McEvoy Goal Put Daylight Between The Sides And Dublin Drove On To The Finish
By Daragh Small
Niamh McEvoy scored the crucial first goal as the TG4 All-Ireland reigning champions Dublin advanced to a semi-final against Galway with an 18-point win over Kerry at Dr Hyde Park in Roscommon.
Dublin claimed the 2018 Lidl NFL title when they saw off Mayo in the decider on the 6th of May, and now they are 60 minutes away from another final.
In a repeat of last year’s semi-final Kerry were right in the game at half-time and only trailed by 0-09 to 1-03 at the interval. Emma Dineen came up with Kerry’s first half strike to ensure they remained competitive.
But McEvoy blasted a goal in the second half and Dublin cruised through to a crunch match with the Connacht champions, with second half substitute Hannah O’Neill and Sinéad Aherne also among the goals.
Reigning champions Dublin had impressive wins over Cavan and Mayo in the round robin. But they played against the breeze in the first half here and didn’t have it all their own way.
Early points from Carla Rowe and Aherne seemed to suggest that Dublin would take off and do something similar to what Galway had produced in the first of the double-header.
But Sarah Houlihan halved the deficit for Kerry when she scored their first point in the ninth minute.
Aherne slotted her second free but Louise Ní Mhuircheartaigh cancelled that effort out when she did likewise into the graveyard end.
Noelle Healy reasserted Dublin’s dominance and they held a double scores 0-4 to 0-2 lead before Kerry struck against the run of play.
Dineen drove directly through the heart of the Dublin defence and she rattled her shot past the dive of goalkeeper Ciara Trant.
Dublin were behind for the first time in the match but they replied like champions and scored the next five points in a row to re-take the lead.
Aherne scored first in the 16th minute and points followed from McEvoy, Aherne, Sinéad Goldrick and Aherne again.
Those scores gave Dublin a 0-09 to 1-02 lead before Houlihan doubled her first half tally to bring Kerry within a goal at half-time.
Reigning Champions Dublin Took Complete Control In The Second Half
But the reigning champions took complete control as they shut Kerry out after half-time.
They scored four points in a row, with Aherne’s seventh point giving Dublin a 0-13 to 1-3 lead in the 36th minute.
Kerry hit back but McEvoy bundled home a Dublin goal in the 42nd minute after a defensive mix-up from Kerry, and Mick Bohan’s side were 1-13 to 1-06 in front.
McEvoy continued to thrive while Carla Rowe also impressed, and Dublin moved ominously into the final four with O’Neill adding a second goal and Aherne got the third.
Sinead Aherne 1-07 (3f)
Niamh McEvoy 1-02
Hannah O’Neill 1-01
Noelle Healy 0-02
Carla Rowe 0-02
Sinead Goldrick 0-01
Lauren Magee 0-01
Lyndsey Davey 0-01
Nicole Owens 0-01
Oonagh Whyte 0-01
Emma Dineen 1-01
Louise Ní Mhuircheartaigh 0-03 (3f)
Sarah Houlihan 0-02 (0-1f)
Amanda Brosnan 0-01
1. Ciara Trant
2. Martha Byrne
3. Niamh Collins
4. Leah Caffrey
5. Sinead Goldrick
6. Olwen Carey
20. Deirdre Murphy
8. Lauren Magee
9. Siobhan McGrath
10. Nicole Owens
11. Lyndsey Davey
12. Carla Rowe
13. Sinead Aherne
14. Niamh McEvoy
15. Noelle Healy
Jennifer Dunne for Deirdre Murphy (40th Min)
Hannah O’Neill for Lyndsey Davey (47th Min)
Amy Connolly for Lauren Magee (51st Min)
Sinead Finnegan for Carla Rowe (54th Min)
Oonagh Whyte for Niamh McEvoy (54th Min).
1. Laura Fitzgerald
2. Laoise Coughlan
3. Aislinn Desmond
4. Eillis Lynch
5. Deirdre Kearney
6. Sarah Murphy
7. Aisling O’Connell
8. Lorraine Scanlon
9. Amanda Brosnan
10. Emma Dineen
11. Louise Ní Mhuircheartaigh
12. Amy Foley
13. Kate O’Sullivan
14. Eilish O’Leary
15. Sarah Houlihan
Andrea Murphy for Eilish O’Leary (20th Min)
Aoife O’Callaghan for Laoise Coughlan (46th Min)
Siobhan Burns for Amy Foley (46th Min)
Deirdre Greaney for Sarah Murphy (50th Min)
Bríd Ryan for Kate O’Sullivan (58th Min).
Referee: G McMahon (Mayo).