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Commanding 2nd half display propels Mayo to victory

Commanding 2nd half propelled Mayo to victory


By Daragh Ó Conchúir

Mayo 1-13 Galway 0-6

A commanding second half performance propelled Mayo to
a resounding victory over Connacht rivals Galway in a
surprisingly one-sided Suzuki Ladies NFL Division 1 final
at Hyde Park yesterday. What wasn’t surprising was the
role Cora Staunton played in the victory, as the deadly
centre-forward provided onlookers with another wonderful
exhibition of point-kicking. The Carnacon legend had a
very quite first half but landed scores from prodigious
distances in the latter period, finishing with a match-winning
tally of nine points. This was not about one player however,
as Mayo had stars all over the field. Significantly on
the big day, it was the experienced players who came to
the fore, with Martha Carter, Diane O’Hora and captain
Christina Heffernan also making vital contributions. Galway
manager Pat Costello will be very disappointed with his
side’s second half effort though, as they managed to register
only one point from Barbara Hannon and never threatened
to repeat last week’s provincial championship victory
over their old foes. Indeed on that occasion there were
11 points between the sides, so this represented a remarkable
turnaround in fortunes. Niamh Fahy was the focal point
of the Galway attack early on and she came out on top
in an aerial battle with Nuala O’Shea to set up Helen
McHugh for second minute point.

Some prodigal shooting prevented the Tribeswomen from
transferring their early dominance into further scores
however, as they shot three poor wides. Such wastefulness
allowed Mayo to settle into the game and they embarked
on a 15-minute period of ascendancy that yielded a goal
and two points, despite playing into a very strong wind.
The goal was wonderfully worked as O’Hora swooped on a
loose ball to set up Lisa Cafferkey and the youngster,
who has been one of the finds of the league campaign,
calmly side-stepped Galway goalkeeper Tina Hughes to roll
the ball to the net. That score was bookended by points
from Fiona McHale and Staunton, but Galway did enjoy a
fruitful period approaching half time, which produced
points from Aoibheann Daly, a magnificent effort from
Fahy and Annette Clarke to trail by just two at half time,
1-3 to 0-4.

The expected second half onslaught from the Maroons never
materialised however, as Staunton upped the tempo and
launched eight towering points, while O’Hora weighed in
with a wonderfully converted free of her own. Galway did
have a chance to give the scoreline a better look from
their perspective when generously awarded a penalty by
Derek Byrne, but Fahy’s well-struck kick crashed off the
crossbar and was cleared to safety.

Mayo: Y Byrne; M Kelly, N O’Shea, S McGing; C McGing,
M Carter, M Heffernan; C Egan, J Moran; F McHale 0-2,
C Staunton 0-9 (6fs), C McDermott 0-1; L Cafferkey 1-0,
D O’Hora 0-1f, C Heffernan. Sub: A Herbert for Cafferkey

Galway: T Hughes; M Glynn, A Kilmore, C Molloy; S Noone,
M Burke, E Flaherty; A Clarke 0-2(1f), E Concannon; AM
McDonagh, S Cosgrove, A Daly 0-1; H McHugh 0-1, N Fahy
0-1, P Flaherty. Sub: L Cohill for Flaherty (58th)’ R
McPhilbin for Mchugh (ht); M Moloney for Kilmore inj (39th);
B Hannon 0-1 for McDonagh (39th).

Referee: D Byrne (Limerick).


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