Emma Duffy reports from Dr Hyde Park, Roscommon
REIGNING TG4 ALL-IRELAND senior champions Dublin were ruthless in attack as they booked their place in a fifth straight decider and beat Galway by seven points at Dr Hyde Park.
Captain Sinéad Aherne finished with a personal tally of 2-4 while Nicole Owens and Lyndsey Davey were the other goal-scorers as Mick Bohan’s side set up a mouth-watering Croke Park decider against Cork.
They’ll be looking to gain sweet, sweet revenge on the Rebels after narrow defeats at the last hurdle in 2014, 2015 and 2016 before finally getting their hands on the Brendan Martin Cup last year.
And they’ll be confident in their approach after a dominant display against Galway today. Despite being the only team to beat Dublin in competitive action this year, Stephen Glennon’s side wait for an All-Ireland final continues having last been there in 2005.
With three minutes on the clock, Owens set the tone for the day’s proceedings with a superbly-executed goal. The 2017 All-Star intercepted the ball 25 metres out on the left, beat three Galway defenders and fired into the top of the net.
Aherne got her scintillating first-half display off the mark with a point from play in the eighth minute and by the time the whistle sounded for the break, she had 2-4 to her name.
Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO
Her first goal came as she palmed home a well-worked team score with 2017 Player of the Year Noelle Healy’s lung-bursting run key in the build-up.
And Aherne expertly slotted from the spot after winning a penalty herself, finding the top-right hand corner as Dublin roared on.
Carla Rowe tagged on a point before the break.
11 points clear, Owens drew first blood once again on the restart before Lyndsey Davey added another but Galway’s fourth point of the game could well have been a goal only for the ever-reliable Ciara Trant between the posts.
Galway looked like they might raise their first green flag of the game to spark a comeback but the St Brigid’s shot-stopper tipped Leanne Coen’s effort over the bar.
Tracey Leonard’s free-taking kept the Tribeswomen’s scoring returns ticking over in the second half but by then the game was over as a contest. They battled gamely but Bohan’s charges’ dominant first half had the groundwork laid.
Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO
Lyndsey Davey palmed home the Sky Blues’ fourth goal of the afternoon and shortly after with 10 minutes remaining, Olivia Divilly gave Galway fans something to cheer about as she slotted a goal into the bottom right-hand corner.
As Bohan took the chance to introduce fresh legs, Galway’s wayward shooting let them down and Dublin had already done enough to hold on and book that coveted decider spot.
Scorers for Dublin: Sinead Aherne (2-4, 2f, 1p), Nicole Owens (1-1), Lyndsey Davey (1-1) Carla Rowe (0-1), Amy Connolly (0-1).
Scorers for Galway: Tracey Leonard (0-7, 6f), Sarah Conneally (0-1), Leanne Coen (0-1), Olivia Divilly (1-1, 1f).
1. Ciara Trant
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2. Martha Byrne
19. Sinead Finnegan
4. Leah Caffrey
5. Sinead Goldrick
6. Siobhan McGrath
7. Niamh Collins
8. Lauren Magee
9. Olwen Carey
10. Carla Rowe
11. Noelle Healy
12. Lyndsey Davey
13. Sinead Aherne
14. Niamh McEvoy
15. Nicole Owens
27. Amy Connolly for Carla Rowe (38)
22. Jennifer Dunne for Nicole Owens (41)
23. Hannah O’Neill for Niamh McEvoy (49)
3. Deirdre Murphy for Martha Byrne (49)
26. Oonagh Whyte for Lyndsey Davey (51)
1. Lisa Murphy
2. Fabienne Cooney
3. Sarah Lynch
4. Sinéad Burke
5. Emer Flaherty
6. Nicola Ward
7. Charlotte Cooney
8. Catriona Cormican
9. Sarah Conneally
10. Olivia Divilly
11. Tracey Leonard
12. Louise Ward
27. Aine McDonagh
14. Róisín Leonard
15. Leanne Coen
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18. Lisa Gannon for Charlotte Cooney (20)
13. Mairéad Seoighe for Sarah Conneally (35)
20. Emma Reaney for Róisín Leonard (46)
17. Noelle Connolly for Sarah Lynch (46)
Referee: Seamus Mulvihill (Kerry).
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