Monaghan show intent in Red Hand thrashing
ULSTER champions Monaghan cruised to victory against beaten 2010 All-Ireland finalists Tyrone as the Bord Gais Energy Ladies National Football League swung into action yesterday.
Monaghan laid down a marker for the coming season with a devastating attacking display as off-colour Tyrone slumped to a 0-7 to 2-14 defeat at Emyvale.
Monaghan raced into an early four-point lead before Gemma Begley hit Tyrone's first point in the 10th minute, and at half-time led by 2-7 to 0-5 -- the goals coming from Caoimhe Mohan and top scorer Catriona McConnell.
Incredibly, Tyrone's seventh point 12 minutes after half-time was their last score of the game, as Monaghan piled on the agony with a run of seven unanswered points. Tyrone's misery was complete late on when inspirational defender Sinead McLaughlin was sin-binned.
In Division 2, All-Ireland champions Dublin began their campaign in ominous fashion with an emphatic 2-17 to 1-4 victory over Armagh at Fingallions. The Sky Blues were relegated from Division 1 last year and on yesterday's evidence, they are desperately keen to return to the top flight.
Dublin led by 0-8 to 0-3 at half-time but it was Armagh who struck for the opening goal of the game early in the second half, as Kelly Mallon pounced from close range after former All Star goalkeeper Cliodhna O'Connor had prevented a long-range free from going over the bar.
But Dublin, with six current All Stars in their starting line-up, hit back with a brace from Orla Egan, who netted 18 minutes into the second half and again before full-time to seal a comfortable win.
Sinead Ahern, player of the match in last year's All-Ireland final, hit four points while Amy McGuinness, Lyndsey Davey, Noelle Healy and Elaine Kelly also impressed.
In Division 3, Clare also signalled their determination to bounce back from last year's relegation with an opening-day 2-9 to 0-7 victory against Down.
Eimear Considine was the provider for Niamh O'Dea's two goals as the Banner County secured an eight-point victory at Miltown-Malbay.
Clare led by 1-5 to 0-6 at half-time, but it wasn't until late in the day that the hosts pulled away against a Down team inspired by Kyla Trainor, who scored all of the Mourne County's first-half points.
In Division 4, last year's beaten divisional semi-finalists Antrim will be a force to be reckoned with after crushing provincial rivals Derry 5-15 to 0-9. Remarkably, Derry led by 0-9 to 0-4 after 20 minutes but failed to register a score for the remainder of the game.
Antrim led by 2-6 to 0-9 at half-time and ran riot in the second half as Mairead Cooper (2), Claire Timoney, Anna Finnegan and Rachel Fulton hit the net for the Saffrons.