By MIKE FINNERTY
Leanne Coen scored the goal as a superb second half display propelled Galway to a comfortable victory over Dublin in the Lidl NFL Division 1.
The home side maintained their unbeaten start to this campaign in impressive fashion with Coen’s finish in the 58th minute capping a very impressive performance at Tuam Stadium.
Dublin’s new-look line-up had no answers to Galway’s pace and power in the second half, in particular, and the visitors were outscored by 1-7 to 0-3 after the restart.
Galway’s bench also played a major role in their victory with the return of their Kilkerrin-Clonberne contingent, and the form of Tracey Leonard, suggesting they will be one of the teams to beat this season.
The hosts also led at the end of an exciting first half by 0-6 to 0-4. The sides had been level three times in the first 20 minutes before Galway, who were playing with the aid of the wind, rattled off three points without reply from Roisin Leonard (two frees) and Shauna Brennan.
Galway’s work-rate and pace was causing Dublin’s defence plenty of problems with Megan Glynn, Kate Slevin and the aforementioned Brennan to the fore.
But Dublin managed to grab the last score of the half through a Carla Rowe free after a rare attack in the 27th minute.
Early on the play had ranged from end to end with the pick of the scores coming from Ailbhe Davoren, Slevin and Caoimhe O’Connor.
At the break it looked like the sides were relatively evenly-matched, and frees from Hannah Tyrrell and Rowe reduced the gap to the bare minimum just after the restart.
But the introduction of impact substitutes Olivia Divilly and Louise Ward helped to kickstart Galway’s purple patch and they went on to score 1-6 without reply in the space of 15 blistering minutes.
Points rained over from powerhouse midfielder Davoren, Slevin (free), Tracey Leonard (two) and Divilly (two frees) with Coen’s goal, despite the best efforts of Dublin goalkeeper Abby Shiels, rounding things off nicely.
The visitors’ only score of the last 23 minutes came in additional time from a Tyrrell free.
Scorers - Galway: L Coen 1-0, R Leonard 0-3 (3f), K Slevin 0-3 (1f), T Leonard 0-2, A Davoren 0-2, O Divilly 0-2 (2f), S Brennan 0-1.
Dublin: H Tyrrell 0-4 (4f), C Rowe 0-2 (2f), C O’Connor 0-1.
Galway: A Griffin; B Quinn, S Ní Loingsigh, E Gavin; C Cooney, K Geraghty, S Brennan; A Davoren, N Ward; L Coen, K Slevin, A Molloy; M Glynn, R Leonard, L Noone.
Subs: O Divilly for Quinn (ht), L Ward for Brennan (ht), C Miskell for R Leonard (42), S Healy for Molloy (42), T Leonard for Slevin (50), A Ni Cheallaigh for Geraghty (60), E Power for Glynn (60).
Dublin: A Shiels; R Baker, R Brennan, J Tobin; L Caffrey, D Lawless, E Deeley; J Dunne, E O’Dowd; O Nolan, C Rowe, E Gribben; C O’Connor, H Tyrrell, J Egan.
Subs: E Strappe for Baker (35), C Darby for Egan (35), A Timothy for Gribben (43), K Sullivan for Nolan (45), T Quinn Corbally for Deeley (51),
Referee: G McMahon (Davitts).