Congratulations to the Dublin Ladies Football team who are the new All Ireland champions following their outstanding victory over Mayo yesterday.
The Dubs put three years of hurt behind them as they ended their run of defeats in All-Ireland ladies finals in front of a record crowd of 46,286 in Croke Park.
Having lost the last three finals to Cork they had plenty to motivate them and it showed as they put on a wonderful display of attacking football to run out comfortable winners by 12 points.
Their forwards were all on song with Niamh McEvoy and Carla Rowe each scoring 1-01 and captain Sinead Ahern led her troops admirably by contributing nine points.
Dublin’s second All Ireland (their first came in 2010) should have been secured well before the end of this game but the rampant Dubs missed some great goal opportunities.
Mayo had started the game very brightly and early indications looked like this one was going to go right to the wire.
Once Dublin settled however they began asking serious questions of their opponents. With the scores all square they found the back of the net in the 19th minute when McEvoy collected a handpass from Ahern and scored with a shot Mayo keeper Yvonne Byrne could do nothing about.
This sparked a rush of energy and Dublin were finding space and cutting through the Mayo ranks fairly easily.
Skipper Ahern found herself one on one with Yvonne Byrne and all the Mayo keeper could do stop her was drag her to the ground resulting in a penalty and a trip to the sin bin.
Ahern missed the resulting peno and the Dubs led by 1-6 to 0-6 at half time with Mayo reduced to 13.
Dublin started the second half in much the same way and should have had a few goals in the opening 10 minutes but their shooting accuracy let them down.
They eventually stretched their three-point lead to 12 as they fired in three goals in six minutes.
Sarah McCaffrey, sister of Jack, was the supersub hero as she came off the bench to score two goals with Carla Rowe getting the other, as Dublin pulled out of sight.
Mayo battled on to the end but this was Dublin’s day and there were great scenes as captain Sinead Byrne lifted the cup to end years of torment and finally give this bunch of players a deserved glorious day in Croke Park.
Dublin: Ciara Trant; Martha Byrne, Sinéad Finnegan, Rachel Ruddy; Sinéad Goldrick, Niamh Collins, Leah Caffrey; Lauren Magee, Olwen Carey; Carla Rowe (1-01), Lyndsey Davey, Nicole Owens; Sinéad Aherne (c) (0-9, 7f), Niamh McEvoy (1-01), Noelle Healy.
Subs: Deirdre Murphy for Finnegan (18), Fiona Hudson for Byrne (43), Sarah McCaffrey (2-0) for Owens (50), Molly Lamb for McEvoy 53).
Mayo: Yvonne Byrne; Orla Conlon, Sarah Tierney (captain), Martha Carter; Rachel Kearns, Marie Corbett, Fiona Doherty; Aileen Gilroy (0-1), Fiona McHale; Doireann Hughes, Niamh Kelly (0-1), Ciara Whyte; Sarah Rowe, Cora Staunton (0-7, 4f), Grace Kelly (0-2).
Subs: Amy Dowling for Niamh Kelly (41), Shauna Howley for Grace Kelly (57).