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As it happened: Dublin v Cork, Ladies All-Ireland semi-final

Dublin’s bench made the difference as they saw off their old rivals to set up a historic shot at a three-in-a-row.

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  • Cork
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Image : Morgan Treacy/INPHO
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Forget next week’s men’s final; the dynastic clash of the 2019 championships is at Croke Park today. 

In the blue corner – Dublin. The reigning champions, who are aiming for a third-straight All-Ireland title this year for the first time in their history. Should they do so, it would give them a neat symmetry: three final wins in a row to follow three straight final defeats to…today’s opponents.

In the red corner – Cork. Theirs was the most recent monopoly of this competition: between 2005 and 2015, the only side to deny them an All-Ireland was, you guessed it, Dublin in 2010. Their crown has slipped again in recent years; today offers a chance to wrestle it back. 

Today’s prize is a place in the final against either Mayo or Galway, and throw-in at Croke Park is at 3.45pm. 

Follow it live here on The42, and get in touch – comment below the line, or email gavincooney@the42.ie . 

Confirmed that Galway lie in wait in the final for today’s winners. They’ve beaten Mayo by a point in an absurdly dramatic finish at Croke Park. 

Team news 

Dublin

Ciara Trant

Éabha Rutledge, Niamh Collins, Martha Byrne

Aoife Kane, Sinead Goldrick, Olwen Carey

Lauren Magee, Siobhán McGrath

Carla Rowe, Niamh McEvoy, Lyndsey Davey

Sinead Aherne, Noelle Healy, Jennifer Dunne.

Cork

Martina O’Brien

Hannah Looney, Eimear Meaney, Shauna Kelly

Aishling Hutchings, Melissa Duggan, Eimear Kiely

Niamh Cotter, Maire O’Callaghan

Orlagh Farmer, Ciara O’Sullivan, Áine O’Sullivan

Libby Coppinger, Eimear Scally, Orla Finn.

While Dublin have had the upper hand on Cork in the Championship of late, Ephie Fitzgerald’s side have beaten the Dubs twice already this year, in the league’s regular phase and then the semi-final. The latter of those games needed extra-time to find a winner, how tight will today’s game be? 

Couple of late changes for Cork: captain Doireann O’Sullivan and Saoirse Noonan start having initially been named on the bench. 

Significant news for Dublin ahead of throw-in: Nicole Owens starts along with Niamh Hetherton. Noelle Healy and Jennifer Dunne drop out. 

For Cork, meanwhile, O’Sullivan and Noonan replace Aine O’Sullivan and Libby Coppinger. 

Dublin 0-01 Cork 0-00 

Owens is playing with her right knee heavily strapped, but it hasn’t slowed her down yet. She picks up the ball, drives at the Cork defence and pops the ball to Hetherton. She sprays a foot pass to the right for Carla Row, who floats over a lovely opening score. 

Big save by Trent in goal for Dublin – denies O’Sullivan’s goalbound shot for Cork. Big opportunity goes missing for the Rebels. 

Oh dear. Owens is  being helped from the field already, limping very gingerly. Her day is done already. She’s replaced buy Oonagh White. 

Orlagh Farmer drives straight at the Dublin defence, but is eventually bottled up and she concedes a free out. 

Rowe pulls a left-footed shot just wide of the right-hand post in front of the Canal End for Dublin. 

Dublin 0-01 Cork 0-01 

Cork level through Orla Finn from play, a fine strike off her right foot after great support work by Noonan. 

Dublin 0-02 Cork 0-01 

That’s how to make an introduction: Oonagh White swings over a point, after Hetherton’s shot was blocked down by Hannah Looney. 

Dublin 0-02 Cork 0-02

Melissa Duggan’s direct running at Dublin looks a profitable source for Cork: this time the reward is a free in front of the posts, which Finn pops over. 

Dublin 0-03 Cork 0-02

Carla Rowe is clumsily hauled down on the edge of the D, and Sinead Aherne points the resulting free. 

