Galway rout Laois to set-up a quarter-final with Dublin

Galway 7-22

Laois 1-5

By Darren Kelly in Duggan Park

In glorious hot sunshine on Sunday, Galway’s senior ladies footballers provided their supporters with a summer sizzler as they delivered seven goals to put aside the Laois challenge and book their place in a seventh consecutive All-Ireland quarter-final.

Two goals each from Olivia Divilly and Ailbhe Davoren were instrumental, while Caoimhe Cleary, Aoife O’Rourke, and Róisín Leonard also found the net. Despite falling one behind to an early Lauren Kearney goal for Laois, the girls in maroon had this sewn up by half-time.

But the temperature will rise to boiling point on Saturday week when they take on All-Ireland champions Dublin in the final eight. The punishment for last week’s slip up in Cork is an away trip to capital for a 7.30pm throw-in.

Galway came in as raging hot favourites against the O’Moore county, who had lost their four championship outings, including a 23-point hammering from the Rebelettes, and the Tribeswomen started with intent.

A foul on Emma Reaney led to Divilly pointing a free on three minutes, but they were down to 14 players within 60 seconds as Maryanne Jordan was sin-binned for a challenge on Andrea Moran.

The 2022 intermediate champions knew they had to take advantage, and Mo Nerney converted the resulting free. But Galway were still creating chances as a Divilly free was followed by Nicola Ward and Leanne Coen setting up Davoren to make it 0-3 to 0-1.

Beforehand, they should have reaped the maximum dividend as Mairéad Glynn and Ailish Morrissey put Louise Ward through but the Kilkerrin/Clonberne captain hit the post – the woodwork at the railway goal in Ballinasloe took a battering over the hour.

Laois’ response raised eyebrows. Gráinne Moran instigated a move down the left before picking out Kearney, and she found the net on eight minutes.

Pictured: Ailbhe Davoren scofred 2-1 in the win and was a dominant presence in midfield for Galway. Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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