O’Connor and Sullivan goals see Jackies home

by Gazette Reporter
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Dublin 2-16

Cork 0-6

DAIRE WALSH

Caoimhe O’Connor and Kate Sullivan grabbed goals in each half at DCU St Clare’s on Saturday as Dublin bolstered their Lidl National Football League Division 1 prospects with an emphatic victory against Cork.

The result of tomorrow’s showdown between Kerry and Meath could see them dropping down in the league standings, but Mick Bohan’s reigning TG4 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship winners find themselves occupying second place in the NFL’s top-tier for the time being — leaving them well in contention for a league final spot ahead of their away encounter with Armagh next Saturday.

Despite showing plenty of endeavour throughout, this game represented Cork’s fifth consecutive reversal of 2024 and they will be battling to avoid relegation to Division 2 when they pay a visit to Meath on Sunday, March 24.

While the Leesiders opened the scoring in this contest courtesy of a sixth-minute point from wing-forward Emma Cleary, Dublin responded with unanswered scores by Orlagh Nolan, Carla Rowe (inset) and Hannah Tyrrell (free).

20 January 2024; Caoimhe O’Connor of Dublin during the 2024 Lidl Ladies National Football League Division 1 Round 1 fixture between Dublin and Kerry at Parnell Park in Dublin. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Pointed frees from Ellie Jack and Abigail Ring brought Cork back on level terms just shy of the first-quarter mark, but Dublin created significant daylight when O’Connor fired clinically beyond the reach of Caoimhe Richmond for a goal on 19 minutes.

Marauding half-back Kate Murray and Rowe also found the range either side of another Ring free to propel Dublin towards a 1-5 to 0-4 interval cushion.

On the resumption, Bohan introduced St Sylvester’s duo Sinead Aherne and Nicole Owens for their first appearances of the campaign – the latter featuring for the first time since their TG4 All-Ireland SFC quarter-final defeat to Donegal in July 2022.

Several other substitutes were added to the mix as the action progressed, but the hosts continued to defend and attack with confidence. A fine point from Aherne followed up a brace from Tyrrell and when Sullivan rattled the net from close range in the 47th minute, it effectively placed the outcome beyond doubt.

Annabelle Timothy and Chloe Darby (fresh from winning the Yoplait O’Connor Cup with DCU Dochas Eireann last weekend) also added their names to the scoresheet off the bench, before Cork finally responded with a Sadhbh McGoldrick point on 56 minutes.

Lydia McDonagh also split the uprights for the visitors late on, but a Sullivan score moments earlier ensured Dublin finished with 11 points to spare.

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