Captain Aherne hails Dublin’s character

by Gazette Reporter

FINGAL women Sinead Aherne (0-7) and Lyndsey Davey (1-4) played crucial roles as Dublin saw off Donegal with a scoring blitz early in the second half last weekend at Parnell Park.
Both were to the fore in a dominant opening spell that saw them build a healthy lead with Aherne landing four points. But a 2-1 salvo from lethal Donegal forward Geraldine McLaughlin, including a 22nd minute penalty, ment the sides went in at half-time level at 0-8 to 2-2.
Dublin, though, started to pull away in the early stages of the second half. Hannah O’Neill, Carla Rowe and Davey added three classy scores, owing a lot to fast-paced hand-passing and patience deep in Donegal territory.
And then Rowe struck with a 39th minute goal for a 1-11 to 2-3 advantage. Noelle Healy drove forward at pace and popped an awkward ball just between the reach of goalkeeper Laura Gallagher and Rowe who duly flicked the ball out of the grasp of the goalkeeper and into the net.
Donegal briefly got back within three points of Dublin but Davey netted with nine minutes left for the Sky Blues to put them out of reach. It came from a swift break down the right flank by O’Neill, escaping her marker before picking out the Skerries Harps woman in the centre to net.
With Aherne bringing her tally to seven points and Davey ending with a total of 1-4, the goal put eight points between the teams. Further scores from Aherne, Davey and Magee stretched that out further before Niamh Hegarty bagged Donegal’s third goal, a slightly fortuitous effort that she scrambled in off her knee from close range.
Nonetheless, Dublin ran out winners with seven points to spare to bolster their position in the playoff places.
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.
Speaking about the win, St Sylvester’s Aherne hailed her side’s character: “We battled really hard in the second half, playing into the conditions. It was going to be about character in the second half when we had a good purple patch which was great.
“We conceded two goals [before half-time] which we weren’t happy about leading into half-time, giving them a lifeline. It had us level at half-time from where we had been in a position of dominance. What we needed was a reaction and thankfully we got that.
“The passing was good and the commitment in the tackle. In those conditions, it’s about not making too many mistakes and working really hard and that is what we did in the second half and got the scores.”

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