Leonard goals see Galway through
Galway 3-7 Mayo 0-9
Tracey Leonard fired goals in each half as Galway fended off a strong Mayo comeback to claim their third TG4 Connacht Ladies SFC title in a row, the first Connacht final staged in Munster.
This is Galway's seventh provincial win in the last eight years, but Mayo never hit the heights of their performance in the drawn game at MacHale Park.
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Tracey Leonard and Megan Glynn scored two goals in four first-half minutes, while late points from Tracey Leonard and Lucy Hannon ensured they had a straightforward run to victory on a day that only one Mayo forward scored from open play. Peter Leahy's Mayo side opened the scoring thanks to a Sarah Rowe free inside the first minute, but it didn't take Leonard long to level matters following a foul on Louise Ward.
Mayo's Rachel Kearns was a force in the drawn game, but with Galway defender Sarah Lynch given more protection by the sweeping of Barbara Hannon here, Kearns didn't impact play as often.
The key moment of the half came when Tracey Leonard exchanged passes with Ward and rattled the net.
Roisin Leonard added a point for Galway to put them 1-3 to 0-2 ahead, and nine minutes from the interval they pulled seven points clear when a move involving the two Leonards and Charlotte Cooney was finished to the net by Glynn. But Mayo punished Galway's six wides, scoring the last three points of the half to reduce Galway's lead at half-time, 2-3 to 0-5.
Mayo got off to a great start in the second half when Clodagh McManamon pointed on the run after the restart, and the gap was trimmed to two points by the 41st minute with Sinead Cafferky and Grace Kelly on target.
Some Tracey Leonard magic turned the game back in her side's favour in the 42nd minute. Following a mazy run her shot was brilliantly saved, but following a brief scramble she kicked to the net for a goal that killed Mayo's challenge.
Scorers - Galway: T Leonard 2-3 (1f), M Glynn 1-0, R Leonard 0-2 (1f), S Conneally, L Hannon 0-1 each.
Mayo: S Rowe 0-3 (3f), G Kelly 0-3 (3f), R Kearns, (1f), C McManamon, S Cafferky 0-1 each.
Galway: L Murphy; O Murphy, S Lynch, F Cooney; B Hannon, S Burke, C Cooney; L Ward, Á McDonagh; O Divilly, T Leonard, M Glynn; M Seoighe, R Leonard, S Conneally.
Subs: N Ward for Lynch (ht), L Coen for Conneally (44), L Hannon for Glynn (50), S Molloy for F Cooney (53), O Murphy for Seoighe (58).
Mayo: A Tarpey; N O'Malley, R Flynn, D Caldwell; É Ronayne, Ciara McManamon, K Sullivan; Clodagh McManamon, D Finn; R Durkin, S Cafferky, N Kelly; S Rowe, R Kearns, G Kelly. Subs: F Doherty for Durkin (h-t), E Needham for R Flynn (41), L Cafferky for Kearns (45), T O'Connor for D Flynn (52), C Whyte for Clodagh McManamon (54).
Referee: John Niland (Sligo).
Sunday Indo Sport