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Maher's double does the business in thriller

NO sign of any Christmas pudding left-overs at Parnell's yesterday afternoon.

This was a game that contained the pace of a championship hour in high summer.

New Dublin supremo Shane O'Brien, certainly thought so as the match zipped along the all-weather turf.

It was level four times, twice in each half.

"There was a tremendous intensity to it. Everybody brought along a terrific attitude to the game, which was fantastic for this time of year," reflected Shane.

"We saw 50 players in action. We got a lot out of it. It was a great work-out."

The defending was top-notch. Brilliant blocking frequently drew the applause.

And there was some tidy striking, and scoring, too. Aishling Maher finished on top-of-the-pops with 2-2 in the bank.

She palmed in the first of them on 23 minutes. It helped the Stars to lead at half-time, 1-5 to 1-4. The opening goal had come from Dublin's Sarah O'Donovan, the former Cork player, who also impressed in the Blue. The ex-Limerick performer, Rose Collins, also settled well into the blue boots.

The left half-back for the Dub Stars, Hannah Hegarty, also had a stormer. She read the play so well. Maher arrowed in her second goal five minutes from time. It changed the temperature. The Stars had trailed by three points.

Following the goal, their desire grew, and they went on to take the prize with late strikes from Ali Twomey and Louise O'Hara.

SCORERS - Dub Stars: A Maher 2-2 (0-1f), L O'Hara 0-4 (1f), A Twomey 0-2, O Durkin, M O'Gorman 0-1 each. Dublin: S O'Donovan 1-2 (0-2f), M Moynihan 0-3 (2f), D McGrath 0-2, G Quinn, A Fanning, A Kelly, E McCarthy 0-1 each.

DUB STARS: S Nic Coitir; N Byrne, D Johnston, E Elliott; C Rigney, A Maguire, H Hegarty; S Kehoe, O Durkin; A Twomey, L O'Hara, A Carolan; O Beagan, A Maher, M O'Gorman. Subs used: K Whyte, C McCollough, M O'Donohoe, L Quinn, O Smith.

DUBLIN: H Cosgrave; R Noctor, G Quinn, R Doherty; E O'Meara, R Collins, L Twomey; M Twomey, S Walsh; M Cronin, S O'Donovan, E Flanagan; A Bugler, M Moynihan, A Fanning. Subs used: A Spillane, L Devoy, J Tully, A Kelly, E McCarthy, L Walsh, S O'Toole.

REF: J Byrne (Round Tower, Clondalkin).