A hat-trick of goals from Cathriona McConnell propelled Monaghan to top spot in Division 1 of the Tesco Ladies NFL yesterday.
The Farney Girls are ahead of champions Cork on scoring difference after thumping Mayo 3-12 to 1-8 in Blackhill. Mayo lost Martha Carter to a red card and despite the 10-point defeat, Mayo remain in the top four ahead of Dublin, who got back to winning ways.
McConnell, who collected 3-4 in total, was on target early with Monaghan's first goal and they led by 1-4 to 0-1 prior to Carter's dismissal.
Monaghan were 1-8 to 0-3 clear at half-time and while Mayo started the second half with two excellent points from Cora Staunton, the winners were quickly back in their stride.
Monaghan's first score of the second half was McConnell's second goal and she went on to complete a superb treble as the Ulster side win a fourth victory from five League outings. Staunton, who finished with 1-5, found the net late on from a penalty.
Elsewhere, Valerie Mulcahy bagged two goals for Cork as the Rebelettes defeated Tyrone by 3-12 to 1-7. Orlagh Farmer netted Cork's other goal in the first half, as the hosts led by 2-5 to 0-4 at the break. A second goal by Mulcahy helped to complete a 14-point win leaving Tyrone pointless and deep in relegation trouble.
Cork's next assignment is against Laois, the other team in Division 1 yet to register a point after they were crushed 5-22 to 0-3 by Dublin. Laois failed to score in the second half, after Dublin led by 2-13 to 0-3 at the break.
First half goals from Lyndsey Davey and Nicole Owens put Gregory McGonigle's charges firmly in the driving seat and in the second half, Davey, Carla Rowe and Hannah Noonan added further goals. Captain Davey finished with 2-5 while former minor star Rowe added 1-6 as Dublin kept their play-off hopes alive.
Galway boosted their semi-final hopes by defeating Kerry by 3-12 to 2-9 in Tuam Stadium as the hosts never looked back after early goals from Roisin Leonard and Patricia Gleeson.