By Jackie Cahill
Dublin are TG4 Leinster ladies senior football champions for the sixth successive season.
The Sky Blues demolished Westmeath by 3-18 to 0-8 in Sunday’s provincial decider at Netwatch Cullen Park in Carlow.
Mick Bohan’s charges had the damage done in the first half, as they established a 3-8 to 0-3 interval lead.
Dublin notched early scores from Noelle Healy and Carla Rowe, before Fiona Claffey opened Westmeath’s account in the ninth minute.
But the Lake County wouldn’t score again for 12 minutes and by then, they were 0-1 to 1-5 adrift.
Dublin’s opening goal arrived in the 17th minute, Healy on target, and the Jackies pushed on to establish a 14-point interval lead.
Lauren Magee scored their second goal six minutes before the break and it was effectively game over when Healy struck again in stoppage time.
Dublin were content to keep the scoreboard ticking over in the second half, as Bohan took the opportunity to run his bench.
Hannah O’Neill was one of the players introduced for Dublin, to make her championship debut, on what was a wholly satisfying afternoon for Bohan and his backroom team.
Dublin had blasted out an ominous statement of intent with a massive semi-final win against Laois – and further cemented their status as one of the favourites for Brendan Martin Cup glory in September.
They’re now straight through to a quarter-final, but Westmeath must head for the qualifiers and a date with Ulster outfit Armagh.
Healy top-scored for Dublin with a 2-3 haul, as Magee added 1-1, but the winners had nine different scorers on the day.
Dublin scorers: Noelle Healy 2-03, Lauren Magee 1-01, Sinead Aherne 0-4(1f), Carla Rowe 0-03, Nicole Owens 0-02, Denise McKenna 0-2(1f), Rachel Ruddy 0-01, Niamh McEvoy 0-01, Niamh Collins 0-01
Westmeath scorers: Fiona Claffey 0-02, Laura Lee Walsh 0-02(1f), Leona Archibald 0-02(1f), Lucy McCartan 0-01, Maud Annie Foley 0-01,