Dublin Ladies complete maiden win of All-Ireland Football title




Dublin 3-16 Tyrone 0-9

Dublin were crowned All-Ireland senior ladies football champions for the first time when a superb display saw them get the better of Tyrone at Croke Park.

Full forward Sinead Aherne was the star of the show, hitting a brilliant 2-7 tally, as the Jackies made amends in joyous fashion for three previous defeats in finals.

They did all the hard work in the first half, when goals from Aherne and Amy McGuinness helped them to a nine-point interval lead.

Aherne added a third goal after the break, and spurred on by their captain Denise Masterson, who had a storming game at midfield, the Metropolitans surged over the winning line in convincing fashion.

It was clear this was to be Dublin’s day from a very early stage. They ran confidently at the Tyrone defence, and quickly gave themselves a confidence boost with a handful of early scores.

Aherne warmed up for what was to become a virtuoso performance with two converted frees, and Lyndsey Davey and Elaine Kelly also found the target to put the Red Hands on the back foot.

Joline Donnelly steered over an excellent point from out left, but by the seventh minute, the Dubs had moved into a 0-5 to 0-1 lead.

Gemma Begley steadied Tyrone nerves with two points from frees, but they were always under pressure at the back, and goalkeeper Shannon Lynch had to stretch to claw away a dipping effort from Kelly.

Building from the back through Sorcha Furlong, Rachel Ruddy and Siobhan McGrath, the Metropolitans were always in control.

And they struck a major blow in the 21st minute when Amy McGuinness fired in a goal after Davey’s shot had smashed against the crossbar.

Neamh Woods, Sarah Donnelly, Shanon Quinn and Aisling O’Kane did all they could to revive Tyrone spirits, and substitute Nina Murphy pulled back a point, but Dublin grabbed a second goal in the 34th minute, a superb individual effort from Aherne.

Dublin led by 2-8 to 0-5 at half-time, and stretched the advantage with another couple of McGuinness scores.

And when Aherne took Kelly’s return pass to slide home her second goal on 39 minutes, they led by a massive 14 points margin and it was all over for the Red Hands.

Cathy Donnelly grabbed a point for Tyrone, but they could make little headway against a well organised defence that provided an effective springboard for waves of Dublin attacks, with wing back Gemma Fay bursting forward to help herself to a point.

Joline Donnelly pulled a couple of Red Hand points, with Begley also on target.

But with skipper Denise Masterson an inspirational driving force at midfield, Dublin went back on the offensive for Aherne to once again to delight Dubs fans with another sublime score.

Tyrone: S Lynch, E Teague, M Kelly, S McLaughlin, M Donnelly, N Woods, L Donnelly, S Donnelly, S Quinn, C Donnelly (0-1), G Begley (0-4, 2f), A O’Kane, C McGahan, S Connolly, J Donnelly (0-3, 1f).

Subs: N Murphy (0-1) for Connolly, Roisin Rafferty for Teague, O O’Neill for McGahan, Marie Gallagher for M Donnelly, C Scullion for O’Kane

Dublin: C O’Connor, R Ruddy, A Cluxton, M Kavanagh, S McGrath, S Furlong, G Fay (0-1), D Masterson, N McEvoy, M Nevin, A McGuinness (1-3, 0-1f), L Peat (0-1), L Davey (0-2), S Aherne (2-7, 0-3f), E Kelly (0-2).

Subs: B Finlay for Kelly, N Hyland for Nevin, N Healy for McGuinness, N McEvoy for N McEvoy, C Barrett for Fay

Referee: K Delahunty (Tipperary).

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