Ladies: Dublin thump Meath for 11th Leinster title in-a-row

May 12, 2024

Meath's Kerrie Cole and Olwen Carey of Dublin ©INPHO/Bryan Keane

Dublin 3-17
Meath 0-8

by Daire Walsh

Carla Rowe, Jennifer Dunne and Caoimhe O'Connor all struck goals at Croke Park on Sunday as Dublin claimed their 11th Leinster LGFA Senior Championship title in succession with an emphatic triumph over Meath.

A week on from getting the better of them in a provincial round robin game that took place at the nearby Parnell Park, Mick Bohan’s side - the current holders of the TG4 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship crown - once again had the measure of the Royal County in GAA HQ.

While Meath wing-forward Ciara Smyth opened the scoring with a fine point from play in the fourth-minute, Dublin subsequently gained a stranglehold on the action. Following a 0-02 salvo by Hannah Tyrrell off her dependable left boot, industrious Sky Blues skipper Rowe knocked over a routine free.

Rowe was posing a series of problems for the Royal defence and when O’Connor released her on goal at the end of a driving run on 11 minutes, the Clann Mhuire attacker coolly slotted the ball beyond the reach of Monica McGuirk.

Meath inside forward Emma Duggan and Tyrrell went on to trade points at either end of the pitch, before Dublin midfielder Dunne forced a turnover on 20 minutes and proceeded to palm home at the end of the ensuing attack.

This created significant daylight between the teams and after the half-back duo of Olwen Carey and Lauren Magee found the target along with Tyrrell and the hard-working Orlagh Nolan, Dublin brought a convincing 2-08 to 0-02 buffer into the interval.

Although Meath got the second half scoring underway with a routine Duggan free, Dublin reinforced their authority with back-to-back points from Tyrrell and Rowe.

Dublin's Carla Rowe lifts the Mary Ramsbottom Cup ©INPHO/Tom Maher

Having been the creative force behind Rowe’s opening period goal, O’Connor rattled the net herself in the 39th minute - seconds after Kate Sullivan and the excellent Sinead Goldrick had gone perilously close to raising a green flag.

Meath finally had a purple patch either side of the third-quarter mark that produced unanswered points from Aoibhin Cleary and Duggan (two), but Dublin maintained a potent threat in attack. This was exemplified by a brace of points courtesy of Niamh Hetherton - the second coming via a majestic Tyrrell pass - as well as one each from Rowe and substitute Chloe Darby.

The tireless Duggan did bring her personal tally up to 0-06 in the closing stages, but with another two-point salvo from Hetherton being supplemented by a fine score from the experienced Nicole Owens, Dublin eased over the line.

Dublin: A Shiels; M Byrne, L Caffrey, N Donlon; S Goldrick, O Carey (0-01), L Magee (0-01); J Dunne (1-00), J Tobin; C O’Connor (1-00), O Nolan (0-01), C Rowe (1-03 (0-03f)); H Tyrrell (0-05 (1f)), N Hetherton (0-04), K Sullivan.

Subs: G Kos for Carey, E Gribben for Nolan (both 38), A Kane for Magee (41), N Owens (0-01) for Sullivan (42), C Darby (0-01) for Goldrick (49),

Meath: M McGuirk; C Lawlor, MK Lynch, N Troy; N Gallogly, L Young, K Newe; M O’Shaughnessy, A Cleary (0-01); M Thynne, S Melia, C Smyth (0-01); E Moyles, M Farrelly, E Duggan (0-6 (4f)).

Subs: K Cole for Young (25), O Gore for Newe (33), M Byrne for Melia (35), A Leahy for Thynne (39), A McCabe for Moyles (44, temp), O Mallon for Leahy (45).

Referee: Marion Hayden (Carlow)

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