Staunton leads Mayo to victory over Galway

Galway Ladies opened their National Football League campaign with a 3-14 to 1-7 defeat at the hands of Connacht rivals Mayo at Tuam Stadium on Sunday.

In Galway manager Con Moynihan’s first game in charge, Cora Staunton once again inflicted most of the damage on the hosts who fielded a number of new faces, with the Carnacon stalwart firing a whopping 2-9 of Mayo’s tally.

Galway, in the process of rebuilding, now face a long trip to Waterford for Sunday’s second league fixture.

Galway had a glorious goal opportunity in the opening minute when Niamh Lohan played a slick one-two with Geraldine Conneally, but her effort rebounded off the post and, although Tracey Leonard lay waiting, her drive was well saved by Mayo stopper Aisling Tarpey.

Mairead Coyne and Aoibheann Daly got Galway off the mark before Mayo carved their first goal chance when Fiona McHale produced a fine save from Lisa Murphy. Staunton struck again to give Mayo a 0-4 to 0-2 lead before Daly and Ger Conneally hit the Galway reply.

After dispatching her fifth point, Staunton then netted a minute before the interval before Tracey Leonard notched a free to reduce the half-time deficit to five points.

Mayo continued to dominate with three more points while Galway took nine minutes to register their first point from Leonard’s free.

Mayo all but sealed the win when Kathryn Sullivan put Sinead Murphy through, but her effort came off the post, rebounding to Staunton who launched a high ball to Yvonne Byrne who was hauled down for a certain penalty which Staunton converted.

Three minutes later Jimmy Corbett’s charges hit their third when Martha Carter’s snapshot from the 20m line dropped into the net,

Although Galway grabbed a consolation goal through Gillian Joyce, Deirdre Doherty and Staunton put the icing on the cake for Mayo.

Galway: L Murphy; S Conneally, M Brennan, S Divilly (T Mullins 43m ); F Cooney, A Rohan, B Hannon (S Burke 24m ); M Coyne (0-1 ), G Joyce (1-0 ); G Conneally (0-1 ), A Daly (0-2 ), C Hehir (M Burke 53m ); T Leonard (0-2, 2 frees ) (E Gannon 53m ), G O’Connor (0-1 ) (C Cooney 44mins ), N Lohan (D Brennan 30m ).

Mayo: A Tarpey; M Corbett, N Tierney, S Tierney; A Bell, C Egan, G Kelly (A Roddy 14m ); M Carter, K Sullivan; F McHale (0-2 ), C Staunton (2-9, 5 frees ), D Doherty (0-3 ); S Murphy (O Conlon 50m ), Y Byrne, T McNicholas (N Cunningham 53m ).

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