Sunday 18 February 2018

McCaffrey goal sinks Mayo as Dublin run riot

Dublin 4-11 Mayo 0-11 All-Ireland Ladies SF final

Carla Rowe fires homes Dublin’s third goal past Mayo goalkeeper Yvonne Byrne. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Carla Rowe fires homes Dublin’s third goal past Mayo goalkeeper Yvonne Byrne. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Jackie Cahill

Mick Bohan guided Dublin to TG4 All-Ireland ladies senior football glory at Croke Park yesterday and then revealed his "hurt" at how his midweek comments on Mayo superstar Cora Staunton were construed.

Bohan suggested that Staunton could "intimidate referees" - remarks which drew a fierce response from Mayo coach Peter Leahy.

However, insisting that he has huge respect for 35-year-old Staunton, Bohan moved to clarify his position after watching his team claim a comprehensive 4-11 to 0-11 victory in front of a record-breaking 46,286 attendance.

Mayo had three players sin-binned and finished the first-half with just 13 on the field, after goalkeeper Yvonne Byrne and defender Rachel Kearns were yellow-carded.

But the Westerners dug in and were just three points behind, 0-10 to 1-10, with eight minutes left, before Orla Conlon was sent to the line.

Back down to 14 again, Mayo went for broke by committing to attack, but Dublin picked them off on the counter-attack, as Sarah McCaffrey- senior men's star Jack's sister - came off the bench to score two late goals, with Carla Rowe adding another in a five-minute purple patch.

24 September 2017; The Dublin team celebrate with the Brendan Martin Cup after the TG4 Ladies Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final match between Dublin and Mayo at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
24 September 2017; The Dublin team celebrate with the Brendan Martin Cup after the TG4 Ladies Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final match between Dublin and Mayo at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
24 September 2017; Dublin's Lyndsey Davey and team-mates celebrate with the cup following the TG4 Ladies Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final match between Dublin and Mayo at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
24 September 2017; Dublin captain Sinéad Aherne lifts the Brendan Martin Cup after the TG4 Ladies Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final match between Dublin and Mayo at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
24 September 2017; Dublin goalkeeper Ciara Trant and team-mates celebrate with the cup following the TG4 Ladies Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final match between Dublin and Mayo at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
24 September 2017; Dublin players Denise McKenna, left, and Sinéad Finnegan and Ollie Kearney, age 2, son of team analyst Shane Kearney, celebrate with the Brendan Martin Cup after the TG4 Ladies Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final match between Dublin and Mayo at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
24 September 2017; Dublin supporters celebrate during the TG4 Ladies Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final match between Dublin and Mayo at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Cody Glenn/Sportsfile
Dublin footballer Paul Flynn kisses his fiancée Fiona Hudson after the TG4 Ladies Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final match between Dublin and Mayo at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
24 September 2017; Kate Fitzgibbon, left, and Aoife Curran of Dublin celebrate following the TG4 Ladies Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final match between Dublin and Mayo at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
24 September 2017; Noelle Healy of Dublin is presented with the TG4 Player of the Match by Pádhraic Ó Ciardha, TG4, after the TG4 Ladies Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final match between Dublin and Mayo at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
24 September 2017; Sinéad Goldrick, left, and Niamh McEvoy of Dublin celebrate following the TG4 Ladies Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final match between Dublin and Mayo at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Cody Glenn/Sportsfile
24 September 2017; Sinéad Goldrick of Dublin is congratulated by boyfriend, Dublin Senior Hurler David Treacy, following the TG4 Ladies Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final match between Dublin and Mayo at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Cody Glenn/Sportsfile
24 September 2017; Noelle Healy of Dublin is mobbed by team-mates at the final whistle following the TG4 Ladies Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final match between Dublin and Mayo at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Cody Glenn/Sportsfile
24 September 2017; Ciara Trant of Dublin with the Brendan Martin Cup after the TG4 Ladies Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final match between Dublin and Mayo at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
24 September 2017; Sinéad Goldrick of Dublin, right, celebrates with team-mate Hannah O'Neill following the TG4 Ladies Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final match between Dublin and Mayo at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Cody Glenn/Sportsfile
24 September 2017; Dublin Senior Footballer Jack McCaffrey, second from left, celebrates after Sarah McCaffrey of Dublin scored her side's fourth goal alongside team-mates, from right, Jonny Cooper, and James McCarthy during the TG4 Ladies Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final match between Dublin and Mayo at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Cody Glenn/Sportsfile
24 September 2017; Carla Rowe of Dublin celebrates with the Brendan Martin Cup following the TG4 Ladies Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final match between Dublin and Mayo at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Cody Glenn/Sportsfile
24 September 2017; The Dublin team celebrate with the Brendan Martin Cup following the TG4 Ladies Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final match between Dublin and Mayo at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Cody Glenn/Sportsfile
24 September 2017; Lauren Magee of Dublin celebrates with her grandparents Daisy and James Magee and father Johnny Magee after the TG4 Ladies Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final match between Dublin and Mayo at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
24 September 2017; Mayo supporters following the TG4 Ladies Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final match between Dublin and Mayo at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Cody Glenn/Sportsfile
24 September 2017; Dublin captain Sinéad Aherne lifts the Brendan Martin Cup after the TG4 Ladies Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final match between Dublin and Mayo at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Dublin had led by 1-6 to 0-6 at the break, Niamh McEvoy's goal the difference, as Mayo hung on grimly.

