BY Daire Walsh
Hannah Tyrrell, Carla Rowe (inset) and Kate Sullivan were amongst the goals at DCU St Clare’s as holders Dublin booked their place in the TG4 Leinster Senior Football Championship final with an emphatic triumph over Laois.
Eager to build on last weekend’s win against TG4 All-Ireland champions Meath at Páirc Tailteann, Navan, Dublin began this contest with significant attacking intent. After kicking the home team into the lead with an impressive point, Tyrrell hammered the ball to the net in the sixth minute following excellent approach play from captain Rowe and Caoimhe O’Connor.
Laois (fresh from appearing in the Lidl National Football League Division 2 decider against Armagh) enjoyed some good spells of possession, but their Metropolitan counterparts nonetheless added unanswered points through Orlagh Nolan, Orla Martin, Carla Rowe and Sinéad Wylde.
However, Eva Galvin finally opened Laois’ account on 22 minutes with a point that drifted just over the Dublin crossbar. Raiding centre half-back Ellen Healy later forced a fine save out of opposition netminder Abby Shiels, but three more points on the bounce courtesy of Wylde, Rowe (free) and O’Connor ensured the Jackies brought a commanding 1-8 to 0-1 lead into the interval.
While Dublin boss Mick Bohan made a plethora of changes on the resumption, his charges continued to play with great cohesion. After Sullivan made an immediate impact off the bench with a well-worked point, Rowe added her side’s second goal with 32 minutes on the clock.
The ever-dangerous inside duo of Rowe and Tyrrell contributed additional points, in advance of former Republic of Ireland underage soccer international Nolan releasing Sullivan for a clinical three-pointer.
This moved Dublin all of 19 points clear and with Sullivan and O’Connor also raising white flags either side of the final-quarter, they continued to enforce their authority.
Laois did eventually respond with back-to-back scores from team skipper Healy and the industrious Erone Fitzpatrick, but Dublin had the final say when Annabelle Timothy kicked a point in the closing stages of the action.
The Jackies will now have their sights set on securing a 10th consecutive provincial title in three weeks’ time against either Laois or Meath, who are set to lock horns next weekend.
Scorers – Dublin: C Rowe 1-3 (0-1f), H Tyrrell (0-1f), K Sullivan 1-2 each, C O’Connor, S Wylde 0-2 each, O Martin, O Nolan, A Timothy 0-1 each. Laois: E Healy, E Galvin, E Fitzpatrick 0-1 each.
DUBLIN: A Shiels; N Crowley, L Caffrey, F O’Connell Bell; A Kane, M Byrne, E Strappe; E O’Dowd, C Coffey; O Martin, O Nolan, C O’Connor; H Tyrell, S Wylde, C Rowe.
Subs: L Magee for Strappe, J Dunne for Coffey, K Sullivan for Martin, E Gribben for Wylde (all h-t), N Hetherton for O’Dowd (36), N Donlon for Crowley (44), J Egan for Tyrrell, G Fitzsimons for Caffrey (both 47), D Lawless for Byrne (48), C Darby for Nolan (49), T Quinn Corbally for O’Connell Bell (51), K Owens for Rowe (54), E Ni Eafa for Shiels, E Deeley for O’Connor, A Timothy for Kane (all 55).
LAOIS: E Barry; S Farrelly, C Dunne, A Kelly; S Havill, E Healy, L Nerney; A Healy, A Moran; E Galvin, O Hennessy, E Fitzpatrick; M Nerney, SA Fitzgerald, LM Maher.
Subs: G Moran for L Nerney, K Donoghue for Hennessy, A Kirrane for Fitzgerald (all 53), T Byrne for Maher (60).
Ref: Jonathan Murphy (Carlow).
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