It was six of the best as Galway ensured a disappointing return to the Markets Field for Limerick FC Women to secure all three points in comfortable fashion in winter-like conditions.

This nine-goal thriller had everything, but it was Galway, with the help of a brace from Sinead Donovan and Lynsey McKey capitalised on some poor defending to put the game beyond any doubt early in the second half.

A young Limerick team, back at the Markets Field following their move to Hogan Park late last season, gave Billy Clery’s side an early warning but Tina Hughes was more than equal to Sophie Liston’s curling shot.

With just 10 minutes on the clock, Liston was thwarted by a flying one-handed save, but with Galway enjoying plenty of possession in the early exchanges it was only a matter of time before the visitors’ experience shown through.

Indeed it did, and it took Galway just 17 minutes to unlock the Limerick defence as the home side contributed to their own downfall as a mistake at the back was fully capitalised on.

Lynsey McKey did well to win back possession, pouncing on a misplaced pass from Chloe Wills to square the ball to Sinead Donovan who slotted home from close range.

Galway doubled their lead on the stroke of halftime as yet another mistake allowed the Tribeswomen through on goal.

Failing to deal with an in swinging cross that was carried by the strong wind, Limerick goalkeeper Karen Connoly pushed the ball into the path of oncoming Galway striker Aoife Thompson, who tapped home for her side’s second.

It was game over in the 51st minute, as Lynsey McKey got her first of two, curling the ball past Connoly to the corner of the net.

Just six minutes later, the in-form McKey slotted a superb through ball towards Thompson – the Galway striker went to return the favour but her cross was deflected off a Limerick defender for the visitors’ fourth.

Galway weren’t done here and McKey added her second of the game with a superb half volley before Sinead Donovan slotted into the far corner to grab the visiting side’s sixth.

Credit to Limerick, Dave Rooney’s side never gave up and were fully rewarded for their efforts with three goals in the closing minutes.

A well-worked Sylvia free gave Limerick a mere consolation in the 82nd minute, before substitute Aoife Horgan superbly lofted her effort over the head of Tina Hughes to find the far corner.

Sophie Liston broke through Galway’s high line to score Limerick’s third but it was too little too late as Galway held out for a comfortable 6-3 victory in their Só Hotels Women’s National League opener.

Limerick: Karen Connoly; Anna Shine, Tara Manix, Megan Kelleher, Chloe Wilis; Sylvia Gee; Sophie Liston, Maura Shine (Aoife Horgan 55), Marie Curtain (Clodagh Doherty 79), Lauren Keane (Amber Kenny 67); Carys Johnson (capt.).

Galway: Tina Hughes; Rachel Baynes, Leah Brady, Keara Cormican (capt.), Lucia Lobato; Sinead Donovan; Aislinn Meaney, Meadbh De Burca, Sadbh Doyle, Lynsey McKey; Aoife Thomson (Aibhe Clancy 59).

Referee: Paula Brady.

 

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