By Jackie Cahill at Parnell Park, Dublin
Dublin 2-16 Armagh 2-5
Gregory McGonigle’s Dublin cruised into a second successive TG4 All-Ireland ladies senior football final meeting with Cork by scoring a comfortable victory over Armagh at Parnell Park this afternoon.
The Sky Blues ran out eleven-point winners to set up a potential revenge mission against the Rebelettes on September 27 at Croke Park.
Cork were 10 points behind in the final quarter of last year’s All-Ireland final clash between the sides before Eamonn Ryan’s holders produced an incredible comeback to lift the Brendan Martin Cup again.
But Dublin showed enough against Armagh to suggest that they can make life difficult for Cork again in three weeks time.
Dublin had the hard work done in the first half as they defended in numbers and attacked with real purpose.
Their hard-running game proved too much for Armagh to cope with as James Daly’s charges suffered a second successive All-Ireland semi-final defeat.
But Dublin supremo McGonigle knows there’s plenty to improve on as the Leinster champions registered 13 wides over the course of the hour.
Both teams made changes before throw-in, with Armagh having plan without the services of injured full-back Caoimhe Morgan.
Marian McGuinness stepped in on the edge of the square as Aoife Lennon replaced Aoife McCoy in attack.
For Dublin, there were also two changes in personnel, with the excellent Hannah Noonan and Kim Flood listed in place of Fiona Hudson and Nicole Owens.
And it was Dublin who got off to a blistering start after just eight seconds, when Niamh McEvoy struck the game’s opening point.
Within ten minutes, they were five points clear before captain Lyndsey Davey netted in the 12th minute to open up an eight-point advantage.
Armagh were given a glimmer of hope when captain and 2014 Player of the season Caroline O’Hanlon netted a 14th minute goal to open the Orchard County’s attack.
But they would manage just a point for the remainder of the half, scored by teen sensation Aimee Mackin, as Dublin kept their opponents comfortably at arm’s length in front of a large home contingent.
Dublin led by eight points three times in the opening half and Carla Rowe’s fourth point ensured that margin separated the sides at the break, with Dublin ahead by 1-9 to 1-1.
They moved ten points clear with points from Amy Connolly and Noonan after the break before Armagh hit three without reply to reduce the gap.
Kelly Mallon scored two of those, the second a consolation score in effect after Noonan did brilliantly to keep out Mackin’s goalbound effort.
As the game petered out in the final ten minutes, Armagh grabbed a consolation goal from Mackin but Dublin’s response was immediate.
Within a minute, Sarah McCaffrey, sister of county footballer Jack, rattled home a brilliant goal for Dublin.
Skipper Davey led by example with a haul of 1-2, with Rowe and player of the match Noelle Healy each contributing four points.
Scorers for Dublin: L Davey 1-2, C Rowe (1f) & N Healy 0-4 each, S McCaffrey 1-0, A Connolly 0-2, S Goldrick, N McEvoy, H Noonan & O Leonard 0-1 each.
Scorers for Armagh: A Mackin 1-1, C O’Hanlon 1-0, K Mallon & F McKenna 0-2 each.
DUBLIN: C Trant; O Carey, M Ní Scanaill, H Noonan; S Furlong, S Finnegan, C Barrett; M Lamb, S Goldrick; N Healy, A Connolly, C Rowe; N McEvoy, L Davey, K Flood.
Subs: S McCaffrey for Flood (41), N Collins for Barrett (47), O Leonard for McEvoy (51), L Collins for Lamb (55), N Owens for Noonan (59).
ARMAGH: K Daly; M Tennyson, M McGuinness, T McCoy; S Reel, S McCleary, N Marley; C Malone, C O’Hanlon; A Lennon, K Mallon, L McConville; S Marley, F McKenna, A Mackin.
Subs: A McCoy for Malone (34), A Henderson for Lennon (36), S Grey for McGuinness (46), Catherine Marley for Mallon (51).
Referee: G Carmody (Mayo).