Galway ladies retain Connacht minor crown

A Dora Gorman-inspired Galway produced a stunning second-half display to clinch their second Connacht title in a row at Balla in Mayo on Sunday.

The Salthill-Knocknacarra player, who hit a 2-2 in the second half and pulled all the strings from midfield, proved a nightmare for Mayo in the blistering heat as Galway ran out 3-17 to 2-12 winners.

The first half was a highly entertaining one in which Mayo looked the stronger with Aileen Gilroy in midfield in fine form, and Avril Kilkelly and Sinead Cafferkey kicking two points each early on.

However Lisa Leonard led Galway’s attack, raising the white flag three times, and with the help of Michelle Burke and Eilis Gannon the sides were level at 0-5 each.

Ten minutes before the break the first goal arrived and it went to the home side – with Cafferkey doing well to dart inside and fist to the lurking Ciara Carroll who blasted in.

But Galway continued to rally and responded with three points from Gannon, Burke and Nicola Kilgarriff to level it again.

In a game played end-to-end, Mayo then scored another two from Kilkelly frees to edge them two in front before a late Gannon score for Galway saw them go in 1-8 to 0-10 behind at the interval.

The second half saw a different Galway as they upped the gears driven by the brilliant Gorman.

Six minutes in she netted her first goal to end a blistering move involving Leonard before bursting through to rifle into the roof of the net from just inside the thirteen.

Two points from Burke and Brennan followed before Brennan raised the green flag as Galway’s passing and movement became flawless.

Mayo, despite suddenly trailing by six, threw themselves right back into the contest when a high Gilroy free was well caught by Ciara Hegarty who drove low past Lisa Murphy.

Cafferkey then sent over another free, but Galway went five up again through Brennan, Gorman and Roisin Leonard who had entered the fold in the half-forward line.

The killer blow for Mayo arrived 10 minutes from time when Gorman netted her second goal.

Galway: L Murphy; S Divilly, S Lynch, N Ryan; A Reilly, A Rohan, C Cooney; T Mullins, D Gorman (2-3 ); T Hession (R Leonard 43m 0-1 ), N Leonard (0-3 ), A Donnelly (N Kilgarriff 20m 0-1 ); M Burke (0-3 ), D Brennan (1-2 ), E Gannon (0-4 ).


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