Dublin face another showdown with old foes Cork in the Lidl NFL Division 1 Final
By Michael Gallagher
Dublin advanced to a Lidl NFL Division 1 showdown with old rivals Cork after seeing off Mayo’s challenge at LIT Gaelic Grounds in Limerick.
Mayo enjoyed plenty of possession in the first half, but it was the more decisive and productive Dublin side who deservedly found themselves eight clear at the break on a 3-3 to 0-4 scoreline.
Full-forward Niamh Hetherton caused Mayo all sorts of problems and got them off the mark after five minutes with their opening goal.
She was also heavily involved in their third goal, with captain Sinead Aherne finishing the ball over the line.
Those scores sandwiched a classy goal from Jennifer Dunne, who strode through onto a well-timed pass from Lyndsey Davey to blast home.
Davey was central to everything positive Dublin did in attack while the tenacious defending of the All-Ireland champions at the other end frustrated Mayo.
Niamh Kelly was Mayo’s biggest threat while Sinead Cafferkey, Saoirse Lally and Grace Kelly were also prominent.
Mayo found it almost impossible to locate any gaps in the Dublin back division and Mick Bohan’s players soaked up pressure before breaking out decisively.
Dublin began the second half explosively with two points from Hannah Tyrrell as midfielders Lauren Magee and Dunne controlled matters.
Mayo almost found a way back into it after 36 minutes when Rachel Kearns got on the end of a Tamara O’Connor pass only to see her shot crash back off the bar and when the Crossmolina woman was sin-binned moments later, Mayo were in real trouble.
Dublin stretched their lead to twelve, 3-10 to 0-7, at the start of the fourth quarter after points from Aherne, Davey and the impressive Tyrrell.
Mayo continued to try hard with Éilis Ronayne and Kathryn Sullivan trying to rally the troops, but Dublin were in complete control.
Ahearne moved the leaders completely out of sight when she slotted home a penalty eight minutes from the end as they booked their place in the Division 1 final.
Sinead Aherne 2-03 (1-00 pen, 2f)
Hannah Tyrrell 0-07 (4f)
Niamh Hetherton 1-00
Jennifer Dunne 1-00
Siobhan Killeen 0-03
Lyndsey Davey 0-02
Shauna Howley 0-05 (4f)
Niamh Kely 0-02
Rachel Kearns 0-01 (1f)
Sinead Cafferky 0-01
Grace Kelly 0-01
1. Abby Sheils
2. Hannah Leahy
3. Niamh Collins
4. Martha Byrne
5. Leah Caffrey
6. Olwen Carey
7. Orlagh Nolan
8. Lauren Magee
9. Jennifer Dunne
19. Niamh Hetherton
11. Lyndsey Davey
12. Caoimhe O’Connor
13. Sinéad Aherne
14. Siobhán Killeen
15. Hannah Tyrrell
21. Siobhán McGrath for 7. Orlagh Nolan (12)
23. Lucy Collins for 12. Caoimhe O’Connor (HT)
10. Niamh McEvoy for 19. Niamh Hetherton (42)
17. Laura McGinley for 2. Hannah Leahy (42)
18. Michelle Davoren for 11. Lyndsey Davey (49)
1. Laura Brennan
2. Saoirse Lally
3. Clodagh McManamon
4. Orla Conlon
5. Eilish Ronayne
6. Tamara O’Connor
7. Kathryn Sullivan
8. Fiona Doherty
9. Sinéad Cafferky
10. Niamh Kely
11. Fiona McHale
12. Grace Kelly
13. Maria Reilly
14. Shauna Howley
15. Rachel Kearns
18. Róisín Durcan for 8. Fiona Doherty (HT)
19. Ella Brennan for 3. Clodagh McManamon (47)
25. Mary McHale for 11. Fiona McHale (48)
20. Ciara Needham for 6. Tamara O’Connor (50)
17. Sadbh Larkin for 13. Maria Reilly (55)
27. Amy Dowling for 12. Grace Kelly (55)