Kerry v Meath

AI SLFC Report: Meath v Kerry

Meath have recorded their second consecutive TG4 Ladies All Ireland Senior Football Championship, defeating Kerry in front of an attendance of 46,440 in Croke Park.

Queen Vikki of Dunboyne leaves for Australia with two senior medals and one intermediate in her back pocket, Meath’s third consecutive All Ireland win, their production line in full flow.

For the Kingdom the wait continues, despite leading early thanks to their red headed warrior from West Kerry, Meath had their number and once more defeated Kerry at headquarters.

Kerry got off to the optimum start Ciara Murphy put them ahead after two minutes, with a great point from play, Louise Ní Mhuircheartaigh converting a free before capitalising on a mistake from a kick out to lead 1-2 to no score after 7 minutes.

Meath’s reply was swift and emphatic Emma Troy with a goal after ten minutes, either side of points by Stacey Grimes and Vikki Wall had them level by the 11th minute.

Wall and Grimes extended the lead to two with well taken scores, Troy making it a three point margin by the 22nd minute, Kerry remained within arms length for the rest of the half the goal by Troy keeping Meath 1-8 to 1-5 ahead the break, great end to end contest of football in the opening half.

Kerry made it a one point game four minutes into the second half, but it would be as close as they would get in the second half, Emma Duggan made it a two point game once more, before Niamh O’Sullivan reacted to a mistake from a Kerry kickout to rattle the net after 45 minutes, 2-9 to 1-7 in the royals favour.

The netted again shortly after substitute Bridgette Lynch hitting the crossbar before regaining composure to score at the second bite of the cherry, Meath comfortably ahead by eight points with ten left in the second half.

Kerry threw everything including the kitchen sink at Meath in the final exchanges, failing to conjure a score to bring spice back into the contest, Meath’s defence solid in formation able to stop Kerry in their track, Ní Mhuircheartaigh tried to goal late in the half from a free but Monica McGuirk saved well, the hooter sounds on another famous win for the Royals in Croke Park.

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Laois v Wexford

AIILFC Report: Laois v Wexford

Laois are the 2022 TG4 Intermediate Ladies All Ireland winners, after an enthralling battle at Croke Park this afternoon.

Mo Nerney again starred for her county 1-5 to her tally all afternoon, their wide count makes for harrowing reading but they have got the job done nonetheless.

Wexford will rue missed opportunities as they have another heart break to end a head breaking year, back to back defeats in All Ireland finals while Laois now move to Senior.

Laois hit an early two point lead Eva Galvin and Laura Marie-Maher both pointing,Erone Fitzpatrick setup the first score but hit a shot of the post as a goal looked on the cards to further extend their lead.

Bernie Breen had the first major chance for Wexford after five minutes, her effort just drifting to the right and wide into Hill 16 end, they did score seconds later Catriona Murray feeding Ciara Donnelly she failed to keep her shot down for a goal, but their first point kept them in the tie early on.

Despite their early dominance of the game, Laois struggled in front of goal soon after, a string of wides looked to have knocked the confidence levels a tad, Mo Nerney did give them their first score in seven minutes with a well taken free, to lead 0-3 to 0-1 after 13 minutes.

Maher smelt blood after 15 minutes with a barging run through the Wexford defence, her effort went wide but she did have players in space to offload to, huge let off for Wexford as they struggled to break down a strong Laois defence.

Nerney game alive late in the second half, shortly after converting a free to extend their lead, she glided past the Wexford backline and fired into the net, 1-4 to 0-2 after 18 minutes.

Murray added a second score for Wexford to end their rut, Laois finished the half with a flurry five points in quick succession to lead 1-9 to 0-3 at the hooter.

Wexford came out the better early in the second half, three quick fire points saw them reduce the gap, Aoife Cullen had a goal chance that went wide after 38 minutes.

Laois again found themselves in a rut in front of the posts, Nurney and Anna Healy both added scores, but a string of wides left Wexford reduce their lead to 1-12 to 0-9 after 50 minutes.

The Laois wall became immovable in the last ten minutes, despite a late goal by Bernie Breen to blow the tie wide open followed by a Murray point from a free, Laois hung on, 21 years is a long wait but for they will savour this victory.

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Antrim v Fermanagh

Antrim and Fermanagh must meet again in Junior final.

Orlaith Prenter earned her Antrim side a draw after an exciting TG4 All-Ireland Ladies Junior Final at Croke Park.

