Galway’s ladies football year completed on a positive note last Sunday as their under 21 footballers took a first national crown thanks to five Emma Reaney goals, two for Louise Ward along with further strikes for Nicola Ward, Ciara Lynagh and Eimear O’Kane.
Many will talk about the absence of top counties like Dublin and Cork but the chance to look at future senior options gave manager Stephen Glennon the perfect opportunity to begin next year’s preparations.
“That was a huge thing as well,” said Glennon after the final whistle about looking at his squad. “We were going to games and some days there was some of the girls involved in club action, be it Kilkerrin/Clonberne or Moycullen or whoever. And you were using different girls on different days.
“Even when it came to emptying the bench today, we were on the sideline saying this girl deserves a go (and) this other girl deserves a go. I’d love to have brought them all on but we’re in good fettle after today. And hopefully now, we can carry that positivity into 2018.”
Mayo opened with two Fiona Doherty frees by the fourth minute before Galway commenced. Louise Ward won a free allowing Divilly to convert and Shauna Hynes equalised. And Divilly made it 0-4 to 0-2 by 11 minutes following two fouls on Louise and Nicola Ward.
The three four-time dream team nominees were having an impact but were ably assisted by Hynes and Reaney. And the first goal was a thing of beauty. A free in their own half by Jemma Burke reached the on running Divilly who turned and cut through the Mayo defensive lines. Divilly found Nicola Ward who found twin sister Louise free and she made it 1-4 to 0-2 on the quarter hour.
Hynes added a point and Nicola Ward contributed a brace as Mayo started giving away cheap possession. And they paid on 21 minutes as Divilly and Louise Ward retrieved the ball again before allowing Reaney get her first major.
Full coverage in this week’s Connacht Tribune