Dublin Ladies Footballers Head Into League Semi Finals As Division 1 Table Toppers
Dublin’s senior ladies footballers finished top of Division 1 of the Lidl Ladies National Football League thanks to this afternoons victory over Kerry in DCU.
It was somewhat of a strange game for Dublin due to the circumstances leading into the game, Dublin were already assured a semi final spot, so finishing in the number 1 spot was the prize on offer if they defeated the girls from the Kingdom.
Kerry arrived on the back of a tough week which had seen them relegated to division two and also seen the resignation of their manager, so they had little bit pride to play for.
With that in mind it was the prefect opportunity for Dublin manager Mick Bohan to give game time to some players in the extend panel either from the start or from the bench and a chance to impress and stake a claim for a jersey going forward and they didn’t disappoint.
By the end of the game Dublin had no fewer than than ten players on the scoresheet which was an impressive stat.
Top of the scorers was Niamh McEvoy who without regular free taker Sinead Aherne on the pitch took over the duties with aplomb. Besides her accuracy from frees McEvoy’s overall play was outstanding and the St Sylvesters Star was Dublin’s best player on the day.
The opening sixteen minutes were fairly even and Kerry besides their recent woes were certainly up for the game and the led by five points to four, Sarah Houlihan looked sharp hitting three of Kerry’s opening five points.
At the other end Hannah O’Neill and Nicole Owens were causing plenty of problems and both hit a nice point each and also had a hand in the points scored by Emily Flanagan and Julia Buckley.
The half turned on its head with seven minutes to go to the break. Dublin were enjoying plenty of possession and a slick move put Emily Flanagan in on goal but Kerry goalkeeper Laura Fitzgerald saved her effort with a fine point blank save.
But she had no chance minutes later as Sinead Goldrick just on the pitch for the injured Lucy Collins buried the ball into the top right corner of the net.
Either side of that goal Niamh McEvoy hit a point, one from a Free and the other an excellent effort from open play to give Dublin a four point lead.
Kerry did reduce the deficit before the short whistle with two Sarah Houlihan converted frees to leave the half time score 1-06 to 0-07 in Dublin’s favour.
Mick Bohan made four half time substitutions to his Dublin side bringing in Siobhan Woods, Siobhan Killeen, Leah Caffrey and Katie Murray for Rebecca McDonnell, Julia Buckley, Laura McGinlry and Muireann Ni Scanaill.
Woods made an immediate impact swinging over the first point of the second half inside sixty seconds. Two converted Niamh McEvoy frees pushed Dublin’s lead out five points.
Kerry were struggling to get any change out of the sky blues defence but in the 44th minute a free from Louise Ni Mhuircheartaigh got their half of the scoreboard ticking over again.
With sixteen minutes left on the clock Dublin’s Aoife Kane broke down the right wing, she received the ball, took a step inside a Kerry defender and hit one of the scores of the day straight over the black spot.
At that stage it looked like not if Dublin would win, but by what margin, but Kerry were not about to disappear quietly into the evening. And moments later an attempted handpass out of the Dublin defence was intercepted. The ball was worked inside and after a scramble for the ball Louise Ni Mhuircheartaigh was on hand to finish to the net.
The Dublin response though was instantaneous, they went straight back down the other end and Siobhan Killeen who impressed when introduced at half time scored a brilliant point.
A Sarah Houlihan free for Kerry with twelve minutes to go was cancelled out seconds later with another fine effort from Siobhan Killeen.
Houlihan was on target again from a free with eight minutes left in the game. But two quick fire points from Noelle Healy and Siobhan Woods put a stop to any inklings of a Kerry revival.
A nice point from Louise Ni Mhuircheartaigh in the 57th minute was to be Kerry’s last of the contest and it was left to Dublin to have the last say on the scoreboard.
Nicole Owens who was excellent throughout got her second point of the game in the final minute and it was aptly left to Dublin’s best player on the day Niamh McEvoy to finish off the scoring with her fourth converted free of the contest.
Next up for Dublin in two weeks time is a league semi final and they will know their opponents after tomorrow’s round of league fixtures are completed.
Niamh McEvoy 0-05 (4f)
Sinead Goldrick 1-00
Nicole Owens 0-02
Siobhan Woods 0-02
Siobhan Killeen 0-02
Emily Flanagan 0-01
Hannah O’Neill 0-01
Noelle Healy 0-01
Julia Buckley 0-01
Aoife Kane 0-01
Sarah Houlihan 0-07 (6f)
Louise Ni Mhuircheartaigh 1-03 (1f)
Amanda Brosnan 0-01
16. Ciara Trant
2. Kate Fitzgibbon
3. Deirdre Murphy
4. Laura McGinley
5. Aoife Kane
6. Muireann Ni Scanaill
7. Lucy Collins
8. Siobhan McGrath
9. Tarah O’Sullivan
10. Hannah O’Neill
11. Nicole Owens
12. Emily Flanagan
13. Julia Buckley
14. Niamh McEvoy
15. Rebecca McDonnell
20. Sinead Goldrick For 7. Lucy Collins (22nd Min)
18. Siobhan Woods For 15. Rebecca McDonnell (Half Time)
19. Siobhan Killeen For 13. Julia Buckley (Half Time)
22. Leah Caffrey For 4. Laura McGinley (Half Time)
29. Katie Murray For 6. Muireann Ni Scanaill (Half Time)
25. Noelle Healy For 10. Hannah O’Neill (41st Min)
24. Olwen Carey For 8. Siobhan McGrath (41st Min)
21. Jennifer Dunne For 9. Tarah O’Sullivan (41st Min)
27. Lyndsey Davey For 12. Emily Flanagan (46th Min)
28. Shannon Murtagh For 2. Kate Fitzgibbon (46th Min)
1. Heather Smith For 16. Ciara Trant (46th Min)
1. Laura Fitzgerald
2. Laoise Coughlan
3. Aislinn Desmond
4. Aisling O’Connell
5. Amy Foley
6. Sarah Murphy
20. Eilish O’Callaghan
8. Lorraine Scanlon
9. Eilish O’Leary
25. Louise Ní Mhuircheartaigh
11. Sarah Houlihan
12. Andrea Murphy
13. Siobhan Burns
14. Amanda Brosnan
17. Caoimhe O’Sullivan
15. Meabh Barry For 20. Eilish O’Callaghan (Half Time)
19. Siobhan Goodwin For 17. Caoimhe O’Sullivan (57th Min)