Friday 22 September 2017

Dublin advance to Leinster ladies SFC final with 28-point thrashing of Laois

Laois 2-3 Dublin 8-13

Sinéad Aherne of Dublin celebrates scoring her side's first goal during the TG4 Ladies Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Semi-Final game between Dublin and Mayo at Kingspan Breffni Park in Cavan. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Sinéad Aherne of Dublin celebrates scoring her side's first goal during the TG4 Ladies Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Semi-Final game between Dublin and Mayo at Kingspan Breffni Park in Cavan. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

By Jackie Cahill in Timahoe

MICK Bohan’s Dublin blasted out an ominous statement of championship intent by claiming a massive 28-point victory over Laois in this afternoon’s TG4 Leinster ladies senior football semi-final.

Captain Sinead Aherne helped herself to 3-4 as the Sky Blues, beaten in the last three All-Ireland finals, set up a provincial decider with Westmeath on July 9.

Holders Dublin advanced to a sixth successive Leinster final with an eight-goal blitz of outclassed Laois in Timahoe.

Sarah McCaffrey, sister of Dublin senior footballer Jack, and Nicole Owens bagged a brace of goals apiece, while Noelle Healy also raised a green flag for the rampant Jackies.

By half-time, and having played with the breeze from the start, Dublin had this game well and truly wrapped up.

They led by 5-6 to 1-1 against a Laois side that were 0-0 to 2-4 adrift before one of their better players, Rachel Williams, scored their opening point in the ninth minute.

A slick and well-drilled Dublin outfit opened with real intent and after scoring four points, McCaffrey scored their opening goal in the seventh minute, as her effort from the right looped over Laois goalkeeper Caoimh Dollard and into the far corner of the net.

A minute later, Dublin struck again as Owens picked out Healy for a palmed finish.

Goal number three arrived midway through the first half, Owens on target this time.

Laois responded with a fine goal from captain and 2001 All-Ireland winner Aileen O’Loughlin but Dublin hit back almost immediately in the 19th minute as Ahern netted the first of her treble, with Amy Connolly providing the assist.

There was still time for another Dublin goal approaching the break, as a flowing move involving Connolly and Aherne was finished by Owens.

With a 17-point interval lead, Dublin kicked on after half-time with four unanswered points, before Laois sub Claire Conlon popped over a free.

That was brief respite for the O’Moore girls as Ahern grabbed her second goal from close range midway through the second half, having been set up by the hard-working Healy.

Ten minutes from time, sub Ciara Burke registered a second goal for Laois, finishing well past Ciara Trant.

But Dublin closed the game out with two further goals, McCaffrey playing a one-two with Healy before finishing with seven minutes remaining, while Aherne tucked away a 56th minute penalty after Healy was fouled by Dollard.

Scorers for Dublin – S Aherne 3-4 (1-0 pen, 0-1f), S McCaffrey 2-2, N Owens 2-1, N Healy 1-4, A Connolly & L Davey 0-1 each.

Scorers for Laois – A O’Loughlin & C Burke 1-0 each, M Nearney, R Williams & C Conlon (f) 0-1 each.

Dublin – C Trant; R Ruddy, S Finnegan, M Byrne; S Goldrick, N Collins, L Caffrey; O Carey, N McEvoy; C Rowe, N Healy, N Owens; S Aherne, A Connolly, S McCaffrey.

Subs – D McKenna for Rowe (h.t.), M Lamb for McEvoy (40), L Davey for Connolly (40), S O’Mahony for Caffrey (45), L McGinley for Goldrick (53).

Laois – C Dollard; A McEvoy, J McEvoy, M Kirwan; A Potts, M McEvoy, J Dunne; L.M. Maher, L Nerney; E Fitzpatrick, M Murphy, R Williams; C Simms, A O’Loughlin, E Lawlor.

Subs – C Burke for Lawlor (24), E Galvin for Murphy (24), C Conlon for Potts (h.t.), A Havell for Williams (42), M Nearney for Fitzpatrick (46).

Referee – J Murphy (Carlow).

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