Galway ladies seek to improve on poor championship record against Cork


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Galway ladies seek to improve on poor championship record against Cork Galway ladies seek to improve on poor championship record against Cork


THE mid-season lull is over for Galway’s senior ladies footballers on Saturday (MTU Bishopstown, 1pm) when they clash with Cork in their opening contest of the All-Ireland championship.

Shane Ronayne’s Rebelettes got off the mark last Sunday with a 6-13 to 1-5 demolition of Laois. And they have benefitted from regular games in the Munster championship despite a second half collapse in the final. They’ve lined out five times since their league concluded back in March.

For the Tribeswomen, this is just their second game in nine weeks, and first since the Connacht Final against Mayo. The 1-11 to 0-9 victory over their provincial rivals was the perfect tonic following league relegation, even if Cork also joined them sliding into Division Two.

But Galway and Cork will both qualify for the All-Ireland quarter-finals at the beginning of July. Laois were also relegated, from Division 2, and are strong favourites to drop to intermediate. It would be the shock of shocks, if Galway didn’t inflict more misery on the Leinster side next week.

However, the stakes are high for this one as the winner should conclude the round-robin series as group winners and ensure a home quarter-final, while also avoiding the likes of Dublin, Armagh and possibly Kerry.

“That’s the motivation for teams that want to get a couple of wins together,” said Galway manager Daniel Moynihan during the week.  “That could be very important for all teams and definitely for ourselves as well.

“We’d like to be able to follow up a home game aganst Laois with another home game for a quarter-final and have the Galway support behind us which would be fantastic.”

Cork have struggled since their All-Ireland semi-final loss to Dublin last year (0-13 to 2-19) and are without a number of established names including Eimear Meaney, Róisín Phelan and the retired O’Sullivan sisters (Ciara and Doireann).

After beating Galway in their league opener, thanks to Katie Quirke’s 1-6 contribution in heavy rain and wind in Bishopstown, they were defeated in their other six outings with a -43 scoring difference. Only head-to-head allowed them finish above Galway.

Wins over Waterford (1-10 to 0-11) and Tipperary (0-11 to 0-10) were hard earned while they lost out 1-14 to 1-10 to Kerry in the group game. After leading 0-10 to 0-4 in the Munster decider, they fell apart as the Kingdom prevailed 2-15 to 0-13.

“If you look at what Cork have done in relation to their provincial campaign, they had a number of games to get themselves to a Munster Final,” continued the Galway manager. “You can’t beat games, competitive games. It’s the best way of seeing where exactly your players are at.

“Unfortunately, we didn’t have that competitive nature. We’d have challenge games here and there and in-house games. Bits and pieces like that. It can be difficult at times to keep the motivation but I have to say the players have worked really hard these last five weeks.”

Pictured: Galway’s Olivia Divilly in action against Anna Ryan of Cork during last year’s TG4 All-Ireland Ladies Senior Football Championship. The teams renew rivalry in Bishopstown on Saturday.

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