Mayo 4-17 Galway 2-7
Cora Staunton destroyed Galway to ensure Mayo made an immediate return to the top flight after the Division 2 Bord Gáis Energy league final at Parnell Park today.
The Carnacon starlet kicked 2-11 as Mayo, who were reduced to 14 players when skipper Claire Egan picked up a second sin binning in the 39th minute, cantered to the title.
But the performance of Staunton was the real talking point as she dragged Mayo back from an early deficit to a 16-point victory.
Despite their heavy defeat Galway will wonder how they failed to go in at half-time in the ascendancy after blitzing their neighbours early on.
Points from Tracy Leonard and Geraldine Conneally gave the Tribesgirls a two-point lead by the third minute, but a minute later they took control when centre-forward Deirdre Brennan ran on to a through ball from Charlotte Cooney, rounded the goalkeeper and stroked the ball to the back of the net.
It could have gotten a lot worse for Mayo when Conneally rattled the crossbar with another effort seconds later, but a Deirdre Doherty point in the seventh minute steadied their nerves somewhat.
Two more points from Galway pushed their lead out to 1-3 to 0-1 in the 11th minute, but after taking control around the middle of the park, Mayo began to show their attacking prowess.
Martha Carter got Mayo's second point from play, which was quickly followed by a brace of frees from Staunton, but the sin-binning of team captain Claire Egan in the 18th minute looked to have halted the Mayo rush.
Leonard added a free for Galway, but three unanswered points for the four-time All-Ireland champions, including excellent scores from Staunton and Doherty, sent the sides in level at half-time, 1-5 to 0-8.
After the restart Mayo continued to pull the Galway defence all over the field and after three wides in the first three minutes they found their grove once more.
Seven minutes after the restart Trina McNicholas found the net after Staunton carried well to draw the cover and midway through the half Staunton ended the contest when she rounded the keeper and goaled for a 2-11 to 1-5 lead.
The Galway drought continued as the exhibition of point scoring continued at the other end and ten minutes from time Fiona McHale punched to the net for Mayo's third goal.
Five minutes later Staunton bagged her second goal and Galway got a deserved consolation late on when substitute Edel Concannon flicked the ball to the net.
Mayo: C Staunton (2-11, 7fs); F McHale (1-1); T McNicholas (1-1); D Doherty (0-2); M Carter (0-2)
Galway: E Concannon (1-1); D Brennan (1-0); G Conneally (0-2); T Leonard (0-2, 1f); C Hehir (0-1); G Joyce (0-1f)
Mayo: N Tarpey; A Bell, N Tierney, L Ryder; S Tierney, C Egan, C Connolly, M Carter; C McManamon; F McHale, C Staunton, Y Byrne; T McNicholas, D Doherty, N Kelly.
Subs: A Gilroy for Ryder, 21; S Rowe for Kelly, 42; A Roddy for Connolly, 55; A Brennan for Doherty, 56; O Conlon for Staunton, 57.
Galway: L Murphy; M Coyne, E Curley, S Divilly; B Hannon, S Conneally, S Burke; A Daly, C Hehir; C Cooney, D Brennan, L Leonard; T Leonard, G Joyce, G Conneally.
Subs: E Concannon for Conneally, 40; T Mullins for L Leonard, 44; M Burke for T Leonard, 45; E Gannon for Cooney, 46; B Walsh for Joyce, 46.
Referee: Shaun Duane (Kildare).