Fermanagh had come from four points down to go ahead in the 58th minute through Eimear Smyth but a pointed free from Prenter right at the end meant the sides must do it all again.

Antrim made a slow start but when they got into the game their potent full-forward line put Fermanagh’s defence under pressure. Blaithin Bogue was excellent for Fermanagh throughout but was sin binned near end. 

Eimear Smyth scored a penalty in the 49th minute to bring her side back into the game and it made for a grandstand finish. They didn’t disappoint.

Fermanagh kicked over the game’s first two points. Antrim then got in their stride and kicked over four points in a row. Points from Aine Tubridy, Orlaith Prenter (2) and Grainne McLaughlin gave them a two point lead in the 11th minute.

Lara Dahunsi had a goal chance one minute later for the Saffrons. After going 11 minutes without a score Fermanagh got their third point in the 14th minute when Blaithin Bogue hit over a fine score.

An excellent finish from Maria O’Neill in the 17th minute extended Antrim’s lead to four points. Bogue was fantastic for her side and kicked over three points before the break while a point from captain Cathy Carey in the 28th minute gave Antrim a three point lead at half-time 1-07 to 0-07.

Antrim were reduced to 14 players in the 32nd minute when Niamh McIntosh was sin binned. Eimear Smyth’s free appeared to be tipped into the net by Bogue but it was ruled out for square ball.

Despite their numerical disadvantage Antrim went four points ahead in the 40th minute when McLaughlin kicked over a free.

O’Neill had a chance to grab her and her side’s second goal in the 44th minute; Prenter won possession and passed to O’Neill who was racing through but her powerful shot came off the post. 

The Erne County were awarded a penalty in the 49th minute when Bogue was fouled; it looked outside the area; put it away to cut the gap to one. Fermanagh substitute Erin Tierney levelled the game for only the second time in the 54th minute. But there was time for late drama.

Donegal v Meath

Meath book back to back senior finals after beating Donegal

Emma Duggan produced late heroics for the second weekend running as defending champions Meath advanced to another TG4 All-Ireland Senior Championship Final with a thrilling victory over Donegal at Croke Park.

By Daire Walsh

Following her last-gasp point to earn the Royals victory at the expense of Galway last Saturday, the Dunboyne ace kicked three points inside the closing ten minutes to propel her side towards a decider with Kerry on 31 July. A resolute Donegal - who dethroned Leinster champions Dublin in the last-eight - pushed the holders every inch of the way but their quest for a first senior final will continue into 2023.

TG4 All-Star Geraldine McLaughlin found the target either side of a Stacey Grimes free to give Donegal a slender advantage in a tentative opening. Although Grimes went on to level matters with her second point, Donegal signalled their intent during the second-quarter of a tense affair.

A fierce effort by Niamh McLaughlin rattled the woodwork on its way over the bar and the same player also scored a goal from a penalty after veteran attacker Yvonne Bonner was hauled down in the 19th minute. While Orlagh Lally split the uprights for Meath towards the end of the half, Donegal were three points to the good, 1-3 to 0-3, heading in at the half-time break.

Yet, this lead was whittled down to the bare minimum within 60 seconds of the restart as Vikki Wall and Niamh O’Sullivan posted quickfire scores. Despite losing Máire O’Shaughnessy to the sin-bin, Meath moved three points clear with unanswered efforts from Emma Duggan and Grimes (three). Donegal finally opened their second-half account with a Yvonne Bonner point in the 43rd minute, however, and midfielder Katie Herron also chipped in with a fine score on the run to set-up a nerve-wracking conclusion.

The sides were back level as a result of Bonner’s second point of the half and with Wall being yellow-carded on the stroke of 50 minutes, all the momentum appeared to be with Donegal.

Once again, though, Meath brushed off their numerical deficiency to push forward for another hard-earned victory. After kicking an outstanding point from play, Duggan also knocked over a tricky free to edge them a step closer to another top-tier final.

A Karen Guthrie free kept Donegal in touch, but Duggan’s fourth of the day, off a late breakaway move, ensured Meath are still in the hunt for back-to-back Brendan Martin Cups.

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Mayo v Kerry

Kerry reach Senior final at Croke Park after stylish win over Mayo

By Daire Walsh

Síofra O’Shea grabbed two goals and Kerry turned on the style against Mayo at Croke Park to book their place in the TG4 All-Ireland Senior Championship Final for the first time since 2012.