Dublin 0-03 Cork 0-03

Cork reply with another free by Finn, in a similar spot to Aherne’s. Shadow boxing so far…

Dublin 0-04 Cork 0-03

Huge interception by Dublin’s Niamh Collins prevents Noonan gathering the ball in front of goal after a sweeping Cork move, and the Dubs counter quickly: Aine O’Sullivan reasserts their lead with a point from play. 

Whyte’s long range shot drops short, and Martin O’Brien does well to gather under pressure. Cork clear…

Dublin 0-04 Cork 0-04

Cracking score from play by Doireann O’Sullivan levels the game again. That said, Finn had made a great move inside, if only she had been picked out..

Dublin 0-05 Cork 0-04

Well we weren’t level for long: Niamh McEvoy points for Dublin. 

Dublin 0-05 Cork 0-05

Cork have clung on to possession for the last couple of minutes, probing and sniping, but they can’t find a way through the Dublin defence…and then Eabha Rutledge is penalised for a silly off the ball foul on Orla Finn. 

Finn, unsurprisingly, scores. We’re level again! 

Dublin 0-06 Cork 0-05

Yet again: Dublin respond immediately to go back in front! This time, it is Carla Rowe once again. 

Dublin 0-06 Cork 0-06

Eimear Scally points for Cork, jinking away from a trio of Dubs defenders. Great score. 

Lauren Magee hits Dublin’s second wide of the game, from a tight angle from the right. This game has had a pretty consistent pattern: Cork have had the bulk of the ball but have mixed success running at Dublin’s defence, while the Dubs are attacking with less frequency but much more directness and purpose. 

Dublin 0-06 Cork 0-07

Saoirse Noonan is fouled by Niamh Collins to the left of the D, and Finn points the free once again. She has been unerring so far, Cork have yet to hit a wide. 

Dublin 0-07 Cork 0-07

Lyndsey Davy is bumped and shuddered between a gang of Cork defenders, and although she comes out the other side, she is given a free. Aherne converts. 

Aoife Kane’s attempted point goes high and drops just short; again Martina O’Brien catches comfortably and deals with the ensuing pressure. 

Whyte kicks another wide off her left, from relatively close range. Dublin are beginning to find a couple of gaps, the support running of half-back Olwen Carey is causing Cork a few problems. 

Half-time: Dublin 0-07 Cork 0-07

It’s tight and tense at Croke Park, and the sides trot to the dressing room level at seven points apiece. It’s simmering without yet coming to the boil: expect that to happen pretty soon. 

This is the first time the All-Ireland semi-finals have been held at Croke Park, and they’ve drawn a crowd of 10,886. 

Dublin 0-08 Cork 0-07

Dublin hit the front straight away, through an Aherne free. 

Dublin 0-08 Cork 0-08 

Cork turning the screw in response, and having been denied twice, they win the ball back and finally draw a foul. Again it is Niamh Collins who concedes it, so she is booked and off she troops. 

Finn levels this game for an eighth time! 

Dublin 0-09 Cork 0-08

Farmer is penalised – slightly harshly – for a foul on Carla Rowe that nobody was bothered about appealing for. Rowe takes it short, takes a flicked pass from Aherne straight away, and splits the posts from play! 

Fantastic defending by Dublin midfielder Siobhan McGrath. Cork attacked and Niamh Cotter had stolen into the place vacated by the yellow-carded full back Collins, but McGrath tracked the run and intercepted. Crucial. 

Dublin 0-10 Cork 0-08 

Noelle Healy fists a point over the bar! It’s the first time in this game that the gap on the scoreboard has been more than a single point. 

Dublin 0-10 Cork 0-09 

Doireann O’Sullivan wins another free within scoring distance, this time conceded by Lauren Magee. Mick Bohan spoke ahead of this game of the importance of good defensive discipline, but it is letting them down thus far and keeping Cork in touch. Orla Finn points yet again. 

Niamh Cotter off for Cork; Aine O’Sullivan is on. Caoimhe O’Connor comes on for Dublin, to replace an earlier sub: Oonagh Whyte. 

