by Daire Walsh
Orlagh Nolan struck a magnificent hat-trick of goals at Parnell Park as Dublin rounded off their Lidl National Football Division One campaign with a victory over Waterford.
A TG4 All Star winner at left half-back in 2021, Nolan started at centre-forward and displayed a midas touch in attack to ensure Dublin recorded a third-place finish in the final standings. Kate Sullivan also helped herself to 1-4 for the Metropolitans and while Kellyann Hogan registered 0-6 for their opponents, Waterford had to be content with fifth spot in Division One for 2023.
Following a tentative opening, Dublin eventually came to life with a powerful scoring blitz. After an Ellen Gribben point had given them a slender lead, wing-forward Caoimhe O’Connor was fouled inside the square with nine minutes on the clock.
Former Republic of Ireland underage international Orlagh Nolan comfortably slotted home the ensuing penalty and also raised a green flag moments later when she palmed the ball past Deise goalkeeper Evelyn O’Brien.
Raiding half-back Emma Murray finally got Waterford up and running with a 12th-minute point and while Kate Sullivan responded at the opposite end, a brace of frees from Ballymacarbry ace Kellyann Hogan offered the Munster outfit some solace.
Nevertheless, Dublin were attacking with supreme confidence and Gribben clinically grabbed their third goal on the 20-minute mark after midfielder Eilish O’Dowd was initially denied by O’Brien. A Sullivan free edged the Jackies further in front, before a quickfire two-point salvo from Jodi Egan handed them a commanding 3-5 to 0-3 advantage at the interval.
While Waterford were faced with an uphill task on the resumption, they did manage to cut into their deficit with three unanswered points from reliable dead-ball specialist Hogan. Yet Sullivan was coming into her own in the Dublin attack and she registered 1-2 in the space of just two minutes to reinforce her side’s authority.
Squeezed in between two frees, the St Sylvester’s attacker was released by substitute Carla Rowe for an excellent three-pointer. Nolan displayed her soccer skills to secure a hat-trick in spectacular style on 53 minutes and with both managers unloading their benches, Rowe and Hogan rounded off the scoring with traded points in the closing moments.
Scorers - Dublin: O Nolan 3-0 (1-0 pen), K Sullivan 1-4 (0-4f), E Gribben 1-1, J Egan 0-2 (1f), C Rowe 0-1. Waterford: K Hogan 0-6 (6f), E Murray 0-1.
DUBLIN: A Shiels; N Crowley, L Caffrey, J Tobin; L Magee, M Byrne, A Kane; J Dunne, E O’Dowd; C O’Connor, O Nolan, E Gribben; K Sullivan, N Hetherton, J Egan.
Subs: C Rowe for Dunne, D Lawless for Magee (both h-t), A Timothy for Egan (42), C Coffey for Kane (46), C Darby for Hetherton (49), R Brennan for Crowley (51),S Wylde for O’Connor, N Donlon for Tobin, O Martin for Nolan (both 57), T Quinn Corbally for Gribben (58), H Howard for Caffrey, J Vaughan for Byrne (both 59).
WATERFORD: E O’Brien; C Murray, M Dunford, A Murray; E Power, E Murray, Kate McGrath; K Hogan, A Waring; A O’Neill, A Fitzgerald, C Hynes; Karen McGrath, B McMaugh, L McGregor.
Subs: K Murray for Waring (37), C McCarthy for Hynes (43), S McGuckian for C Murray, N Power for Fitzgerald (both 46), O Kennedy for Kate McGrath (56), A Motherway for O’Neill (57), S Parker for E Power, N Whelan for A Murray, M Comerford for McGregor (all 59).
Ref: Gavin Finnegan (Down).Tweet