The sides were level five times before McEvoy's 18th-minute effort. but Dublin skipper and top-scorer Sinéad Aherne missed a penalty after Byrne fouled her and Player of the Match Noelle Healy struck the post approaching the break.

Floodgates

Mayo couldn't get any closer than three points in the second-half, before the floodgates finally opened.

Cora Staunton is tackled by Deirdre Murphy (left) and Martha Byrne. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Cora Staunton is tackled by Deirdre Murphy (left) and Martha Byrne. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

For Dublin, the memories of final losses in 2014, 2015 and 2016 were washed away as Mayo, appearing in their first decider in a decade, came up short.

Speculation will now turn to the futures of Mayo manager Frank Browne and experienced players like Staunton, Byrne and Martha Carter.

It was a mixed bag of an afternoon for Staunton, who scored seven points (three from play), but also registered eight wides (seven in the first-half).

Browne suggested that Bohan's pre-match remarks may have influenced match referee Seamus Mulvihill.

Bohan, for his part, took the opportunity to clear up any confusion.

Mayo's Grace Kelly is chased down by Carla Rowe of Dublin. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Mayo's Grace Kelly is chased down by Carla Rowe of Dublin. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

He said: "I was very disappointed. And that probably shows why people don't open up. If you take a full conversation and put it out there, it represents the topic better.

"But if you take parts of a conversation and put them out there, it does not represent what the topic is about.

"It did hurt me and I was concerned that it would hurt the group. And that was a bit of a weight I carried over the last few days - but I will learn from it."

Browne wondered: "Was the referee got to with all the stuff that was going on during the week?

Dublin's Carla Rowe runs into a wall of Mayo players, from left, Marie Corbett, Doireann Hughes, Fiona Doherty, Orla Conlon and Sarah Rowe. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Dublin's Carla Rowe runs into a wall of Mayo players, from left, Marie Corbett, Doireann Hughes, Fiona Doherty, Orla Conlon and Sarah Rowe. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

"Some of the comments about Cora intimidating referees, for not just an icon of Ladies Gaelic Football but of Irish sport, I think it was a little bit over the top.

"I don't think it put Cora off her game by any means, she's too much of a professional to allow something like that, but it probably wasn't really in the best interest of the sport."

Bohan acknowledged that Dublin, despite losing defender Sinéad Finnegan to a calf injury in the first-half, had a plan in place to deal with Staunton.

Noelle Healy celebrates with the trophy following Dublin’s victory in the TG4 Ladies Football
All-Ireland SFC final. Photo: Cody Glenn/Sportsfile
Noelle Healy celebrates with the trophy following Dublin’s victory in the TG4 Ladies Football All-Ireland SFC final. Photo: Cody Glenn/Sportsfile

She was often marked by two players and at full-time Bohan was eager to deal with the situation that blew up during the week.

He said: "Just on that, I was nearly sure I used the word influence. 

Learning

"But when I spoke to people, I was having a football conversation. I didn't use it, I didn't throw it out there to influence the referee. I literally, unwisely, sat down and had a conversation about football. There you go, it was a learning curve for me.

"It hurt me during the week to see those things put out. Ultimately what could I do? I had to take it on the chin. My job is to try and protect my team."

Wexford native Browne was in charge when Mayo lost their previous final appearance in 2007.

And he said that straight after another heart-wrenching loss wasn't the time for talking about the future.

He reflected: "The one question really would be about Cora and what she's going to do. Far be it for me to make any decisions for her. She's always said if she was fit, healthy and enjoying her football, she'd continue to play.

"We need to go away and lick our wounds, ease the pain a bit. Nobody died. I don't mean that in a flippant way, but we lost a game a football.

"Yeah, it's hard and it's going to be a hard couple of days, but like Mayo people all the time, we have character, and we'll come back in some shape or form."

The future is much brighter for new champions Dublin.

Scorers - Dublin: S Aherne 0-9 (7f), S McCaffrey 2-0, C Rowe & N McEvoy 1-1 each.

Mayo: C Staunton 0-7 (4f), G Kelly 0-2, A Gilroy & N Kelly 0-1 each.

Dublin: C Trant 7; M Byrne 7, S Finnegan 6, R Ruddy 7; S Goldrick 8, N Collins 7, L Caffrey 7; L Magee 7, O Carey 7; C Rowe 7, L Davey 7, N Owens 7; S Aherne 8, N McEvoy 7, N Healy 9. Subs: D Murphy 6 for Finnegan (18), F Hudson 6 for Byrne (46), S McCaffrey 8 for Davey (50), M Lamb 7 for McEvoy (53), H O'Neill 6 for Owens (56).

Mayo: Y Byrne 6; O Conlon 5, S Tierney 6, M Carter 6; R Kearns 5, M Corbett 5, F Doherty 5; A Gilroy 7, F McHale 6; D Hughes 6, N Kelly 6, C Whyte 5; S Rowe 5, C Staunton 7, G Kelly 7. Subs: A Tarpey 7 for Whyte (24), Whyte for Tarpey (34), A Dowling 6 for Whyte (41), S Howley 5 for G Kelly (57).

Ref - S Mulvihill (Kerry)

Irish Independent

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