Cork full-back Eimear Meany is locked in exasperation with the referee: she’s been sent to the sin bin for an off the ball foul on Aherne. Both sides without their full back at the moment…

Close! 

A superb, meandering run by Doireann O’Sullivan draws in a gaggle of Dubs defenders, and she pops off the ball to her left to Aine O’Sullivan. Her shot off the outside of the boot skips narrowly wide of the right-hand post, and Dublin survive! 

GOAL! 

Dublin 1-10 Cork 0-09

A huge moment in this game, as Caoimhe O’Connor rifles the ball into the net after being picked out by Healy. 

Oof, a poor wide by Rowe. Noelle Healy burns through the left-hand side of the Cork defence, saunters in field and finds Rowe. She ran around her to take the return pass, but Rowe instead went for a score…and missed. Healy has made a massive difference in this game, and Cork have tried to do a bit of surgery on the hoof, as defeder Shauna Kelly makes way for Emma Spillane. Cork are struggling. 

Oh dear – it’s another poor Dublin wide; their profligacy is the only thing keeping Cork alive at the moment. With full-back Meany in the bin, there are gaps popping up every where in the Cork defence. Rowe picks out O’Connor, who passes infield to Owens, but she can only skew a shot wide to the left. Saoirse Noonan makes way for Cork, Libby Coppinger comes on in her place. 

Cork are being cleaned out on their own kick out at the moment, and can barely get out of their defensive third of the field. A foul by McEvoy finally gives them a breather…

…eek and they lose it immediately. Dublin arrow the ball into the full forward line for Caoimhe O’Connor, but some last-ditch defending means the ball is turned over. 

Oh no, Cork finally get to attack and make a hames of it with a loose hand-pass. Dublin counter and draw a free on the ’45; Siobhan McGrath fouled. 

Rhona Ní Bhuachalla is on for Cork, replacing Doireann O’Sullivan. Also, Daire Kiely comes on for Eimear Kiely. Dublin make a change too – Jennifer Dunne for Aoife Kane. Cork are back to 15 players now, but really, really need a score. 

Dublin 1-11 Cork 0-09 

Jennifer Dunne fists a point for Dublin, after more great work by Rowe and O’Connor. 

It gets worse for Cork – Ciara O’Sullivan is booked and won’t finish the game, for a late collision with McEvoy. 

Dublin 1-11 Cork 0-10 

Orla Finn points another free, after Maire O’Callaghan was fouled at close range. Have Cork got one last shot at this? 

Siobhan McGrath wins a free for Dublin midfield to relive a bit of pressure. She has been outstanding today. 

Time is against Cork, they are on the attack with four minutes left but are struggling to break Dublin challenges on the ’45. They need a goal…

…and they didn’t need a wide. Which is what Aine O’Sullivan just kicked, faced with a Dublin defence flooded with blue jerseys. 

Cork’s attack is disintegrating, twice they’ve skewed straight forward kick passes to skewer their own attacks. Deeply frustrating. 

Goal! 

Dublin 2-11 Cork 0-10 

Dublin are heading for the final. O’Sullivan drives at the Dubs’ defence, but is bottled up by five defenders. Dublin break swiftly, and it ends with full-back (!) Niamh Collins one-on-one with goalkeeper O’Brien. She is hailed down and nets, but the whistle had already been blown for a penalty…which Aherne slots away with zero fuss. 

Full-time! 

Dublin 2-11 Cork 0-11 

Finn points another late free – she hasn’t missed one all day – but it has come to naught as it is all over, and Dublin’s quest for a three-in-a-row has survived its biggest test. Their bench made a significant difference here, with Noelle Healy and Caomihe O’Connor inflicting serious damage to a Cork full-back line partly shorn of Eimear Meaney through a yellow card. 

It was pretty comfortable for Dublin in the second half, really, and their inaccuracy in front of goal stopped it from being more than a six-point game. A pretty ominous performance ahead of the final against Galway on 15 September. 

Thanks for following, bye! 

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