New-look Galway aiming to turn the tables on champs

Galway attacker Olivia Divilly on the ball against Mayo's Orla Conlon during last year's Connacht ladies senior football final at McHale Park, Castlebar.
Galway attacker Olivia Divilly on the ball against Mayo's Orla Conlon during last year's Connacht ladies senior football final at McHale Park, Castlebar.

THE Galway ladies footballers’ quest to claim All-Ireland glory for the first time in 13 years, and only the second time in their history, begins on Sunday when Stephen Glennon’s charges face off with bitter rivals Mayo in the Connacht final at McHale Park (throw in 4.30pm).

Having surrendered their grasp on the Connacht title following a heavy 3-20 to 0-16 defeat to Mayo last year, Galway will be eager to atone for that loss and cement their place in the last eight.

In his first year in charge, Glennon and his backroom team of Michael Comer, Richard McNicholas, Noel Kelly and Ciara Moran are faced with the unenviable task of overturning this formidable Mayo outfit in their own backyard in Castlebar, but as was proven by their male counterparts last year, no challenge is too steep to overcome, whatever the odds.

In fact, the last competitive outing between these sides in round 1 of the league went the way of the Tribeswomen on a scoreline of 2-8 to 1-10, but Glennon doesn’t expect that result to have much bearing on this weekend’s clash:

“That was the first game of the league. Both teams will have changed a huge amount since then. It was good to get over it, I suppose maybe it faded some of the hurt from last year for some of the players who were there, but there’s no correlation between that league game and what’s going to happen on Sunday,” he said.

Hopefully, it proves the case that league form doesn’t translate to championship because Galway’s last performance in that competition, where they were soundly beaten by Donegal 5-11 to 1-7, certainly wouldn’t inspire confidence heading in to the weekend. Five weeks have passed since then, however, and a lot of work has been done to correct the errors from that day in Markievicz Park.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.