Unbeaten ladies face Laois

Galway Ladies currently top the table after maintaining their unbeaten record in this year’s Bord Gais Energy NFL division one campaign.

With wins over Kerry and Tyrone, and a draw with Dublin, Galway went on to grab a share of the spoils with the All Ireland champs Cork at the weekend, putting them in pole position on the table.

With eight points from their opening four matches, Gay O'Brien's team are now in a strong position to reach the knock-out stages. Behind them are Dublin, Monaghan, and this weekend's opponents Laois, all with seven points. Mayo are a point behind with six.

Galway will now look to consolidate their position when they entertain Laois at Ballinasloe on Saturday (2pm ).

Last weekend in Buttevant, the five-times All Ireland titleholders were hot favourites to take the spoils, and they looked well poised for the victory as they raced into a 10-point lead halfway through in the opening half.

Although Una Carroll opened with a free for Galway, Valerie Mulcahy struck a hat-trick of goals for Cork in the opening 10 minutes - the third from a penalty. With Mairead Kelly adding a point for the hosts, the odds of a Galway victory looked slim.

Yet Galway produced a character-building comeback, holding Cork scoreless for 15 minutes. Carroll led the fight back with four points - three frees and one from play - while Sarah Murphy and Sinead Burke added another two to reduce the arrears to four points at half time.

Cork rallied briefly with three points on the trot, but Galway kept in touch with a deserved goal from Sinead Burke.

Holding the initiative, Galway enjoyed a purple patch which gave them the lead for the first time. Edel Concannon and Murphy fired over points while Carroll added two frees before the crucial score came 10 minutes from time when Carroll pounced on the rebound to goal from Dora Gorman effort which keeper Elaine Harte stopped.

That put Galway into a four-point lead, but Cork, who had created few second-half opportunities, reduced the lead with their fourth goal. Then the home side salvaged the draw when Angela Walsh fired over a point in the dying seconds to finish 4-7 to 2-13.

GALWAY: J Connolly; S Noone, A Gilmore (N Lohan 59m ), C Cormican; A Daly, E Flaherty, G Conneally; D Lawless, R McPhilbin; D Gorman, E Concannon (0-1 ), S Burke (1-1 ); U Carroll (1-9, 7 frees ), N Duggan, S Murphy (0-2 ) (G O’Connor 55m ).

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