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This time 12 months ago, the Galway ladies side staged an ultimate snatch and grab raid when they overturned a ten point deficit with 15 minutes left to claim the Connacht title in McHale Park. They outscored Mayo by 3-5 to 0-2 in that final quarter of an hour, to avenge a defeat handed out to them in the division two league final a few months previously. This Sunday, both sides will meet again in the provincial decider, this time with the Tribeswomen having home advantage in Tuam Stadium for the 4pm throw-in.
Galway and Mayo renew rivalries this weekend in provincial deciders at both senior and u-16 level.
Once upon a time, not so long ago, Mayo were the dominant force in ladies’ football, winning all before and behind them. While Mayo slipped down the pecking order over the past decade, Cork stepped up and grabbed the top spot in the pecking order and have remained there more or less ever since.
Mayo will face a familiar foe on Sunday when they renew their acquaintance with Monaghan in the Tesco Homegrown National Football League division one semi-final. The girls from the Farney county are going into the game with a 100 per cent record from their seven league games so far this season, which includes a win over Mayo back in March in Aughnamullen where they came out 1-15 to 2-6 winners in a re-fixed game from earlier in the spring.
Mayo overcame Dublin in a tense encounter at Naomh Mearnog last Sunday to book their place in the league semi-final. Mayo were the quickest to settle and they had two points on the board before Dublin were able to get any sustained possession thanks to good scores from Aileen Gilroy and Niamh Kelly who benefited from great work by Claire Egan. Dublin’s first score came from Lindsey Davey who struck a good point on the run but again Mayo replied well with a great score from corner back Kathryn Sullivan. However Dublin settled thanks to the growing influence of Noelle Healy in the Dublin midfield. Healy scored two points herself as Denise McKenna added two points from frees, and Leah McCaffrey added a fine score after turning over Mayo in their own half back line. However Mayo replied well with the half time whistle fast approaching, scoring the last two points of the half, one from Aileen Gilroy and another from Deirdre Doherty to leave the scores at half time Dublin 0-6 to Mayo’s 0-5.
For five of the past six years, the All Ireland Ladies senior club championship has been taken home by one of this year’s finalists. And on Sunday it will be making it’s way to either Donaghmoyne from Monaghan for a third time or back west with green and red ribbons on its handles to Carnacon for the fourth time.
It's Ulster opposition once again for the Mayo ladies senior football side as they aim to make it back into the All Ireland semi-final tomorrow. The ladies this time will meet old rivals Monaghan for a place in the last four of the competition. Mayo picked up the pieces from a shattering defeat to Galway in the Connacht final late on to see off the challenge of Tyrone in the last round of qualifiers with a 3-12 to 1-4 win over the O'Neill county girls, thanks in no small part to the talents of Cora Staunton, which continue to be one of the major driving forces in this side. The Carnacon sharp shooter scored 3-11 of Mayo's total that day as part of an amazing performance.
The Mayo senior ladies’ side will get back to championship action tomorrow evening when they make a trip to the midlands in the All Ireland qualifiers. At 6pm tomorrow they will go toe to toe with Tyrone in Birr in the second round of the All Ireland qualifiers as the main attraction on a double header bill.
Galway Ladies stunned their opponents and the pundits when winning this year’s Connacht Senior Football Crown at McHale Park on Sunday by 4-10 to 1-17.
Just under two months after they took apart the challenge of Galway in the division two league final, the Mayo ladies will once again face off against the Tribeswomen with some silverware at stake. On Sunday afternoon in McHale Park at 4pm both sides will go toe to toe in the Connacht final. In that final Mayo ran out 4-17 to 2-7 winners with Cora Staunton once again leading the line for Mayo scoring 2-11 of that total. That win propelled Mayo back into division one after a year in a second tier and has set them up well for a crack at Sunday’s Connacht final.