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Dublin: 2 °C Thursday 17 January, 2019

Cork begin six-in-a-row bid on right note as All-Ireland champs Dublin open 2018 with a win

It was a busy opening day through the four divisions of the Lidl Ladies National Football Leagues.

GOALS FROM BRÍD and Áine O’Sullivan eased champions Cork to an opening day Lidl Ladies National Football League Division 1 victory over Munster rivals Kerry in Knocknagoshel.

Orla Finn Orla Finn hit five points. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

The Rebels, who are chasing a tenth top-flight crown in 11 seasons, also had a five-point haul from Orla Finn en route to a comfortable 2-17 to 0-9 victory on their travels.

Cork led by 0-7 to 0-4 at half-time before the O’Sullivans raised second half green flags to seal a convincing win.

Elsewhere in Division 1, there were victories for TG4 All-Ireland senior champions Dublin, last September’s Croke Park runners-up Mayo and Connacht title holders Galway.

First-half goals by Niamh McEvoy and Rebecca McDonnell fired Dublin to victory over Donegal in Letterkenny.

In a fierce O’Donnell Park gale, scoring was at a premium, but the Dubs earned a hard-fought 2-5 to 0-7 victory.

There was a stroke of good fortune around Dublin’s opening goal with Donegal goalkeeper Laura Gallagher caught out by a dropping ball in from McEvoy that landed in the back of the net.

Before Donegal had time to really shake their heads clear, Dublin were in for a second goal, as McDonnell slotted home following a scramble on the edge of the square.

Donegal v Dublin - Lidl Ladies Football National League Division 1 Round 1 Dublin's Olwen Carey in action earlier. Source: Oliver McVeigh/SPORTSFILE

Dublin were 2-2 to 0-2 clear at half-time and Mick Bohan’s Sky Blues held firm for maximum points.

In Swinford, the Kelly sisters, Grace and Niamh, collected 0-7 between them as Mayo ran out 0-11 to 0-7 winners over Westmeath.

Peter Leahy took charge of Mayo in a competitive League fixture for the first time, and masterminded victory over his native county.

Mayo began their campaign without Cora Staunton, who’s in Australia, and fellow long-serving stars Martha Carter and Yvonne Byrne, but promising young forward Sarah Cafferkey weighed in with a brace of points.

Meanwhile, a dominant first half from Stephen Glennon’s Galway ensured victory over Monaghan on the 3G Astroturf pitch at the Connacht Centre of Excellence in Bekan, Mayo.

Galway scored a 4-10 to 2-6 win and are rated by many as dark horses to make a serious impact in League and championship this year.

Monaghan struck an early goal from a Louise Kerly penalty but Galway responded with 3-3 in the space of 14 minutes, including goals from Ailbhe Davoren, Tracey Leonard and Leanne Coen.

Mairead Seoighe added a fourth Galway goal and while Shauna Coyle netted a fortuitous effort for Monaghan, the Tribeswomen were ten points clear at half-time and well on their way to victory.

In Division 2, two Orla O’Dwyer goals helped visitors Tipperary claim a notable 2-12 to 2-10 victory over Armagh.

Orla O'Dwyer Tipperary dual star Orla O'Dwyer captains the camogie side this year. Source: Dan Sheirdan/INPHO

Clare, Cavan and Tyrone also claimed opening day victories in the second tier while Division 3 saw Wexford, Meath and Roscommon emerge victorious in their fixtures.

And in Division 4, there were wins for Antrim, Louth and Wicklow, as Carlow and Limerick shared the spoils.

Results in full

Lidl National Football League Division 1

  • Donegal 0-7 Dublin 2-5
  • Galway 4-10 Monaghan 2-6
  • Kerry 0-9 Cork 2-17
  • Mayo 0-11 Westmeath 0-7

Lidl National Football League Division 2

  • Armagh 2-10 Tipperary 2-12
  •  Clare 0-13 Sligo 2-6
  • Laois 0-8 Cavan 2-11
  • Tyrone 4-11 Waterford 2-11

Lidl National Football League Division 3

  • Longford 2-5 Wexford 3-10
  • Meath 4-13 Down 2-2
  • Roscommon 5-14 Offaly 0-8

Lidl National Football League Division 4

  • Carlow 1-4 Limerick 1-4
  • Fermanagh 2-9 Antrim 3-10
  • Kilkenny 1-1 Louth 7-24
  • Wicklow 2-20 Derry 0-5

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