Aishling O’Connell and Paris McCarthy were also among the goals as the Kingdom backed up their impressive quarter-final success over Armagh with a commanding performance. The evergreen Louise Ní Mhuircheartaigh was also in outstanding form for the victors, scoring 0-5, all from play.

After Shauna Howley edged Mayo in front with a pointed free, Kerry announced their arrival in the contest when wing-back O’Connell floated a deflected effort beyond the reach of goalkeeper Aisling Tarpey for a sixth-minute goal.

Mayo full-forward Ciara Whyte responded to back-to-back points from Emma Costello and Ní Mhuircheartaigh, before Kerry rattled the net for a second time on 11 minutes, when O’Shea palmed to net off of a Cáit Lynch pass.

Although the confident Munster outfit extended their lead through Niamh Carmody, Mayo came storming into contention with unanswered points by Tara Needham, Lisa Cafferky and Howley (two). Mayo remained in the frame as a result of traded scores between Ní Mhuircheartaigh and Sarah Mulvihill, but Kerry reinforced their authority when O’Shea fired home her second goal of the half in the 21st minute.

Further points followed for the Kingdom from Danielle O’Leary and Lynch, and while midfielder Sinead Cafferky posted a fine score for Mayo, it couldn’t prevent their opponents from bringing a convincing 3-6 to 0-8 cushion into the interval. Three points without reply from Aoife Geraghty, Howley and Needham initially gave Michael Moyles’ Connacht outfit cause for optimism, but a 0-3 haul by Corca Dhuibhne sharpshooter Ní Mhuircheartaigh kept the scoreboard ticking over for the Kingdom.

Despite the determined Geraghty adding her second score of the third-quarter, Mayo suffered a further set-back when McCarthy added Kerry’s fourth goal on 43 minutes. Even though this proved to be their final score, the fact Mayo could only muster a point from Sinead Cafferky inside the closing-quarter ensured Kerry weren’t to be denied a spot in the forthcoming showpiece.

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Dublin v Meath

Leinster SFC Final – Dublin claim the title

Hannah Tyrrell scored a second half penalty at Croke Park where Dublin secured a ninth consecutive TG4 Leinster SFC title with a narrow triumph over reigning All-Ireland champions Meath.

BY DAIRE WALSH

Having found themselves three points adrift at the break, a superb scoring blitz at the start of the second half put the Royal County in a strong position to claim their first provincial crown since 2000. However, Dublin held firm and Tyrrell’s calm finish propelled her side towards a 16th Leinster crown.

After a cagey start, Nicole Owens – a late addition to Dublin’s starting line-up – opened the scoring with a ninth-minute point. Meath’s defensive set-up ensured that clear-cut scoring opportunities were initially at a premium for their opponents, but Eamonn Murray’s team also took a while to settle.

On the other hand, Dublin were growing in confidence and moved four points in front courtesy of a brace from St Sylvester’s ace Kate Sullivan and another courtesy of the ever-influential Lyndsey Davey.

It took Meath all of 29 minutes to get up and running but even though Aoibheann Leahy found the target from close-range, Tyrrell’s first point of the day gave Dublin a commanding 0-5 to 0-1 cushion into the interval.

Yet the game was dramatically turned on its head upon the resumption as Meath registered 1-2 without reply to edge themselves into the ascendancy. Straight from the throw-in, 2021 TG4 Footballer of the Year, Vikki Wall played the ball into her Dunboyne clubmate Emma Duggan for a fine point from play.

Duggan had a subsequent effort that rebounded off the post but midfielder Orlagh Lally was on hand to claim the rebound and fire beyond the reach of Ciara Trant.A routine Stacey Grimes free suddenly presented Meath with a slender advantage in the 36th minute and while Dublin eventually responded with another Tyrrell point, a Wall score at the end of a trademark lung-bursting run kept the Royals ahead inside the final-quarter.

The pendulum swung back in Dublin’s favour on 47 minutes, however, when Tyrrell coolly slotted a penalty past All-Star goalkeeper Monica McGuirk.

Meath’s Maire O’Shaughnessy was sin-binned for a foot block on Owens in the lead-up to this score, but a second free by Grimes left the gap at a bare minimum upon her return. Wall was also yellow carded in a frantic finale, though, and with Niamh Hetherton adding her name to the scoresheet, it was Dublin who prevailed.

