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Goal-den girl Nicole tips balance in Dubs’ favour

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Dublin's Nicole Owens netted her third goal of this year's qualifiers against Tipperary. Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile

Dublin's Nicole Owens netted her third goal of this year's qualifiers against Tipperary. Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile

Carla Rowe of Dublin. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Carla Rowe of Dublin. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

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Dublin's Nicole Owens netted her third goal of this year's qualifiers against Tipperary. Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile

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TIPPERARY 0-6

DUBLIN 1-11 

Dublin and Mayo will battle it out for top spot in Saturday evening’s final group three clash in O’Moore Park (7:15pm, TG4) where both managers will be looking for improved displays from their charges.

Mayo needed a late Tara Needham score to overcome Cavan in Pearse Park, while Dublin, despite their eight-point victory, only began to pull away following the introduction of Hannah Tyrrell and Caoimhe O’Connor with 19 minutes remaining.

Dublin had made a raft of changes from the team that had beaten Cavan so comprehensively in their group opener in Naul eight days previously.

And for all of their strong play in possession, the shot execution was less than perfect as a Tipperary side that struggled in Division 2 this year put it up to the Leinster champions in Sunday’s clash played in Templetuohy.

The early signs were not good for Tipperary as, having cancelled out an early Carla Rowe free, the Premier County then saw their defence breached on eight minutes when Nicole Owens found the back of the net - her third goal of the qualifiers.

With Jennifer Dunne restored to the Dublin midfield, the visitors maintained a high intensity to their play, with Rowe seeing an effort tipped away for a 45 after a taking a pass off Dunne.

Dublin continued their search for goals, but up against a well organised Tipperary defence they saw subsequent efforts from Rowe and Wilde go unconverted, the latter just failing to get a connection on a ball played across the square.

By half-time Dublin led by 1-3 to 0-3, with scores from Jodi Egan (free) and Niamh Hetherton each side of an Emma Morrisey point extending their lead to four by the 39th minute.

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However Tipperary were showing no sign of buckling by the time Tyrrell and O’Connor were introduced.

And with Sarah Ryan leaving just two points between the sides with a quarter of an hour remaining, serious questions were now being asked of Dublin.

However, a Tyrrell free, followed by a fine score from the right from St Sylvester’s ace Owens, lifted the siege for the visitors, with a subsequent Siobhan Woods long-range effort just clearing the top of the crossbar.

Now with a bit of breathing space, Dublin closed out the game with a number of points to make it two wins from two in their group.

SCORERS: Dublin – N Owen 1-2, N Hetherton 0-3, H Tyrrell 0-2 (1f), C Rowe 0-1 (1f), J Egan 0-1, S Woods 0-1, N Hyland 0-1; Tipperary – E Morrissey 0-3 (3f), C English 0-1, A McGuigan 0-1, S Ryan 0-1.

Dublin: A Shiels; T Quinn Corbally, N Collins, H Leahy; O Nolan, S Woods, E Gribben; L Magee, J Dunne; N Owens, N Hetherton, S Wylde; C Rowe, S Killeen, J Egan. Subs: N Hyland for Rowe (30), H Tyrrell for Killeen (41), C O’Connor for Wylde (41), K McDaid for Dunne (43), M Byrne for Nolan (45).

Tipperary: L Fitzpatrick; A O’Shea, M Curley, E Cronin; L Spillane, N Martin, M Murphy; C O’Dwyer, C English; N Martin, M Creedon, E Kelly; C Hennessy, A McGuigan, E Morrissey. Subs: L O’Shea for Hennessy (13), S Ryan for Curley (21), R Kiely for L O’Shea (46), G Moloney for Murphy (50), S Quirke for A O’Shea (53).

Referee: Jonathan Murphy (Carlow)


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