Dublin Ladies power to semi-finals

by Gazette Reporter

Dublin booked their spot in the semi-finals of the Ladies National Football League Division 1 as they put Monaghan to the sword with a clinical performance in Clones.

The reigning All-Ireland champions hit the net five times on their way to a resounding 5-14 to 0-10 win over the home side at St Tiarnach’s Park.

The visitors were full value for their 19-point winning margin as five different scorers registered goals on the day.

The Jackies, along with Cork, are now guaranteed a spot in the last four with one round of rescheduled fixtures still to play.

Mayo, Donegal and Galway all remain in the frame to seal the final two semi-final spots on what will be a keenly contested weekend of football action.

Dublin had last week suffered a shock first defeat of the campaign at home against Galway at the National Sports Campus in Abbottstown.

Mick Bohan’s all-conquering side were five from five coming into last week’s game but were blown away in the second-half by a free-scoring Galway side.

But the Girls in Green bounced back in emphatic fashion, with Monaghan the unfortunate side to be on the end of the backlash.

In Clones, Dublin ran up a quick lead. Lyndsey Davey and Niamh McEvoy had the ball in the Monaghan net during a first half that saw them run up an 11-point lead by the break.

Sinead Aherne, Nicole Owens and Rebecca McDonnell added goals in the second half, while Ahern and Owens and kept the scoreboard ticking over with well-taken points.

2017 Player of the Year Noelle Healy was another standout for Bohan’s side, notching three points from open play in an impressive personal performance.

Ciara McAnespie top scored for the home side with three points, while Cora Courtney and Ellen McCarron each registered two apiece, but they couldn’t keep pace with the Dubs.

In cold and wet conditions, it was Dublin who took the lead within a minute through a McEvoy point before McAnespie responded in kind shortly afterwards.

Cora Courtney gave Monaghan the lead for the first time before Healy again tied things up in a lively first few minutes.

McCarron put a free over the bar to give Monaghan the lead once again but Dublin began to dial up the pressure and Davey cut in to breach the net for the first time on nine minutes.

McCarron got her second point of the game shortly after but Dublin posted 1-7 without response to effectively tie up the three points by half time.

The home side did come out strong in an attempt to reduce the arrears after the break and Cora Courtney and her sister Rosemary registered quick points to reduce the gap to nine.

That only seemed to motivate Dublin further and a quickfire pair of goals from Owens and Aherne pushed the gap back out to 16 points.

A brace of points from McAnespie ensured Monaghan posted double figures, but a fifth goal courtesy of the second-half substitute McDonnell rounded off a comprehensive win.

There’s one game left for Dublin in the regular season calendar as they welcome relegated Kerry to the capital for a game that was called off due to the weather in early March.

They’ll have to at least match Cork’s result and rein in an 18-point scoring deficit to top the table and ensure the most favourable draw in the final four.


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