Dublin girls master minor ‘B’ once again

by Gazette Reporter
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Dublin 0-17

Wexford 2-8

Cóilín Duffy

Dublin retained the Leinster Minor ‘B’ Ladies Football Championship, after a testing battle against a determined Wexford side in front of a large crowd at Geraldine Park, Athy on Sunday.

In decent weather conditions Declan Patton’s charges were pushed hard throughout, but ultimately they finished strongest, as the silverware once again returned to the capital.

Just as they did in the 2023 decider 11 months ago, Dublin scored inside a minute of the throw-in, with Ellen Leddy Doyle on target this time around with a fine point from play – the first of eight scores from the Clontarf over the contest. Wexford pressed hard for an equaliser over the next few minutes, but Emma Rossiter registered two wides, before Aoife Fortune equalised for the Slaneysiders after almost seven minutes.

Dublin quickly stole a march and moved 0-4 to 0-1 ahead after 11 and a half minutes, with fine back-to-back points from play for Chloe O’Shea, before Orla Keighran added another excellent point. Dublin were making the most of their attacking changes at this stage, with Wexford finding it hard to take scores.

This was as a result of some good defensive play by Dublin, with the likes of Aoibh Doyle impressing. The Clann Mhuire player made a fine block in the 12th minute to cut out a Wexford scoring chance. Wexford cut the gap through another Fortune pointed free, but Dublin responded with some strong pressure.

They were unlucky not to find the net, after Ellen Joyce played through Elsa Kearney. However Kearney blazed wide of the target. Fortune added another point from a placed ball to cut the gap to the minimum after 16 minutes, as Wexford began to grow in confidence.

They suddenly became goal hungry and found the net thanks to Bebhinn McDonald from the next attack. Indeed Amelia Furlong went in search of a second goal a minute later, but Tessa Lambe forced her effort wide of the posts. Dublin had a goal chance of their own at the opposite end but it failed to work out for Liadan Murphy, however scores from O’Shea and Leddy-Doyle settled Dublin, and put them back in front after 22 minutes.

Dublin closed out the half well holding Wexford to just one more score before the break, as Orla Keighran and Leddy Doyle grabbed points to ensure a 0-10 to 1-4 lead at the interval.

Both teams made changes at half-time, with Kate O’Toole introduced for the Dubs.

Wexford were first to find the target on the restart as Fortune added another pointed free to her tally, before Ellen Leddy Doyle grabbed her seventh point of the day in the 35th minute. Fortune quickly responded with a point, before a 37th minute effort from Charlie Murphy was saved by Wexford keeper Laura Kehoe.

Wexford found the net for a second time, after a 40th minute low effort from Sarah Bennett went unchallenged and finished in the Dublin net.  Leddy Doyle and Liadan Murphy responded with points for Dublin, before Fortune registered another Wexford score. However, Dublin looked good in the closing quarter. Aoife Robertson, Ruby Magnier and Tessa Lambert among those showing strong defensively.

Siobhán Birne, Leddy Doyle, Aoibh Doyle and Elsa Kearney grabbed excellent points for Dublin in the closing quarter. While Wexford pressed hard towards the end, they could only manage a point from Kaylee Doyle, as Dublin held out for a deserved win.

After the game Dublin captain Líadan Murphy from Kilmacud Crokes accepted the Cup, while Ellen Leddy Doyle was honoured with the Player of the Match award, in a game which saw her finish as top-scorer with eight points.

Scorers for Dublin: Ellen Leddy Doyle (5f) 0-8; Chloe O’Shea 0-3; Orla Keighran 0-2; Elsa Kearney, Líadán Murphy, Aoibh Doyle, Siobhán Birne 0-1 each.

Scorers for Wexford: Aoife Fortune (6f) 0-6; Sarah Bennett 1-1; Bebhinn McDonald 1-0; Kaylee Doyle 0-1.

DUBLIN: Katie Moran Tighe (Ballinteer St. John’s); Ruby Magnier (Fingallians), Aoife Robertson (Round Tower Clondalkin), Tessa Lambe (St. Vincent’s); Aoibh Doyle (Clann Mhuire), Catarina Almeida (Scoil Uí Chonaill), Katie Hayes (Cuala); Chloe O’Shea (Lucan Sarsfields), Siobhán Birnie (Lucan Sarsfields); Charlie Murphy (Ballyboden St. Enda’s), Elsa Kearney (O’Dwyers), Ellen Joyce (Fingallians); Ellen Leddy Doyle (Clontarf), Líadan Murphy (Kilmacud Crokes), Orla Keighran (St. Judes).

