Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Fourth time lucky! Dublin goals key against Mayo as they storm to All-Ireland glory

There were 12 points in the difference as Croke Park saw a record-breaking attendance.

Dublin 4-11

Mayo 0-11

Emma Duffy reports from Croke Park

IT WAS AN All-Ireland final which had it all — four goals, a saved penalty, sin-bins, a record-smashing attendance.

But it was Dublin who made it fourth time lucky with a 12-point win over Mayo in the TG4 All-Ireland ladies senior final.

In front of a record-smashing attendance of 46,286 at Croke Park, the two sides played out a hugely entertaining and intense affair.

Two goals from substitute Sarah McCaffrey, and one each from Niamh McEvoy and Carla Rowe means that the Brendan Martin Cup will spend the winter in Dublin for just the second time ever.

Having previously won the title in 2010, the Sky Blues have lost the last three consecutive finals to Cork. Mayo, on the other hand, were contesting their first final since 2007 and bidding for their first title since 2003.

Mick Bohan’s charges were relentless in the end as three separate Mayo players were dealt yellow cards throughout, but the final blow came when defender Orla Conlon was handed her marching orders and the floodgates opened.

Noelle Healy and Lydsey Davey celebrate at the final whistle Ryan Byrne / INPHO Ryan Byrne / INPHO / INPHO

Ten minutes from the end, just three points separated the sides but when the Westerners were reduced to 14, Dublin ran riot.

McCaffrey — sister of Dublin defender Jack — came off the bench to score a brace, while Rowe was on target between the two goals with one of her own.

Noelle Healy was instrumental for the Sky Blues in a Player of the Match-winning performance, while it was a mixed day in front of the posts for stalwart Cora Staunton, finishing with 0-7, but hitting some uncharacteristic wides.

It was Dublin who drew first blood through a pointed-free from captain Sinéad Aherne, before Staunton opened Mayo’s account with a fisted effort as the clock read three minutes.

After her opening miss from a free-taking perspective, Staunton made no mistake on her second attempt as Frank Browne’s charges looked lively and moulded into the game.

Both sides — with similar styles of play — looked strong defensively in the early stages with the game finely balanced. Aherne slotted over two frees and followed up with a fisted effort, while Staunton and Niamh Kelly had previously combined with the game level after 15 minutes.

Aherne and Grace Kelly traded points before Dublin started to find their cool and clinical attacking form, full-forward Niamh McEvoy springing to life with 1-1 in quick succession.

The St Sylvester’s attacker rattled the net, capping an impressive run from Healy who popped the ball off as she approached the goalmouth.

Then came the drama.

Sinead Aherne is taken down by Yvonne Byrne Morgan Treacy / INPHO Morgan Treacy / INPHO / INPHO

Mayo goalkeeper Yvonne Byrne was dealt a yellow card for taking down Aherne, and 22-year-old Aisling Tarpey was called to action.

The Ballyhaunis native — who’s been plagued by injury over the past few years — stepped up to deny Aherne from the spot, and subsequently give her side a huge lift.

The boost was short-lived however, as they were soon reduced to 13 players – Rachel Kearns sent to the line for an off the ball incident involving Healy. The same Sky Blues player then came close to doubling their goal returns, but her effort hit the post.

Mick Bohan’s charges perhaps should have been out of sight by the time the half-time hooter sounded and the scoreline read 1-6 to 0-6, the pace of Carla Rowe, Nicole Owens and Healy causing serious problems for the Mayo defence.

The second half started the way the first ended, with Dublin potent on the attack. Lauren Magee thundered through, her effort shaving wide but she was deemed to be fouled on the run — Aherne converting.

The Sky Blues’ tenacious edge shone through as they created several more goal chances, but the tiring Mayo defence somehow managed to keep them out.

Nicole Owens with Fiona McHale Morgan Treacy / INPHO Morgan Treacy / INPHO / INPHO

Staunton’s mixed bag of shooting continued, but she stood up with two inspirational scores, while Aileen Gilroy followed up with another to lift the Westerner’s spirits.

One of those inspirational scores from Staunton — in what could be her last game in the Mayo colours — came with just over 13 minutes to play, while Carla Rowe and Grace Kelly traded scores shortly after.

With the scoreline reading 1-10 to 0-10 with ten minutes to go, that decisive moment where Conlon was sin-binned soon followed and the Jackies let loose to be crowned champions.

Scorers for Dublin: Sinéad Aherne (0-9, 7f), Niamh McEvoy (1-1), Carla Rowe (1-1), Sarah McCaffrey (2-0)

Scorers for Mayo: Cora Staunton (0-7, 4f), Niamh Kelly (0-1), Grace Kelly (0-2), Aileen Gilroy (0-1)


1. Ciara Trant (St. Brigid’s)

2. Martha Byrne (Cuala)
3. Sinéad Finnegan (Fingallians)
4. Rachel Ruddy (Ballyboden St Enda’s)

5. Sinéad Goldrick (Foxrock Cabinteely)
6. Niamh Collins (Foxrock Cabinteely)
7. Leah Caffrey (Na Fianna)

8. Lauren Magee (Kilmacud Crokes)
9. Olwen Carey (Thomas Davis)

10. Carla Rowe (Clann Mhuire)
11. Lyndsey Davey (Skerries Harps)
12. Nicole Owens (St Slylvester’s)

13. Sinéad Ahearne (St Sylvester’s) – captain
14. Niamh McEvoy (St Sylvester’s)
14. Noelle Healy (St Brigid’s)


Deirdre Murphy for Sinéad Finnegan (19)
Fiona Hudson for Martha Byrne (45)
Sarah McCaffrey for Lyndsey Davey (49)
Molly Lamb for Niamh McEvoy (53)
Hannah O’Neill for Nicole Owens (56)


1. Yvonne Byrne (Ballyhaunis)

2. Orla Conlon (Castlebar Mitchells)
3. Sarah Tierney (Hollymount) – captain
4. Martha Carter (Carnacon)

5.  Rachel Kearns (CL McHale Rovers)
6. Marie Corbett (Carnacon)
7. Fiona Doherty (Moy Davitts)

8. Aileen Gilroy (St Brigid’s)
9. Fiona McHale (Carnacon)

10. Doireann Hughes (Carnacon)
11. Niamh Kelly (Moy Davitts)
12. Ciara Whyte (Kilmoremoy)

13. Sarah Rowe (Kilmoremoy)
14. Cora Staunton (Carnacon)
15. Grace Kelly (Moy Davitts)


Aisling Tarpey for Ciara Whyte (27)
Ciara Whyte for Aisling Tarpey (34)
Amy Dowling for Ciara Whyte (41)
Shauna Howley for Grace Kelly (57)

Referee: Seamus Mulvhill (Kerry)

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