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Thursday 9 February 2023 Dublin: 2°C
Laszlo Geczo/INPHO Jennifer Dunne gets away from Niamh Kelly.
# Drive For Five
Four-in-a-row champions Dublin see off Mayo to march into eighth successive All-Ireland final
Croke Park hosted the TG4 All-Ireland semi-final showdown.

Dublin 1-17

Mayo 2-9

THE DRIVE FOR Five, and Dublin’s remarkable winning run, continues.

The All-Ireland four-in-a-row champions marched into an eighth successive decider appearance after a dominant five-point win over Mayo at Croke Park this evening.

Mick Bohan’s side — who have won every championship match they’ve played under his stewardship, a record stretching back to the 2016 All-Ireland final — face either Cork or Meath in the 5 September showpiece.

Dublin laid solid foundations with a blistering start to this physical, entertaining contest, played before their male counterparts’ own All-Ireland semi-final showdown, and always kept their opponents at arm’s length.

Caoimhe O’Connor scored their only goal, which came in the 10th minute, with Sinéad Aherne putting in a true captain’s performance as one of seven point-scorers.

Both Aherne and Hannah Tyrrell finished with 0-5, the latter named Player of the Match to cap a memorable week after her wedding on Wednesday.

Sarah Rowe and Rachel Kearns bagged the Mayo goals, and while it was a battling performance, Michael Moyles’ side were ultimately second best on the day.

There were an array of changes before throw-in: Dublin making three with injured trio Carla Rowe, Niamh Collins and Niamh McEvoy missing out as Aoife Kane, O’Connor and Niamh Hetherton started. Siobhan Killeen’s addition was another switch to the starting 15 from their quarter-final win over Donegal.

Captain Clodagh McManamon returned for Mayo, contesting their first All-Ireland semi-final since 2019 in a repeat of the 2017 final, with Róisín Durkin also in from the start as Ciara Whyte made way.

Dublin started lightning quick, rattling off four points from four different scorers — Hetherton, Tyrrell, O’Connor and Killeen — before Mayo opened their account in the eighth minute.

It was a much-needed goal into the Hill 16, fired home by Rowe after a couple of spurned chances. Dublin had been cruising until the Mayo defence capitalised on a loose ball and attacked at pace with Sinéad Cafferky and Shauna Howley involved.

Two minutes – and a pair of Mayo wides – later, Dublin slammed home a lovely team goal of their own. Lyndsey Davey forced a turnover before unselfishly handing off to O’Connor, who palmed the ball into the net.

Laura Brennan’s kickout let Mayo down, with Aherne pouncing for a well-taken double, before Rachel Kearns scored the Green and Red’s first – and only – point of the half through a free.

1-7 to 1-1 with 15 minutes on the clock, Dublin were reduced to 14 when Olwen Carey was sin-binned for a charging incident on Kearns. In the 10-minute period the Thomas Davis star missed, Mayo failed to really capitalise on the numerical advantage, until Kearns found the back of the net in the 23rd minute.

After a Niamh Kelly turnover in defence, they all broke at speed for another stunning team goal. That said, their shooting let them down at times, after all their hard work to counter uncharacteristic Dublin errors.

While the Sky Blues failed to score for 11 minutes after a Killeen effort following Carey’s yellow card, they finished strong down the home straight with long-serving stalwarts Aherne and Davey making it 1-10 to 2-1 at the break.

Mayo restarted much brighter, with the scoring tit-for-tat early doors. Aherne and Tyrrell kept Dublin ticking over while Kearns’ and Howley’s free-taking was pin-point at the other end.

rachel-kearns-with-aoife-kane-and-lauren-magee James Crombie / INPHO Kearns facing Aoife Kane and Lauren Magee. James Crombie / INPHO / INPHO

Dublin’s bench-power certainly paid dividends; eight-time All-Star Sinéad Goldrick introduced at half time after her serious hamstring injury sustained in AFLW action for Melbourne, while a foray of talent followed. suit

Grace Kelly got in on the scoring act as the Green and Red upped their game in the third quarter, almost notching a third goal but Lisa Cafferky’s effort ricocheted off the post.