Subs used: Kate O’Toole (St. Sylvesters) for Joyce (HT); Niadh Mooney (St. Peregrine’s) for L Murphy (50); Ciara Brogan (St. Oliver Plunketts/Eoghan Ruadh) for C Murphy (50); Hannah Galvin (Templeogue Synge St.) for Keighran (55).

Dublin panel: Ava Canty (Fingallians), Andrea Walsh (St. Patrick’s Donabate), Roisin Kirby (St. Brigids), Niamh Bush (St. Maurs), Kirsten Mooney (Fingallians), Hannah Murphy (St Vincents), Sophia O’Brien (Na Fianna), Martha de Brún (Scoil Uí Chonaill), Rachel Johnson (Lucan Sarsfields), Lucy Ahern (Na Fianna), Isabelle Coogan (St. Patrick’s Donabate), Karrie Rudden, Lile Tully, Ellie Doyle, Ciara Sheedy.

WEXFORD: Laura Kehoe; Síofra Fenlon, Ella Furlong, Heather Bolton Lee; Eilis Roche, Eabha Guinean, Caragh McDonald; Bebhinn McDonald, Kaylee Doyle; Amelia Furlong, Aoife Fortune, Sarah Bennett; Edie Byrne, Emma Rossiter, Caoimhe Ryan.

Subs used: Ellie Roche for Guinan (HT); Milly Sutton for Ryan (HT); Orla O’Rourke for A Furlong (50); Katie Whelan for E Byrne (50); Eimear Porter for Eilis Roche (57).

Referee: Jonathan Murphy (Carlow)

1-7

Dublin delivered an impressive second-half performance when accounting for Meath by three Stephen Cluxton and Michael Fitzsimons returned for their first starts of the year as Dublin brushed Meath aside with a 3-19 to 0-12 victory at Croke Park.

The win marks the capital men’s 40th consecutive one in the Leinster senior football championship and sees them face Offaly in two weeks’ time for another provincial final berth while Meath are now bound for the qualifiers.

The Royals had held their own in the first-half of this contest, with the scoreboard reading 0-4 to 0-3 in their favour before Sean Bugler rattled their net with a powerful run and finish on 19 minutes.

Colm O’Rourke’s side responded with points from Jordan Morris and Eoghan Frayne (free) before going in at the break trailing by 1-8 to 0-6.

The second-half would see the All-Ireland champions move up through the gears though, landing points via Niall Scully, John Small, Ciaran Kilkenny and Paul Mannion prior to the latter hitting the net soccer style on 51 minutes.

That score moved the Dubs’ lead into the double figures and Meath would only post a Billy Hogan ‘45’ in response as Con O’Callaghan’s goal at the death left the margin at 16 come the final whistle.

Colm O’Rourke has labelled the Leinster SFC ‘a shambles’.

The Meath manager was speaking after his side’s latest heavy defeat to Dublin and has called for the provincial championships to be played before the Allianz League.

“The Leinster Championship is a shambles but that’s not Dublin’s fault, I suppose it’s the fault of teams like Meath who haven’t been competitive for a long, long time,” he told reporters at Croke Park.

“To me, anyway, the obvious thing is the Leinster Championship should be played before the League. It’s absolutely ridiculous that teams in the League are waiting, waiting, waiting and don’t know what competition they are going to be playing in or when they will be playing.

“If the provincial championships were over, everyone would know exactly before they start the league, particularly those teams in the second and third division, what they had to do to ensure they play in the Sam Maguire.

“It’s very unsatisfactory, the present system.”

Bernard Flynn was surprised by the paltry attendance at the Leinster SFC semi-final between Dublin and Meath.

Just 21,445 spectators filed through the turnstiles for a fixture that once drew capacity crowds to Croke Park. But Dublin’s utter dominance of the Leinster SFC over the last two decades – yesterday’s 3-19 to 0-12 win was their 40th on the bounce – has effectively sounded the dead knell for what was once a highly-competitive Championship.

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