Bohan's Dublin 'hurting' as Cork avenge final loss
Mick Bohan says that his league and All-Ireland champions Dublin will be hurting after Cork avenged their All-Ireland final defeat in the concluding round of Lidl NFL Division 1 games with a 2-13 to 2-08 win, but Dublin will soon get another crack at Cork in the semi-final in two weeks.
The other Division 1 semi-final sees Galway face Donegal, a repeat of yesterday's meeting, which ended in a convincing win for Tim Rabbitte's side in Corofin (2-13 to 0-10).
Goals from captain Tracey Leonard and her cousin Roisin Leonard helped Galway to a sixth win from seven games in the competition, but Rabbitte says his side have plenty to improve on.
"It was unusual circumstances. We knew if we won we'd be playing Donegal again and that's the way it is. I thought there was a small bit of shadow-boxing going on, but not really on our part, we just went out to win the game," said Rabbitte.
"It's not our most impressive performance and we were a bit sloppy in our passing and soft in our tracking, but they are things we can learn for the next day."
In Mallow, Niamh Cotter and Marie O'Callaghan hit the vital goals as Cork gained some revenge for last year's TG4 All-Ireland final defeat to Dublin, but manager Ephie Fitzgerald expects a far stronger Dublin in the semi-final.
Carla Rowe and Siobhan Killeen bagged the goals for Bohan's side, but they fell to their second loss of the competition.
"They were missing a number of players, but I am delighted with the performance of our younger girls," said Fitzgerald. "We know the semi-final will be a totally different affair and they will be far stronger."
Bohan readily conceded his side were bruised.
"It was a good chance for some of our players to test themselves against one of the top sides" said Bohan.
"We don't like to lose any game and it always hurts when you do, so yeah we are hurting a bit now."
In the other Division 1 games Westmeath ran out confident winners at home to Tipperary (5-12 to 3-8) thanks to two goals from Leanne Slevin in Kinnegad.
Orla O'Dwyer bagged two of her own for Tipperary, but Westmeath ran riot late on as goals from Kelly Boyce Jordan, Vicky Carr and Annie Dolan wrapped up their second win of the competition.
In the last game on Sunday, already relegated Monaghan were unable to hold on to a 12-point lead as late goals from Mayo's Sarah Rowe and sub Natasha Gaughan earned them a share of the spoils (2-15 to 2-15).
Muireann Atkinson and Aoife McAnespie had found the net for Monaghan early on before Mayo's fightback.
In Division 2 there were wins for Tyrone over Kerry, for Clare against Waterford, Armagh against Wexford and Cavan over a relegated Laois.
Armagh and Waterford are guaranteed their places in the semi-finals, but the remaining two places remain in the balance, with Kerry and Cavan still to play next weekend.
A win for Cavan will see both teams qualify, even though Clare and Kerry would be level on points. The Round 1 clash of Clare and Kerry ended in a draw, but The Kingdom would qualify by virtue of the greater number of points they kicked in that game.
A win for Kerry will see the two Munster teams reach the semi-finals, while a draw would be good enough for Cavan.
In Division 3, after wins for Roscommon, Sligo, Longford and Down, the semi-finals in two weeks' time will be Meath versus Longford and Sligo versus Roscommon. Offaly have been relegated.
And in Division 4, Louth, Limerick, Fermanagh and Antrim have qualified for the semi-finals, although the final placings won't be finalised until next week's meeting of Louth and Fermanagh.