Five-star sky blues outclass Westmeath

by Gazette Reporter
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DUBLIN showed a relentless streak as they cruised to a fifth successive TG4 Leinster ladies senior football championship crown, demolishing Westmeath by 26 points in a surprisingly one sided provincial decider at O’Moore Park in Portlaoise.
They had beaten the Lake County earlier in the group stages of the competition on a dirty day where handling errors and free-flowing football was at a premium.
But such mistakes were at a minimum in the re-match in Sunday’s final as the sky blues built a strong half-time lead and then pulled clear with a glut of second half scores.
The opening half, though, did not overly suggest that it would be quite such a dramatic final scoreline. Dublin led by nine points at the break – 1-11 to 0-5 – in a wind-swept counter. Indeed, Westmeath led briefly thanks to points from Leona Archibold and Maud Anne Foley.
But Sinead Aherne equalised quickly and Noelle Healy turned over ball to score a fine point to retake the advantage. Sinead Goldrick scored the only goal of the first half for Dublin from a swift move and it appeared to deflate Westmeath.
Nicole Owens, later named player of the match, had four points on the board for Dublin by the interval, as Goldrick added a point to her goal.
Lyndsey Davey collected two first-half points while Carla Rowe and Sinead Aherne were also on the scoresheet.
The floodgates opened in the second half, however, as Dublin stepped on the gas to outclass Westmeath. Owens finished with six points while Davey was the leading scorer for Dublin as she registered 1-4.
Rowe and Aherne also netted second half goals for Dublin – who have now booked a safe passage to the All-Ireland quarter-finals along with Ulster champions Monaghan and Connacht winners Mayo. Munster completed the list of provincial champions with a win over Kerry in Killarney.

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