Jackies setting sights on bigger prizes after Royal assassination
AS the sun streamed over Dr. Cullen Park in some very hot and tough conditions, the stage was set for the Leinster final between old rivals Dublin and Meath last week.
Just 50 seconds in Dublin were off the mark with a goal from full forward Lyndsay Peat. This was swiftly followed up by a point from Noelle Healy as the Jackies made a dream start.
Bridgetta Lynch replied for Meath and they added another from a free soon after, but Peat netted her second goal of the game to leave Dublin six points ahead.
A constant struggle for possession meant that the ball switched sides many times but in the end Dublin's Lyndsay Davey pointed and Orlagh Egan extended their advantage.
Peat then added a point to her two goals, while some stunning defence from Dublin's Leah Caffrey once more kept Meath at bay.
The Royals did pull one back through Geraldine Doherty who added another soon afterwards.
Meath's O'Brien stood to take another free and took full advantage once more with another point five minutes before half time.
Dublin had the last say however, as Healy scored a point to make it 2-6 to 0-6 at the break.
As the second half began Dublin's Aherne wasted no time in getting Dublin off the mark with a point after just 30 seconds. She soon followed this with Dublin's third goal to further tighten their grip on the contest.
Doherty scored Meath's first point of the second period and O'Brien added another to close the gap to eight, but it was short-lived as McGuinness hit backl for Dublin.
Doherty scored her fourth point which turned out to be Meath's last of the contest.
Dublin's Lyndsay Davey had a good chance of another goal but the Meath defence stopped the score.
Dublin didn't let up however, and as both sides emptied their benches the Jackies continued to tack on scores.
As a vociferous crowd of Dublin supporters chanted down the final seconds of the game, Dublin were crowned Leinster champions for 2013.
Player of the match went to a very deserving Noelle Healy of Dublin.
Speaking after the match Dublin manager Paul Gilheaney spoke about how they planned the game when considering the hot conditions: 'Yeah we always knew that the heat was going to play a huge part in it so we wanted the ball to do the work today and not the players to carry it.
'It's a stifling heat, really hot out there and it was a matter of time before they got tired so we had to judge our substitutes well.
'We wanted to move the ball as quickly as possible to the full forward line and we thought we might get some results out of that and I think we did get some results there.
Dublin captain Sinéad Goldrick was happy with the performance but was also looking ahead to the All Ireland quarter final: 'We went in and we wanted a performance out of the team and I think that's exactly what we did.
'We knew that we would need the full 20 panel to play with the heat and we used 20 and every one of us played our heart out so I'm delighted with the result today.
'For the last two years we've lost by a point in the quarter final so we're gonna forget about the Leinster final that we had going into that and focus on whoever we're playing against.
'We know it is going to be a tough battle and hope that it will be third time lucky in a quarter final this year.'