Dublin 1-10
Cork 1-5

TRAILING BY THREE at half-time, Dublin turned on the style in the second-half to seal their fourth All-Ireland TG4 ladies senior football title in succession with a deserved five-point win over Cork.

Dublin’s attack looked laboured in the first-half and they left a handful of goal chances behind them, with their point shooting leaving plenty to be desired. But they were a different side after the break.

There was only so long Cork could withstand Dublin’s high-powered forward line. Once Carla Rowe (1-3) and Nicole Owens (0-2) started to motor, the Sky Blues clicked through the gears and looked comfortable by the finish.

AFL star Sinead Goldrick’s influence grew as the game went on. The defender started at centre-back but moved onto the wing to track Cork star Orla Finn in the second-half, taking out one of the opposition’s key players on the way to picking up player of the match honours.

The sight of Finn and Saoirse Noonan being called ashore in the 52nd minute was an indication of the Rebelettes’ attacking struggles after the break.

Captain Sinead Aherne, who picked up a hamstring injury in the semi-final win over Armagh, was withdrawn at the break but was reintroduced in the closing stages. She became the first captain to lift four successive All-Ireland ladies crowns.

Carla Rowe slots home her second-half penalty.

Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Dublin’s superior athleticism was the major difference between the teams and they drove at Cork in waves after the break, with Noelle Healy (0-2) and Jennifer Dunne also highly influential.

Like the men’s final the previous day, the opening score of the game was a goal. A neat Cork move saw Aine O’Sullivan slipped through by Doireann O’Sullivan and her finish into the top corner was sublime. 

Owens responded with a point for Dublin, but Mick Bohan’s side looked rattled by the early concession. Still, they created chances but their finishing was letting them down.

Goldrick’s handpass to Rowe was slightly overhit with a goal on the cards and then Healy powered through on goal but her low finish went narrowly wide. 

Owens saw an ambitious strike on goal saved by Martina O’Brien and put another strike at the posts wide. Dublin scored just three of their 12 shots in the opening period, with three efforts dropped short and a further five wides.

At the far end Cork were finding scores easier to come by. Finn looked lively, clipping over a brace, while Aine O’Sullivan added another to give them a 1-3 to 0-3 interval lead.

Nicole Owens reacts to a missed chance.

Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Aherne arrived into the game carrying a knock and she only lasted until half-time, replaced by Kate Sullivan, before her late reintroduction. Goldrick moved across to mark Finn and she managed to quell the influence of the Kinsale flyer in the second-half.

Aoife Kane’s early point gave Dublin the perfect start to the second half. They were awarded a penalty when Rowe was wrapped up by O’Brien and the Dublin forward dispatched the spot-kick into the bottom corner herself.

Rowe followed it up with two frees to push Dublin a goal clear. Cork’s attack had stagnated, with Martha Byrne, Goldrick and Niamh Collins shutting up shop at the back. 

Ciaran O’Sullivan scored Cork’s first point in almost 20 minutes, but Dublin responded with a flurry of efforts by sub Kate Sullivan, Owens and Healy. Rowe brought her tally to 1-4 with a late free to ensure the Brendan Martin Cup will winter in the capital once again.

Scorers for Dublin: Carla Rowe 1-3 (1-0 pen, 0-3f), Noelle Healy and Nicole Owens 0-2 each, Sinead Aherne (0-1f), Aoife Kane and Kate Sullivan 0-1 each.

Scorers for Cork: Aine O’Sullivan 1-1, Orla Finn 0-3 (0-2f) and Ciara O’Sullivan 0-1.

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Dublin

1. Ciara Trant (St Brigid’s)

2. Martha Byrne (Cuala)
3. Niamh Collins (Foxrock-Cabinteely)
4. Aoife Kane (Kilmacud Crokes)

5. Leah Caffrey (Na Fianna)
6. Siobhan McGrath (Thomas Davis)
7. Sinéad Goldrick (Foxrock-Cabinteely)

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

10. Noelle Healy (St Brigid’s)
11. Lyndsey Davey (Skerries Harps)
12. Carla Rowe (Clann Mhuire)

13. Sinéad Aherne (St Sylvester’s)
14. Niamh McEvoy (St Sylvester’s)
15. Nicole Owens (St Sylvester’s)

Subs

18. Kate Sullivan (St Sylvester’s) for Aherne (ht)
19. Orlagh Nolan (Ballinteer St John’s) for Kane (47)
17. Sarah McCaffrey (Clontarf) for McEvoy (47)
21. Caoimhe O’Connor (Clontarf) for Owens (57)
13. Aherne for Davey (59)

Cork

1. Martina O’Brien (Clonakilty)

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2. Eimear Meaney (Mourneabbey)
3. Roisin Phelan (St Brigid’s – Dublin)
4. Shauna Kelly (Araglen Desmonds Bui)

5. Melissa Duggan (Dohenys)
6. Ashling Hutchings (Fermoy)
7. Erika O’Shea (Macroom)

8. Máire O’Callaghan (Mourneabbey)
9. Hannah Looney (Aghada)

10. Eimear Kiely (Valley Rovers)
11. Ciara O’Sullivan (Mourneabbey)
12. Orla Finn (Kinsale)

13. Áine O’Sullivan (Beara)
14. Doireann O’Sullivan (Mourneabbey)
15. Saoirse Noonan (Nemo Rangers)

Subs

20. Niamh Cotter (Kilmacud Crokes, Dublin) for Kiely (43)
22. Sadhbh O’Leary (Kinsale) for Finn (52)
28. Libby Coppinger (St Colum’s) for Noonan (52)
17. Aisling Kelleher (St Valentines) for Meaney (59)
23. Meabh Cahalane (Kinsale) for Kelly (59)

Referee: Jonathan Murphy (Carlow)

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