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Dublin's All-Ireland three in-a-row dream lives on after seeing off arch-rivals Cork

Mick Bohan’s Sky Blues now face Galway in the All-Ireland final.
Aug 25th 2019, 5:39 PM 14,522 3

Dublin 2-11

Cork 0-11

saoirse-noonan-and-eimear-scally-with-sinead-goldrick Sinead Goldrick with Eimear Scally and Saoirse Noonan. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

AND SO, THE three in-a-row dream lives on for reigning All-Ireland champions Dublin.

It was another ding-dong battle against arch-rivals Cork in front of 10,886 at Croke Park in the historic semi-final, but goals win games and substitute Caoimhe O’Connor and captain Sinéad Aherne did just that for Mick Bohan’s Sky Blues.

Dublin’s bench was key as Aherne’s 1-3 and Siobhan McGrath’s Player of the Match shift around the middle all helped the holders over the line, while Cork only had three scorers.

Ephie Fitzgerald’s side must go back to the well now — despite beating their old foes twice in the league — after finishing second best in last years’ final. And it’s Galway up next for Dublin, after the Tribe beat Mayo earlier.

In a first half which saw the sides level seven times after Carla Rowe’s early point, Dublin suffered a hammer blow with four minutes on the clock as Nicole Owen’s afternoon ended early. The St Sylvester’s star, who started in a late change, had her right knee heavily strapped from the get-go and it buckled as she tracked Orla Finn. 

She was aided off the field, and Finn went on to kick the Rebel’s opening point with seven minutes on the clock.

The Kinsale sharpshooter would add a further four frees to lead the Cork charge in the opening period, but neither side could go more than one point ahead.

2018 Player of the Year Sinéad Aherne notched two Dublin frees, while Owens’ replacement Whyte, Lyndsey Davey and Niamh McEvoy fired the Sky Blues’ other scores.

nicole-owens-suffers-an-early-injury Nicole Owens is helped off the field. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

At the other end, captain Doireann O’Sullivan and Eimear Scally split the posts.

0-7 a-piece at the break, Aherne drew first blood in the second period through a free, before Finn levelled proceedings once again at the other end with her own. Niamh Collins, who had been brilliantly leading the Dublin defence before that, saw yellow for the preceding foul.

Rowe’s third score of the afternoon came from a quick one-two free, which put 14-woman Dublin in the driving seat once again at 0-9 to 0-8.

2017 Player of the Year Noelle Healy, who plays her club football with Mourneabbey on Leeside, added another as she fisted the ball into the Hill end after good fielding from Aherne in the build-up.

Cork soon went down to 14 themselves, losing Eimear Meaney to the sin-bin, and then had an invaluable goal chance pull wide. Ciara O’Sullivan found substitute Aine O’Sullivan, but the latter’s effort went across the goal face and just wide.

And then, came Dublin’s opportunity in the 44th minute.

Caoimhe O’Connor, who came from the bench five minutes beforehand, finished off an excellent team move to make it 1-10 to 0-9.

Bohan’s bench power continued from there, with Jennifer Dunne tagging on another fisted point, while Ciara O’Sullivan was sin-binned for a clash with Lyndsey Davey in the build-up to that score. 

A Finn free concluded Cork’s 17-minute drought but Dublin looked to have enough to see this one out as the clock ran down.

To their credit, Cork battled to the death but the Dublin defence — led by Sinead Goldrick — dealt with all thrown their way.

eimear-scally-with-eabha-rutledge Cork's Eimear Scally with Eabha Rutledge of Dublin. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

With 70 seconds left, Collins fired home to make it 2-11 to 0-10. But referee Maggie Farrelly brought it back for a foul in the build-up, awarding Dublin a penalty instead.

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Aherne stepped up and slotted home accordingly to put the gloss on the win, and a Finn free at the other end was nothing but a consolation as it finished 2-11 to 0-11.

Scorers for Dublin: Carla Rowe (0-3), Oonagh Whyte (0-1), Sinead Aherne (1-3, 3f), Lyndsey Davey (0-1), Niamh McEvoy (0-1), Noelle Healy (0-1) Caoimhe O’Connor (1-0), Jennifer Dunne (0-1)

Scorers for Cork: Orla Finn (0-9, 8f), Doireann O’Sullivan (0-1), Eimear Scally (0-1)


1. Ciara Trant (St Brigids)

2. Éabha Rutledge (Kilmacud Crokes)
3. Niamh Collins (Foxrock Cabinteely)
4. Martha Byrne (Cuala)

5. Aoife Kane (Kilmacud Crokes)
6. Sinéad Goldrick (Foxrock Cabinteely)
7. Olwen Carey (Thomas Davis)

8. Lauren Magee (Kilmacud Crokes)
9. Siobhán McGrath (Thomas Davis)

10. Carla Rowe (Clann Mhuire)
11. Niamh McEvoy (St Sylvesters)
12. Lyndsey Davey (Skerries Harps)

13. Sinéad Aherne (St Sylvesters)
23. Niamh Hetherton (Clontarf)

29. Nicole Owens (St Sylvesters)


22. Oonagh Whyte for Nicole Owens (4)
14. Noelle Healy for Niamh Hetherton (HT)
19. Caoimhe O’Connor for Oonagh Whyte (39)
15. Jennifer Dunne for Aoife Kane (49)
20. Kate Sullivan for Niamh McEvoy (59)


1. Martina O’Brien (Clonakilty)

2. Hannah Looney (Aghada)
3. Eimear Meaney (Mourneabbey)
4. Shauna Kelly (Araglen Desmonds Bui)

5. Aishling Hutchings (Fermoy)
6. Melissa Duggan (Dohenys)
7. Eimear Kiely (Valley Rovers)

8. Niamh Cotter (Beara)
9. Maire O’Callaghan (Mourneabbey)

10. Orlagh Farmer (Midleton)
11. Ciara O’Sullivan (Mourneabbey)
17. Doireann O’Sullivan (Mourneabbey)

19. Saoirse Noonan (Nemo Rangers)
14. Eimear Scally (Éire Óg)
15. Orla Finn (Kinsale)


12. Aine O’Sullivan for Niamh Cotter (29)
23. Emma Spillane for Shauna Kelly (45)
13. Libby Coppinger for Saoirse Noonan (46)
18. Rhona Ní Bhuachalla for Doireann O’Sullivan (49)
25. Daire Kiely for Eimear Kiely (49)

Referee: Maggie Farrelly (Cavan).

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Emma Duffy


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