Posted: 5 days ago

Hard work paid off, says Dubs boss, as champions make impressive start

Caoimhe O'Connor of Dublin in action against Maria Cannon of Mayo during the TG4 All-Ireland Ladies Football Senior Championship Round 1 match between Dublin and Mayo at Parnell Park in Dublin. (Photo by Seb Daly/Sportsfile)

Compiled by John Fallon  

DUBLIN manager Mick Bohan was impressed with the way the TG4 All-Ireland champions pulled away after the break to get the defence of their crown off to an impressive start with a 1-10 to 0-5 win over Mayo. 

The champions led by 0-5 to 0-2 at the break before a goal from captain Carla Rowe, after she was set up by Caoimhe O’Connor, sent the holders on their way to victory. 

“There’s stuff we obviously would have done well and stuff not so well, but I thought they responded particularly well in that 10 minutes after half-time. They stuck at it and they opened up a few gaps. Then obviously the bit of daylight came with the goal. It was a real hard working performance on a day that was difficult with the conditions,” said Bohan. 

Mayo manager Liam McHale agreed that was the key part of the game at Parnell Park. 

“We were 0-5 to 0-2 and not in bad shape,” said the former Mayo player. “We had a couple of chances early on in the second half, we didn’t take them. Dublin got the goal, that set us back a good bit, but we had some really good opportunities. 

 “I think the scoreline flattered them a bit, but they’re a big, powerful side. When they went five, six up, they weren’t going to let us in for a soft goal or anything like that.” 

Kerry, runners-up for the past two years, had to settle for a draw in Ballybofey when Donegal’s Susanne White kicked a late equaliser in a 1-6 to 0-9 stalemate. 

“It’s disappointing,” said Kerry joint manager Declan Quill. “The weather played a huge part in it and it was really tough for both sides. We travelled a long way so we’ll take the draw. We’ll go down the road and look immediately to Waterford as it’s only a six-day turnaround”.  

The sides were also level at the break at 1-3 to 0-6 with Donegal’s Caoimhe Keon getting the only goal of the match. 

“Conditions were horrendous but I thought it was a good performance from ourselves,” said Donegal manager John McNulty. “We battled back and got a draw. We’d a possession late on but coughed it up. At the same time, we showed great discipline at the end when they were looking to work a score. We have to be happy with a share of the points. The girls are working so hard at training. We’d a five or six-week break and we put a lot into that.” 

Cork struck for six goals in Portlaoise as they ousted Laois by 6-13 to 1-5 with Ava McAuliffe getting two goals and Katie Quirke, Hannah Looney, Daire Kiely and Rachel Leahy also finding the net. 

“We were looking for certain things out of our team,” said Cork manager Shane Ronayne. “We’re very happy with today, we have a lot of work to do still with only six days turn around to the Galway game and we know they will be a different proposition.” 

Laois manager Stephen Duff said they didn’t deliver on what they tried to do. “I was trying to be a bit braver but look that’s the result of the year that’s we’ve had, its natural enough to be kind of afraid but we are just trying to push the girls to be a little bit braver, it might mean we concede a few more goals in the second half because of it but we are just trying to push forward for future time.”  

On Saturday, Armagh’s impressive season continued as they defeated Meath by 3-9 to 1-14. A superb goal from Aoife McCoy saw the sides level at 1-4 to 0-7 at the interval and she also found the net after the break along with Niamh Coleman. Emma Duggan kicked 0-8 for Meath and midfielder Aoibhín Cleary got 1-1, but it wasn’t enough. 

It was an impressive start for Armagh missing some key players but mentor Darnell Parkinson was pleased with the way others stepped up. 

“We knew exactly how hard it was going to be, so it probably turned out exactly the way we thought,” said Parkinson.  “We’ve had a big panel all year, and as we’ve said to the girls, you’re not just here to make up numbers, there will be opportunities, and that’s how it panned out.” 

Meath manager Shane McCormack was in charge of Armagh last year and wasn’t the least surprised at the quality of the challenge they faced. 

“We knew we were up against it but to be honest it was a great advocate for Ladies Gaelic football. Just two teams playing good football and we’ve another bite of the cherry now in Navan in a couple of weeks against Tipperary.” 

Meanwhile, there were victories for Down, Clare, Roscommon and Tyrone in the All-Ireland Intermediate Championship.  

Laoise Duffy got the goal as Down defeated Westmeath by 1-9 to 0-10 to book a place in the quarter-finals in Group 1, while Ailish Considine scored both goals in the opening 15 minutes as they defeated Offaly by 2-7 to 0-4 to secure a quarter-final spot in Group 2. 

Aisling Hanly got two goals and Niamh Feeney, Aoife Gavin and Lauren Shanagher as Roscommon ousted Antrim by 5-11 to 0-4, while Sorcha Gormley, Zoe Loughran and Chloe McCaffrey got the goals as Tyrone beat Wicklow. 

And in Group A of the Junior Championship on Sunday, Carlow recorded their second win of the campaign with victory over London. 

On Saturday, the 2024 All-Ireland U14 champions were crowned. Galway won the Platinum title, Derry claimed Gold honours, Offaly were victorious in the Silver Final, and the Bronze crown went to Antrim. 

Results: 

TG4 All-Ireland Senior Championship 

Group 1 – Armagh 3-9 Meath 1-14 

Group 2 – Donegal 1-6 Kerry 0-9 

Group 3 – Cork 6-13 Laois 1-5 

Group 4 – Dublin 1-10 Mayo 0-5 

TG4 All-Ireland Intermediate Championship 

Group 1 – Down 1-9 Westmeath 0-10 

Group 2 – Clare 2-7 Offaly 0-4 

Group 3 – Roscommon 5-11 Antrim 0-4 

Group 4 – Tyrone 3-11 Wicklow 0-5 

TG4 All-Ireland Junior Championship 

Group A 

Carlow 5-15 London 1-6 

Fermanagh P Derry P 

All-Ireland U14 Finals 

Platinum – Galway 4-15 Cavan 4-11
Gold – Derry 2-12 Armagh 2-10
Silver – Offaly 4-5 Donegal 2-6
Bronze – Antrim 5-10 Limerick 5-6