At the other end, Aherne and Tyrrell kept the points coming before Howley scored from play just before the water break.

1-15 to 2-6 at that stage, Mayo outscored Dublin 0-3 to 0-2 in the final quarter, though their frustration grew as the clock wound down.

And so, Dublin’s remarkable dominance continues, along with Mayo’s wait for a first All-Ireland final appearance since 2017 — and first Brendan Martin Cup lift since 2003.

hannah-tyrrell-celebrates-after-the-game-with-sinead-aherne Laszlo Geczo / INPHO Hannah Tyrrell and Sinéad Aherne celebrate after the game. Laszlo Geczo / INPHO / INPHO

Scorers for Dublin: Hannah Tyrrell (0-5), Sinéad Aherne (0-5, 1f), Caoimhe O’Connor (1-1), Siobhan Killeen (0-3), Lydsey Davey, Orlagh Nolan, Niamh Hetherton (all 0-1)

Scorers for Mayo: Rachel Kearns (1-5, 4f), Sarah Rowe (1-0), Shauna Howley (0-2, 1f), Grace Kelly and Lisa Cafferky (both 0-1)

Dublin

1. Ciara Trant (St Brigid’s)

2. Martha Byrne (Cuala), 4. Leah Caffrey (Na Fianna), 19. Aoife Kane (Kilmacud Crokes)

5. Olwen Carey (Thomas Davis), 6. Siobhan McGrath (Thomas Davis) 7. Orlagh Nolan (Ballinteer St John’s)

8. Jennifer Dunne (Cuala), 9. Lauren Magee (Kilmacud Crokes)

10. Hannah Tyrrell (Na Fianna), 11. Lyndsey Davey (Skerries Harps), 20. Caoimhe O’Connor (Clontarf)

13. Siobhan Killeen (Clontarf), 21. Niamh Hetherton (Clontarf), 15. Sinéad Aherne (St Sylvester’s, captain)

Subs

18. Sinéad Goldrick (Foxrock-Cabinteely) for Aoife Kane (HT)

23. Kate Sullivan (St Sylvester’s) for Siobhan Killeen (41)

14. Niamh McEvoy (St Sylvester’s) for Niamh Hetherton (46)

26. Éabha Rutledge (Kilmacud Crokes) for Caoimhe O’Connor (56)

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22. Lucy Collins (Na Fianna) for Sinéad Aherne (56)

19. Aoife Kane (Kilmacud Crokes) for Lauren Magee (temp, 57)

9. Lauren Magee (Kilmacud Crokes) for Aoife Kane (59)

Mayo

1. Laura Brennan (Hollymount)

2. Saoirse Lally (Westport), 3. Dayna Finn (Kiltimagh), 4. Clodagh McManamon (Burrishoole, captain)

5. Tamara O’Connor (Cill Chomain),  7. Kathryn Sullivan (Castlebar Mitchels) 18. Roisin Durkin (Swinford/Killasser)

8. Fiona McHale (Carnacon), 9. Sinéad Cafferky (Kilmovee Shamrocks)

10. Niamh Kelly (Moy Davitts), 11. Rachel Kearns (MacHale Rovers), 12. Lisa Cafferky (Kilmovee Shamrocks)

13. Grace Kelly (Moy Davitts), 14. Shauna Howley (Knockmore), 15. Sarah Rowe (Kilmoremoy)

Subs

6. Ciara Whyte (Kilmoremoy) for Roisin Durkin (34)

21. Ciara Needham (Louisburgh) for Fiona McHale (53)

22. Tara Needham (Louisburgh) for Lisa Cafferky (53)

30. Maria Reilly (Kiltane) for Shauna Howley (59)

17. Eilish Ronayne (Davitts) for Tamara O’Connor (60)

Referee: Seamus Mulvihill (Kerry).

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