LADIES FOOTBALL ALL IRELAND: PATH TO THE FINAL.
Today the 2014 TG4 All-Ireland Senior Ladies Football Championship reaches a conclusion as Cork face Dublin in the final at Croke Park at 4pm.
Both sides won their provincial championships earlier this year, Dublin cruising to victory in Leinster with a 6-21 to 0-4 win over Laois in the final, with Cork claiming yet another Munster title with a 6-14 to 2-11 win over Kerry in the decider.
Cork are bidding for their ninth All-Ireland title in 10 years on Sunday, while Dublin are looking for their first since 2010 – the only year in the last decade that the Rebelettes were not crowned champions.
Ahead of today’s All-Ireland final, we take a look back at Dublin’s path through to the All-Ireland.
Saturday, August 23: St Brendan’s Park, Birr
All-Ireland Quarter-Final: Dublin 2-12 Kerry 1-10
Dublin booked their place in the semi-final when they disposed of Kerry at St. Brendan’s Park in Birr in a dogged affair in decent conditions back on August 23. Goals in either half from Niamh McEvoy and Noelle Healy proved crucial and although Kerry fought hard particularly in the second half, Leinster champions Dublin simply had too much quality throughout the pitch.
Dublin were firmly in control at the break, leading 1-9 to 0-3 following McEvoy’s clever 23rd minute goal, which came about after a flowing team move which ended with McEvoy lobbing Edel Murphy.
To Kerry’s credit, they came back well in the second half and outscored Dublin by 1-7 to 1-3 after the interval. However, after a fine start to the second half by the Kingdom, Healy found the net for Dublin to kill off the Kerry comeback and end any realistic hopes they had of restoring parity.
Scorers for Dublin: S Aherne 0-8 (7f), N Healy, N McEvoy 1-0 each, C Rowe 0-2, L Peat, L Davey 0-1 each.
DUBLIN: C O’Connor; R Ruddy, S Furlong, L Caffrey; M Byrne, S Goldrick, S McGrath; D Masterson, M Lamb; N Healy, N McEvoy, C Rowe; L Davey, S Aherne, L Peat. Subs: S Woods for McEvoy (50), N Hyland for Peat (52), O Leonard for Lamb (54), L Collins for Aherne (60).
Saturday, August 30: Cusack Park, Mullingar
All-Ireland Semi-Final: Dublin 2-14 Galway 1-13
Four weeks ago, Dublin reached their first All-Ireland final since 2010 with an exciting victory over Galway in Mullingar. Gregory McGonigle’s side were made to work hard for the win over the Tribeswomen, with second half goals from Lindsay Peat and Carla Rowe getting them over the line and into the final against Cork.
Dublin led by 0-10 to 0-8 at half-time and in the second half, the Leinster champions managed to turn the screw.
Galway had a goal chance early in the second half as Ger Conneally forced a good save from Cliodhna O’Connor but at the other end, in the 40th minute, Peat forced the ball over the line at the second attempt following good work by sub Siobhan Woods.
And when Rowe finished a flowing move in the 49th minute, the Jackies were 2-12 to 0-10 clear and firmly in the driving seat.
It was a sweet win for Dublin and for McGonigle, who is back in the final for the third time having led Monaghan for their 2011 and 2013 final defeats to Cork.
Scorers for Dublin: S Aherne 0-7 (6f), C Rowe 1-1 L Peat 1-0, L Davey 0-3, N Healy 0-2, S Woods 0-1
DUBLIN: C O’Connor; R Ruddy, S Furlong, L Caffrey; M Byrne, S Goldrick, S McGrath; D Masterson, M Lamb; N Healy, N McEvoy, C Rowe; L Davey, S Aherne, L Peat. Subs: C Barrett for Byrne (20), S Woods for McEvoy (h.t.), L Collins for Caffrey (54), N Hyland for Peat (57). (Gaa.ie)