By Daragh Small at MacHale Park
Sarah Conneally struck 1-1 as Galway made it four wins from four in Division 1 of the Lidl National Football League against Mayo at MacHale Park in Castlebar.
The wind was likely to have a massive impact on proceedings but Galway played against the breeze in the first-half and still took a 0-6 to 0-4 lead into half-time.
Conneally struck shortly after the interval and Tim Rabbitte’s side picked up a confidence boosting victory before they defend their provincial crown against Mayo on 23 June.
Mayo captain Niamh Kelly won the toss and she elected to play with the breeze in the opening half, but Galway kicked the first three scores of the game.
Olivia Divilly scored in the third minute for the dream start, and further points followed from cousins Róisín and Tracey Leonard.
Mayo had to make use of the elements and began to drive the ball long into their dangerous forward line. But they had to wait until the sixth minute before Niamh Kelly pointed off her right, and her sister Grace Kelly reduced the arrears further with a free.
The Moy Davitts duo kept Mayo in the game, and the teams were level for the first time when Niamh Kelly sent over her second point at the end of the first quarter but it was Galway who powered on.
Mairead Seoighe scored a fine effort and Louise Ward gave them a two-point lead with seven minutes remaining in the first-half.
Neither side could add to their tallies towards the end of the half and Galway held a comfortable 0-6 to 0-4 advantage, considering the had the wind to come after the break.
Mayo manager Peter Leahy introduced Nathasha Gaughan, Kathryn Sullivan and Natalie Prendergast at half-time, and the former scored two frees to tie the game up after 35 minutes.
But the crucial goal arrived three minutes later when Róisín Leonard put Conneally through and she blasted to Sorcha Murphy’s top left corner.
And Fabienne Cooney came to her team’s rescue, when she dispossessed a goal-bound Grace Kelly, as Galway closed in on another impressive victory.
Scorers – Galway: S Conneally 1-1, T Leonard 0-3 (3f), R Leonard 0-3, M Seoighe 0-1, L Ward 0-1, O Divilly 0-1, A Thompson 0-1.
Mayo: N Gaughan 0-3 (3f), G Kelly 0-2 (2f), N Kelly 0-2, T O’Connor 0-1.
Galway: L Murphy; S Lynch, M Coyne, F Cooney; B Hannon, S Molloy, C Cooney; Á McDonagh, L Ward; M Seoighe, T Leonard, O Divilly; S Conneally, R Leonard, L Coen.
Subs: L Gannon for B Hannon (40), L Hannon for Coen (45), R Ni Flatharta for Conneally (51), A Thompson for McDonagh (59), N Daly for Seoighe (64).
Mayo: S Murphy; N O’Malley, R Flynn, N Meehan; E Brennan, D Caldwell, R Durkin; Clodagh McManamon, D Finn; S Cafferky, N Kelly, A Roddy; G Kelly, R Kearns, F Doherty.
Subs: Ciara McManamon for Caldwell (22), N Gaughan for Kearns (ht), K Sullivan for Durkin (ht), N Prendergast for Roddy (ht), E Needham for Meehan (46), Kearns for G Kelly (52), T O’Connor for N Kelly (54), L McManamon for Finn (56), L Dervan for Clodagh McManamon (58), A Sheridan for Doherty (59).
Ref – Maggie Farrelly (Cavan).Tweet