THE battle for the precious top-four places in Division 1 of the Lidl Ladies National Football League intensified on Sunday as Dublin and Galway drew level with Cork on nine points at the head of affairs.
A superior scoring difference leaves Cork, winners on their travels to Mayo on Saturday, on top of the pile but Dublin and Galway turned up the heat with victories a day later.
Lethal Donegal forward Geraldine McLaughlin scored 2-1 in the first half but Dublin, with four frees from captain Sinead Ahern, were 0-8 to 2-2 clear at the midway point.
Carla Rowe’s 39th-minute goal eased Dublin into a 1-11 to 2-3 advantage and Mick Bohan’s charges never looked back from there.
Dublin Team: Ciara Trant, Fiona Hudson, Olsen Carey, Leah Caffrey, Martha Byrne, Noelle Healy, Tarah O’Sullivan, Lauren Magee, Molly Lamb, Kate McKenna, Sarah McCaffrey, Carla Rowe, Rebecca McDonnell, Lyndsey Davey, Sinead Aherne.
Lyndsey Davey 1-04
Sinead Aherne 0-07 (0-04f)
Carla Rowe 1-02
Lauren Magee 0-02
Sarah McCaffrey 0-01
Hannah O’Neill 0-01
Hannah O’Neill for McKenna,
Sinead Finnegan for Tarah O’Sullivan,
Kate Fitzgibbon for Sarah McCaffrey,
Aoife Curran for Martha Byrne,
Olivia Leonard for Carla Rowe,
Lauren McGinley for Kate Fitzgibbon.
Donegal Team: Laura Gallagher, Theasa Doherty, Ciara Hegarty, Kate Keeney, Therese McClafferty, Nicole McLaughlin, Emer Gallagher, Katie Herron, Karen Gutherie, Grainne Houston, Niamh Hegarty, Eilish Ward, Roisin Friel, Geraldine McLaughlin, Paula McGroarty.
Geraldine McLaughlin 2-02 (1Pen, 0-01f)
Niamh Hegarty 1-02
Grainne Houston 0-01
Eilish Ward 0-01
Paula McGroarty 0-01
Kniesha McKinney for Therese McClafferty
Deirdre Foley for Emer Gallagher
Shannon McGruddy for Paula McGroarty