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Donegal v Meath

Meath claim first Lidl Ladies Football Division 1 Crown

Composure in front of goal saw Meath just edge out Donegal in a tight affair at Croke Park to win the Lidl National League Division 1 final.

The Royals started the game well but a Donegal comeback saw the reigning All-Ireland champions go into the break just a point ahead.

Donegal went into the lead during the second half but a Niamh O'Sullivan goal and a brace of points were enough to see Meath to victory as their opposition were left to rue missed chances.

The Royals pace and power in attack proved too much for Donegal as the first-half progressed and the Meath forwards tacked on points to open a lead on their opponents.

Meath's accuracy from distance further enhanced their scoring as they won several Donegal kick-outs.

Donegal scored points in the early stages through Geraldine McLaughlin and a Karen Guthrie free but they lacked the running power Meath possessed.

That power was exemplified in the All-Ireland champions' goal directly after the first water-break, when Vikki Wall ran with ball from midfield and layed it off to Kelsey Nesbitt on her left who hit the back of the net to increase the gap between the sides.

When midfielder Orlagh Lally pointed from long-distance to put her side 7 points ahead it looked as if Meath were cruising but Donegal did not give up and returned a point thanks to Yvonne Bonner.

The Ulster side kept the pressure on and won a penalty when Bonner was brought down in the box after a leg trip courtesy of full-back Mary Kate Lynch. Lynch was sin-binned and Niamh McLoughlin stepped forward to slot her penalty into the top left corner.

With Meath down a player, further points from Geraldine McLaughlin and Karen Guthrie saw Donegal go into the break just a point down.

Donegal continued their momentum going into the second-half, inside forwards McLaughlin and Guthrie sending their side ahead as Meath struggled 14 players.

The return of Mark Kate Lynch to the field of play gave Meath the boost they needed and, almost instantly, they began recover their attacking prowess of the first-half.

Orlagh Lally notched a second point to put the Royals on equal terms and a great through ball was collected by corner-forward Niamh O'Sullivan who delivered a killer-blow to Donegal as she scored Meath's second goal and put her side three points ahead.

Donegal stayed fighting and returned two points but missed several great chances to get even.

As the game hung in the balance, Vikki Wall scored from distance to keep Meath ahead as their opponents continued to miss the target.

A late Donegal free saw the sides contest for possession close to the Royals' goal but Meath held out for Division 1 glory, clasping their second National Title on the bounce.

Armagh v Kerry

Third time lucky for Kerry as they deliver Division 2 title

Kerry are the 2022 Division 2 Lidl Ladies National Football League winners, after a 1-12 to 0-12 win over Armagh in Croke Park.

Danielle O’Leary was the hero on the day for the Kingdom, as her 1-2 off the bench banished the demons of last year, as Kerry are promoted to Division 1.

Despite 0-6 from Aimee Mackin, Armagh will remain in the Division next year, but do have the ability to challenge for a title next season.

The Kingdom started with two quick fire points in the opening two minutes, to pull out an early lead with Niamh Ní Chonchuir and Aishling O’Connell both raising the white flag. 

Armagh responded with their first major chance, Eve Lavery a late substitute, pointing from close range after four minutes, before they started to get the attacks off with Caroline Marley and Blaithin Mackin kicking scores, to put them one point ahead before the 10 minute mark.

A couple of dropped short kicks at goal was all Kerry could manage after their second point, a great chance saw Erica McGlynn in front of goal but her shot rebounded off the crossbar. Armagh were not having those issues, Aimee Mackin with a close range free to make it 0-4 to 0-2 after 13 minutes.

Despite McGlynn scoring a point after the 14 minute mark, Armagh remained ahead by two before the water break as Mackin kicked another free, despite Ní Chonchuir having a goal chance in between.

Two quick points after the water break by Louise Ní Mhuircheartaigh, had Kerry back on level terms but the forward would be sent to the sin bin a minute later, picking up a yellow card for a high tackle.

Armagh took full advantage of the extra player kicking three quick scores in succession, taking the lead once more now ahead by three. McGlynn kicked her second point a minute before the hooter would sound, to cut the deficit at half time to just two points 

Mackin pushed Armagh four ahead seven minutes into the second half, kicking her third free of the afternoon. O’Leary kicked the next Kerry score minutes after coming off the bench.

