NAOMH Mhuire’s (Oranmore-Maree) U11s invade the pitch and run to Galway’s and Claregalway's Kate Slevin after the Tribeswomen recorded a superb victory over Cork in the TG4 All-Ireland Ladies Senior Football Championship at Pearse Stadium in Galway last Saturday evening. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Ladies pop Cork

Galway defeat Munster winners 3-11 to 1-11 in All-Ireland championship group opener

THE Galway ladies ended a run of three successive defeats as they kickstarted their TG4 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship in style with a six-point victory over Cork on Saturday evening, writes Ivan Smyth.

Kate Slevin’s 59th minute goal sealed the outcome which was the Tribeswomen’s first ever championship win over their opponents.

After Galway’s patchy Connacht final display, Maghnus Breathnach and Fiona Wynne made five changes to their starting team. However, the biggest alterations came in the form of positional swaps.

Louise Ward started in midfield but operated as a sweeper with the Kilkerrin-Clonberne powerhouse effective in curbing Cork’s aerial threat. It was a smart move with Galway struggling under the high ball during the spring and although they endured some shaky moments in the opening quarter, the Galway defence grew in stature as the game wore on.

Ailbhe Davoren moved from midfield to full-forward as the Moycullen native buried 2-1. Kate Slevin came off the bench to rifle home 1-3 and the Claregalway star showed impressive maturity to respond from missing a free straight upon her introduction as she produced a pinpoint finish to find the bottom corner of the net late on.

Galway’s best player on the day was Nicola Ward who was simply outstanding at centre half-back. She provided the assist for Galway’s third goal while her fingerprints were all over Davoren’s pair of majors too. Ward excellently marshalled a Galway defence that conceded just 1-3 from play over the hour. Olivia Divilly and Leanne Coen were both industrious with the pair both standing up when needed down the stretch…

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