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Mayo enjoy battling victory against Tyrone, while Galway secure comeback win over Kerry

The opening round of the TG4 All-Ireland Ladies SFC took place today.

Mayo's Sinead Cafferky.
Mayo's Sinead Cafferky.
Image: Bryan Keane/INPHO

Mayo 3-14

Tyrone 3-11

Paddy Hunter reports from Healy Park

A RACHEL KEARNS goal midway through the second half at Omagh’s Healy Park proved decisive as Mayo held off a battling Tyrone to win this TG4 All Ireland SFC Group 4 opener by three points.

Four missed goal opportunities in the second half came back to haunt Tyrone who once again turned in a big performance despite missing the services of influential captain Neamh Woods.

The game was excellent advertisement for the ladies game in front of a big crowd but it’s first blood to Mayo in this difficult group.

Mayo led by two at the break with goals from Grace Kelly and Kearns putting the Westerners 2-3 to 0-3 up before a spirted Tyrone hauled themselves back into the game thanks to the accuracy of the impressive Niamh O’Neill who finished the half with 1-3.

Chloe McCaffrey opened the scoring with a long-range Tyrone point after two minutes, which quickly cancelled out by Kelly and Kearns points.

Kelly rattled in Mayo’s first goal on nine minutes as the visitors took control with Sarah Rowe and Caitlin Kelly exchanging points.

After O’Neill pulled a point back for the Red Hands, Kearns was on hand to steer the ball past Shannon Lynch at the other end after good work from Eilis Royanne.

Tyrone responded well with O’Neill’s well taken goal on 25 minutes and points from Niamh McGirr and Maria Canavan leaving it a one-point game until a late Kelly point opened the gap to two by the break.

Tyrone bossed the third quarter, O’Neill missed a great goal chance but Chloe McCaffrey finished well to the net after quick thinking from Canavan.

O’Neill and McCaffrey went close again for goals as Canavan drilled home a fine three pointer on 38 minutes to nudge Tyrone three ahead.

Points from Sinead Cafferky and a Rowe free edged Mayo to within a point before Kearns was on hand for that crucial third Mayo goal.

The visitors maintained that lead until the end and despite the best efforts of Canavan who hit three further points and a fine goal-bound effort from Mc Girr that skipped wide, Emma Needham, Natasha Gaughan and Kearns points kept the gap to three at the end of what was indeed a cracking contest.

Scorers — Mayo: R Kearns 2-3, G Kelly 1-3 (2f) S Rowe 0-4 (1f) S Cafferky 0-1, E Needham 0-1, L Cafferky 0-1 , N Gaughan 0-1 (1f).

Tyrone: M Canavan 1-4 (4f) N O’Neill 1-4, C Mc Caffrey 1-1, N Mc Girr 0-1, C Kelly 0-1. 

MAYO: A Tarpey; N O’Malley, R Flynn, D Caldwell; É Ronayne, Ciara McManamon, K Sullivan; Clodagh McManamon, C Whyte; R Durkin, S Cafferky, N Kelly; S Rowe, R Kearns, G Kelly. Subs N Meehan for O’Malley 20, E Needham for Durkin 30, L Cafferky for Royanne 40, N Gaughan for G Kelly 60, 

TYRONE: S Lynch; C Hunter, J Barrett, C Conway; E Brennan, T McLaughlin, N McGirr; E.J. Gervin, S McCarroll; N Hughes, M Canavan, A McHugh; N O’Neill, C Kelly, C McCaffrey. Subs S Sheerin for Barrett 25, 

Ref - Brendan Rice (Down).

*****

Oliva Divilly Galway's Oliva Divilly. Source: Bryan Keane/INPHO

Galway 1-14

Kerry 1-10

Daire Walsh reports from O’Moore Park

Galway came from behind at O’Moore Park in Portlaoise to secure a hard-earned victory over Kerry in Group Three of the TG4 All-Ireland SFC.

Trailing 1-8 to 0-1 after just 20 minutes, the Connacht champions proceeded to register an astonishing 1-11 without reply either side of half-time. Skipper Tracey Leonard was magnificent throughout, bagging an impressive personal tally of 0-7 for the winners.

While Kerry can take plenty of encouragement out of their blistering start to the contest, they will need to defeat Westmeath in a fortnight’s time to keep their quest for the Brendan Martin Cup alive.

After Louise Ni Mhuircheartaigh broke the deadlock with an early free, Beaufort’s Houlihan added a brace of points to offer the 11-time champions an early foothold. Lorraine Scanlon, Hannah O’Donoghue and Anna Galvin were also on target, before Leonard finally opened her side’s account on 17 minutes.

This was only a temporary respite for the league finalists, who subsequently fell 10 points adrift when O’Donoghue rattled the net at an acute angle.

Galway had struggled to break down a rigid Kerry rearguard, but finally came to life during a powerful end to the first half. Leonard’s two-point salvo injected fresh life into their challenge and they then grabbed a goal of their own through midfielder Louise Ward.

Indeed, courtesy of Leonard’s growing influence, they reduced their deficit to three points (1-8 to 1-5) in time for the interval. The Tribeswomen were beginning to find a more familiar rhythm and, within seven minutes of the restart, they had wiped out the previously comprehensive Kerry advantage.

Supplementing an outstanding Aine McDonagh effort, the elusive Leonard ramped up the pressure on the Kingdom with two points in quick succession.

Mairead Seoighe’s first of the day then edged them in front on 38 minutes – preceding impressive scores for substitutes Sarah Conneally and Roisin Leonard. Another McDonagh special propelled Galway into a four-point cushion, but Kerry eventually ended a lengthy barren spell with a Houlihan free on the third-quarter mark.

A point for Rathmore’s Danielle O’Leary brought them a step closer, but with Megan Glynn firing over a brace of late points, Tim Rabbitt’s men ultimately prevailed.

Scorers – Galway: T Leonard 0-7 (0-3f), L Ward 1-0, A McDonagh, M Glynn, S Conneally 0-2 each, M Seoighe 0-1.

Kerry: H O’Donoghue 1-2, S Houlihan 0-3 (1f), L Ni Mhuircheartaigh (f), L Scanlon, E Dineen, A Galvin, D O’Leary 0-1 each.

GALWAY: D Gower; O Murphy, S Burke, S Molloy; N Ward, B Hannon, C Cooney; L Ward, A McDonagh; O Divilly, M Glynn, M Seoighe; T Leonard, L Hannon, L Coen. Subs: F Cooney for Molloy, S Conneally for Coen (both 22); R Leonard for Hannon (36); S Lynch for C Cooney (44); R Ni Flatharta for Seoighe (55).

KERRY: L Fitzgerald; A O’Reilly, L Coughlan, C O’Brien; A O’Connell, T Breen, C Murphy; L Scanlon, A Brosnan; E Dineen, K Cronin, A Galvin; S Houlihan, L Ni Mhuircheartaigh, H O’Donoghue. Subs: A Foley for Ni Mhuircheartaigh (37); D O’Leary for Galvin (41); A O’Callaghan for O’Donoghue (49); M O’Keeffe for Cronin, J O’Sullivan for Murphy (both 55).

Ref – Jonathan Murphy (Carlow).

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