Davey leads determined Dubs to fourth successive title
DUBLIN 2-12 WESTMEATH 0-11
Gregory McGonigle's Dublin side have captured a fourth successive TG4 Leinster ladies senior football crown - but not without a stern test from underdogs Westmeath.
TG4 LEINSTER LADIES FINAL
The Lake County were eight points down in the first half but rallied to within two as Dublin went scoreless in the second half until 10 minutes from time. A sin-binning for Westmeath's influential centre half forward Johanna Maher couldn't have come at a worse possible time. While the Tyrrellspass player was off the pitch, Dublin hit an unanswered 1-3 to move clear of danger.
Captain Lyndsey Davey finally opened Dublin's second-half account with a free before Noelle Healy pointed and Niamh McEvoy followed up with a goal that killed the game. After good work from Davey and sub Nicole Owens, McEvoy palmed the ball home at the far post for Dublin's second goal.
Sinead Goldrick kicked her third point and Dublin were 2-10 to 0-8 clear.
Westmeath rallied again with a Maher free before Emma Morris rattled a shot off the crossbar.
But Dublin, who led by 1-7 to 0-4 at half-time, were able to keep their opponents at arm's length down the home straight to progress to the last eight of the All-Ireland series.
Dublin were 0-4 to 0-0 clear before Westmeath got off the mark midway through the first half, Foley on target with the first of her eight points. But the winners were back on track with Davey profiting from McEvoy's unselfishness to palm the ball to the net. Dublin's biggest lead of the first half was eight points - 1-8 to 0-2 - before scores from Maher and Foley kept Westmeath in touch at the break. Westmeath also had goalkeeper Sarah Keegan to thank for some good saves, while Dublin were denied by the woodwork on a number occasions as they went hunting for scores.
SCORERS - Dublin: L Davey 1-1 (0-1f), N McEvoy 1-0, S Goldrick, C Rowe (2f) 0-3 each, N Healy 0-2, K Flood, N Owens, N Rickard 0-1 each. Westmeath: M.A. Foley 0-8 (7fs), J Maher 0-2, E Morris 0-1.
DUBLIN: C Trant; O Carey, M Ni Scanaill, F Hudson; S Goldrick, S Finnegan, C Barrett; M Lamb, S McCaffrey; N Healy, K Flood, C Rowe; A Connolly, L Davey, N McEvoy. Subs: N Owens for McCaffrey (37), S Furlong for Carey (45), N Rickard for Flood (49), H Noonan for Connolly (55).
WESTMEATH: S Keegan; T Durkan, J Rogers, A Martin; N Spellman, F Claffey, L Brennan; K McDermott, E Morris; K Hegarty, J Maher, C Blundell; F Leavy, M.A. Foley, S Dolan. Subs: K Boyce-Jordan for McDermott (41), L Kiernan for Blundell (50), C Kelly for Dolan (56).
REF - J Murphy (Carlow)