be looking for a heavy-scoring win to keep them in contention, while Limerick face the in-form Kilkenny outfit.
Understandably Murray was satisfied with Galway's win at the weekend after three weeks without a game.
“We didn’t seem to be the sharpest match-wise, but Limerick are always going to be a good test," said Murray, who masterminded Galway's win over favourites Kilkenny in this year's final.
While unhappy with some of Galway's performance, the result was more important in securing second spot in the group.
“The goals were probably the difference. We got the two goals. Ailish [O'Reilly] is flying in fairness. Anytime we got the ball into the full-forward line, we looked dangerous, but we probably didn’t finish enough.
"It was six chances out of 15 created that we took and that’s never going to be good enough at this level and it’s something we have to work on.
“Our discipline was poor. We gave away 20 fouls in the game which is way too high. It had nothing to do with the referee. We were giving away stupid frees, especially the use of the hurley was very poor. It’s another thing we have to work on.
“It’s not like us and I suppose when you haven’t played in three weeks, little things like that creep in.”
Galway withstood a stern first-half test from Limerick, but the brilliance of Ailish O’Reilly, who finished with two goals and four points, was key.
Points each from Karen O’Leary and Niamh Mulcahy gave Limerick an early two-point lead, but Ailish O’Reilly struck with a stunning solo goal in the 18th minute, coming away from a throw-in with possession, side-stepping an incoming defender and hand-passing to the net.
From the next passage of play, the Oranmore-Maree sharpshooter sent over a tremendous point off her left-hand side from wide on the left. Having trailed by two, Galway then led by two.
It was three by the break after Aoife Donohue and Niamh Kilkenny found the target for Galway, and Mulcahy converted a free for Limerick, 1-5 to 0-5.
Galway, however, has more scoring options which came home to roost in the second half. Carrie Dolan, with a free, and a Noreen Coen point at the beginning of the second half kept Galway on the front foot, and it was all over when O’Reilly bagged her second major - a sensational strike outside the 13m line after fielding a delivery from Dolan.
It was comfortable for the Galway side thereafter. Mulcahy struck a goal from a free in the fifth minute of injury time - awarded for a foul on Rebecca Delee, who was only introduced as a second-half sub due to her involvement with the footballers the previous day.
In Group 2 Cork, Waterford and Tipperary all secured their progression to the knock-out stages when they secured home wins at the expense of Meath, Clare and Dublin respectively.