Galway became the first team to guarantee themselves a spot in the TG4 All-Ireland senior football championship quarter-finals as Tim Rabbitt’s side claimed victory over Westmeath in Mullingar.
Last week’s triumph over Kerry and this 13-point win means Galway will top Group 3, and in the quarter-final on 10 August they will face the second placed team from a pool that features Dublin, Waterford and Monaghan.
Roisin Leonard bagged a crucial goal for Galway near the end of the first-half, and despite Nicole Feery striking back for Sean Finnegan’s side, Galway wrapped up the win thanks to a late goal from Leanne Coen.
Champions Dublin didn’t play this weekend after their victory against Waterford last weekend, but the Déise county bounced back with a convincing 7-19 to 1-10 win over Monaghan, which has moved them into top spot in Group 2.
A hat-trick of goals from Eimear Fennell during five first-half minutes set Waterford on the way to the win, and they now must wait and see how Dublin fare against Monaghan next week to discover if they have earned a spot in the quarter-finals or face a relegation play-off.
Monaghan lined out without their injured captain Cora Courtney, although Casey Treanor’s goal after the break gave them hope. But Waterford powered on to victory thanks to further goals from Maria Delahunty, Aileen Wall and Kellyann Hogan.
The big surprise of the weekend came in the first of the games that formed part of the televised double header at TEG Cusack Park in Mullingar, when defending TG4 Intermediate champions Tyrone stunned the Ulster champions Donegal with a 3-12 to 3-9 victory.
This Group 4 result has thrown up all sort of possibilities. Mayo had already beaten Tyrone last week, which meant Donegal must beat Peter Leahy’s Connacht outfit next Saturday to have any hope of making the quarter-finals. Should Donegal claim that key win all three teams will be on three points, which means scoring difference would be the deciding factor, with the top two going on to the knock-out stages and the third facing the possibility of relegation.
Geraldine McLaughlin scored 2-5 for her side on Saturday, but it wasn't enough to haul back Tyrone, who had goals from Chloe McCaffrey, Maeve Mallon and Niamh Hughes to their name.
One week ago Cavan performed heroics to defeat Armagh by one point in the epic Group 1 opener, but they were unable to lay down a repeat performance as last year’s TG4 All-Ireland finalists Cork got their round robin campaign off to a winning start
Once again it was Orla Finn who stood out from the crowd with a 12-point haul for her team, while Ephie Fitzgerald also welcomed back his captain Doireann O’Sullivan with a substitute’s appearance after her lengthy lay off due to a back injury.
An early goal from Áine O’Sullivan got Cork off to a bright start, although Cavan hit back with goals from Aishling Sheridan and Aishling Maguire. Saoirse Noonan found the net before half-time for Cork, who then pulled clear after the break with Libby Coppinger twice scoring goals, while Eimear Scally and Orla Farmer also hit the net in a 6-19 to 3-8 victory.
A win against Armagh next week will give Cork top spot in their group, while they will reach the last eight if they manage to avoid a 40-point defeat to the Orchard county.
Meanwhile, in the TG4 Intermediate championship favourites Tipperary stormed to a second win in a row with a 7-22 to 2-4 victory over Longford, with Aisling Moloney’s 2-11 haul helping them to a place in the quarter-finals. Meath were also very impressive winners in Group 2, and after their 21-point victory over Wicklow they too can reach the last eight with another win next weekend against Longford.
In Group 1 things are a lot tighter. Kildare maintained their perfect start with a slender four-point win over Sligo in Tubbercurry, and barring a big defeat to Down next week they will go through to the quarter-finals. Down recovered from last week’s loss to Sligo by beating Limerick, which has given them hope of qualifying too.
In Group 3, Clare secured a 4-13 to 1-12 win over Laois, which has put them level with Wexford at the top of the standings. Nothing is certain in this pool yet, but if Laois cannot beat Wexford by nine points next weekend they will face a relegation play-off.
And in Group four of the IFC, Roscommon confirmed their position as winners of the pool after a 16-point win over Offaly. Leitrim face Offaly in the final game next weekend, where victory for either team will seal their passage.
TG4 All-Ireland Ladies SFC, Round 2:
Cavan 3-8 Cork 6-19
Monaghan 1-10 Waterford 7-19
Galway 2-13 Westmeath 1-3
Donegal 3-9 Tyrone 3-12
TG4 All-Ireland Ladies IFC, Round 2:
Down 2-9 Limerick 0-8
Sligo 1-11 Kildare 3-9
Meath 4-19 Wicklow 0-10
Tipperary 7-22 Longford 2-4
Laois 1-12 Clare 4-13
Offaly 1-4 Roscommon 2-17