Dublin 6-11 Derry 1-3
Dublin’s biggest winning margin in years but not enough at the finish as they just fell short of the 26 points target needed to advance to the quarter finals of the All-Ireland championship.
Before an enthusiastic crowd at sun-drenched O’Toole Park, Dublin got a tonic start after a minute’s play when following a move involving Áine Fanning and Aisling Carolan, Sarah O’Donovan got on the end of a high ball to double to the net. This was quickly followed by an Alison Maguire pointed free in the 3 rd minute.
But although missing a number of regulars Derry showed tremendous heart and ability and a minute later had opened their account with an Aoife Shaw free.
Although playing into the breeze, it was evident from early on that Dublin had the measure of Ulster side but maybe over-anxiousness cost them scores. Wrong options were taken and in situations when it was two Dublin forwards attacking one Derry defender the quick pass to the better placed player was not availed of.
The ever-improving Ali Twomey made a great break in the 12 th minute and her effort for a point was brought down by the ‘keeper only to see Sarah O’Donovan to bury the rebound. But although they had the lion’s share of the possession Dublin could not make their superiority really count. Between the 14 th and 20 th minutes Dublin had three great goal chances but the return was a point from Miriam Twomey.
The home team added three more points by half time thanks to Louise O’Hara, Orla Beagan and Miriam Twomey but the 10 points advantage at the break should have been more.
Dublin decided to move Síle nic Coitir from goals to the attack for the second half with Kate Whyte coming in between the posts. Mairead Luttrell had to make way to accommodate this change despite having played a wonderful pass to Louise O’Hara to create a goal chance in the first half.
6 minutes after the restart the move of Síle nic Coitir to the attack when she forced home in a goal mouth scramble. But despite the aid of the breeze Dublin were being denied by the brilliance of Niamh McQuillan in the Derry goals and Aoife Ní Chaiside at full-back. Further damage was done to Dublin’s cause when Maria Mooney got a stick to a high ball to divert it into the Dublin net in the 41 st minute. It was to prove a decisive score.
Dublin threw everthing into the game but in the 3 rd quarter of the game could only manage 1-1 – their lowest return for the entire game.
In the closing 18 minutes Dublin would hit 3-4 to Derry’s 0-2. First Louise O’Hara skimmed the bar for a point in the 48 th minute. A minute later Louise had the ball in the net before Orla Beagan hammered two raspers just over the bar. Injury would also see Orla return before the finish – a big loss for Dublin. As the 60 th minute struck, the referee announced that there would be 6 minutes added time. In that period Dublin knew they needed to score three goals – Derry had replied with two vital points from Mairead McNicholl and Aoife Shaw.
First Louise O’Hara pointed a free, then Laoise Quinn goaled and in the 35 th minute Síle nic Coitir netted her second but following the puck-out, the referee signalled the end of the season for both sides.
Dublin will rue a number of missed chances but also it might be unfair to pin all the blame on this game. The side won by a massive 23 points – one goal more or fewer in any of the other three games played in the competition would have seen them through. A lesson to be learnt when scoring difference determines progression.
Well done to all concerned – management and players – much ground is being made and these days will be put to good advantage in the future.
Many thanks to Dublin GAA, Luke Lawlor (O’Toole Park), We are Dublin, all the supporters, and the mini-teams from Fingallians, Faughs-Celtic, Clontarf and Castleknock for their support.
Dublin: Sarah O’Donovan and Síle nic Coitir (2-0 each), Louise O’Hara (1-3), Alison Maguire (0-3), Laoise Quinn (1-0), Orla Beagan (0-3), Miriam Twomey (0-2).
Derry: Maria Mooney (1-0), Aoife Shaw (0-2), Mairead McNicholl (0-1)
Referee: Peter Dowd