But again Mackin cancelled the score out this time from play, as she was causing issues in the Kerry defence, as Armagh went back ahead by three points. She would make it a four point game with another from play after the 42 minute mark.

With Kerry facing a tough attack at one end of the Croke Park turf, at the other O’Leary found space to attack the Armagh defence and hit a low shot past Anna Carr to raise the green flag, making it a one point game after 44 minutes, 1-7 to 0-11.

Kerry looked to have found a purple patch after the goal, but another dropped ball inside saw them lose possession, Armagh took advantage attacking into the David end before Aoife Mc Coy pointed, to make it two points before the water break.

In similar fashion to the opening half, Ní Mhuircheartaigh got on the board with her third point of the afternoon, landing a free from close range, to again make it a one point game. Cait Lynch levelled the tie after 53 minutes, an unlikely scorer but a crucial one for the Kingdom.

O'Leary was a crucial impact sub for Kerry as she kicked them in front after 54 minutes, despite Armagh attacking they failed to draw level but a short range Ni Mhuircheartaigh free three minutes from time had them 1-11 to 0-12 ahead.

Just as she had done minutes earlier another late Ní Mhuircheartaigh free but Kerry three ahead, as O’Leary was again the player fouled in the build up as Armagh failed to contain her.

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Dublin v Cork

Dubs deliver against Cork at Croke Park

A strong first half display once again stood to Dublin, as they continued their unbeaten run in the 2022 Lidl Ladies Football League, with a 12-point victory over Cork at Croke Park.

Six days previously Mick Bohan's charges delivered a solid first half performance against Waterford on the way to victory over the Deise, and again at GAA Headquarters tonight, this proved to be the case.

Despite their 1-9 to 0-2 interval lead, Dublin were on the backfoot early on as Cork drew first blood with Orla Finn firing a point after just a minute for the Rebelettes.

But Dublin took control and pushed 1-3 to 0-1 ahead, just seven minutes later, with Nicole Owens grabbing their goal.

That lead was stretched to eight points, before Finn grabbed Cork's second point, with 19 minutes gone.

However, Dublin were firmly in command with a 10-point half-time cushion.

Cork were handed a life-line 10 minutes after the restart, thanks to a Libby Coppinger goal.

The 2021 beaten All-Ireland finalists never gave up and kept pressing at Dublin. Their efforts were rewarded with a second goal, with eight minutes on the clock, as Áine O'Sullivan found the net to cut the gap to eight points.

But the joy was short-lived for Shane Ronayne's side, as Hannah Tyrrell found the net from a penalty soon after to reaffirm Dublin's advantage.

Tyrrell grabbed 1-9 over the hour plus of action, as the reigning League champions continued their impressive start to the 2022 campaign.

The first half was dominated by Dublin but it was Cork who were first to strike when Orla Finn converted a second minute free.

Dublin hit 1-6 without reply after that, Tyrrell levelled the game from a free before Niamh Hetherton added a point from play to give them the lead for the first time in the sixth minute, they never looked back.

Dublin’s first goal arrived moments later when Kate Sullivan offloaded to Nicole Owens and the St Sylvester’s star rifled to the net. A further point from Owens and three successful frees from Tyrrell sent Dublin into a 1-6 to 0-1 lead at the first water break.

Finn scored her second point on the resumption, Cork’s first score in 17 minutes, before Dublin regained the ascendency with Tyrrell converting two frees. They could have been further ahead but Martina O’Brien turned Owens’ shot round the post before Sullivan scored to give Dublin a ten-point advantage at half-time.

Tyrrell pushed Dublin into a 1-11 to 0-2 lead with two points at the start of the second half and Sullivan scored her second but then Cork were handed a lifeline. Substitute Aisling Kelleher sent the ball in to the box, Abby Shiels scrambled to save it and Libby Coppinger finished the rebound to the net.

Nevertheless, Dublin responded with Tyrrell and Orlagh Nolan on target to push them 1-14 to 1-2 ahead by the final water break.

Katie Quirke scored after some patient build up before Cork’s second goal, when O’Sullivan slipped the ball past Shiels to reduce the gap to eight points, but Dublin weren’t finished yet.

Siobhán Killeen was fouled in the box, and Tyrrell scored the penalty to bring her tally to 1-9 and earn Dublin’s second win in 2022 with reigning TG4 All-Ireland champions Meath next up.

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