'Dogged' Dublin ready for Rebels

Rnn Mac Lochlainn

Dublin booked an All-Ireland quarter-final clash with Cork following a hard-earned 3-9 to 2-6 win over Galway in their Round 2 Championship qualifier at St Brendan's Park in Birr on Saturday afternoon.

The All-Ireland champions generally looked in control throughout following Amy Ring's fortuitous early goal but they were made to work hard for their win, a fact acknowledged by team manager Tommy Brown.

"It was a difficult game and we had a great chance to pull away before half-time, when Amy Ring hit the post, but Galway's goal before the break gave them great impetus and a boost for the second-half.

"We rode our luck a bit after the break when they had a few wides early on but I was always confident that our greater teamwork would eventually prove telling and Lyndsey Davey's first goal epitomised that."

Davey's goal certainly showed Dublin at their efficient best when, after a move involving Amy McGuinness, Sinead Aherne and Denise Masterson, the corner forward produced a sublime finish to the roof of the net to hand her side some valuable breathing space.

Davey's second goal of the afternoon, 10 minutes from time, ensured their progress, but it was in defence that Brown felt the game was won.

"The defenders are working very hard as a unit now. They don't give much away and that was reflected in the five great blocks we had in the scoring zone. The girls are showing serious intent in shutting the opposition down and that's very encouraging from our perspective.

"That dogged attitude has been prevalent since we started training back in January.

"There is a great will within the panel to build on last year's success and the fact they are so ambitious and self-motivated has made things very easy for the management," said the Naomh Olaf clubman.

Brown's thoughts will now turn to the challenge that 2009 champions Cork will present as part of a double-header on Saturday week at a venue to be confirmed, and there is a healthy respect towards what their illustrious opponents have achieved over the years. "Cork have been the yardstick for the last six years and have raised the bar for everyone," he said.

"Certainly, we wouldn't be as good as we are today if it wasn't for the way they raised the standard of ladies football. I believe ourselves and Cork are the two best teams in the country and other teams left in the championship will be thrilled that one of us will be knocked out.

"We have no fear of Cork, however. The girls are very excited at the prospect of meeting them and although we respect all that they've achieved, we certainly won't be rolling out the red carpet for them in a fortnight's time," concluded Brown.

SCORERS -- Dublin: L Davey 2-0, S Aherne 0-5 (0-3f), A Ring 1-1, L Peat 0-2, E Kelly 0-1.

DUBLIN: C O'Connor; G O'Malley, J O'Sullivan, A McKenna; G Fay, S Furlong, S Goldrick; D Masterson, N McEvoy; S Aherne, E Kelly, L Peat; L Davey, N Healy, A Ring. Subs: A McGuinness for Healy (half-time), S Woods for Ring (41), S Finnegan for McEvoy (51), A Connolly for McGuinness (59).