Gregory McGonigle’s Dublin will face Westmeath in the TG4 Leinster Ladies SFC final on July 10 – in what will be a repeat of last year’s provincial decider, writes Jackie Cahill.
Westmeath booked their place in the Leinster final by defeating Laois on a 2-12 to 1-11 scoreline on Sunday, as the round-robin fixtures were completed.
Early goals from Leona Archibold and Maud-Annie Foley had wind-assisted Westmeath off to a cracking start in Timahoe.
The game threw in 12pm to accommodate the Republic of Ireland’s Euro 2016 clash with France and Laois put up a spirited display to increase hopes that a revival may be on the cards after a difficult couple of seasons.
Noirin Kirwan’s goal hauled Laois back into contention and at half-time, the hosts trailed by 1-4 to 2-6 before turning to play with the breeze.
Laois were denied by the woodwork twice in the second half as they chased down the Lake County but Westmeath held on to ensure another showdown with the Dubs next month.
On Saturday, Dublin romped to a big victory over Meath – 3-19 to 2-4 in Summerhill.
Jenny Rispin bagged two goals for Meath, one in each half, but Dublin were in command from start to finish.
The Sky Blues were 0-4 to 0-0 clear before Rispin netted but Dublin, aiming for a fifth successive Leinster crown this summer, hit back to lead by 1-12 to 1-1 at half-time.
Niamh McEvoy scored Dublin’s goal midway through the first half and the visitors added further goals in the second half from Carla Rowe and Nicole Owens.
The Munster final will also take place on July 10 and it will be another Kerry-Cork decider.
Sarah Houlihan led the way with 1-6 for Kerry as the Kingdom saved Cork’s bacon on Saturday.
Kerry ran out 1-14 to 1-7 winners against Waterford in Brosna - a result that confirmed Cork's renewed interest in the provincial competition.
Cork were sweating on their final place in a three-team round-robin group but despite losing to Kerry last time out, the Rebelettes are through in second place as Waterford suffered a second defeat.
Cork beat Waterford in the first round and that was ultimately good enough for the All-Ireland champions to reach the Munster final.
Kerry scored their second championship victory of the season in comfortable fashion against the visiting Déise.
Houlihan was the undoubted star of the show, all but one point of her tally contributed from play, as Jane Lynch landed three points for the home side.
Kerry had seven different scorers on target over the hour but in contrast, Waterford were heavily reliant on Sinead Delahunty’s free-taking.
Match-winner in the Lidl Division 3 League final replay victory over Tipperary, Delahunty clipped over six of her seven points from frees but Michelle Ryan, with a first half goal, was Waterford’s only other scorer on the day.
Kerry were 1-8 to 1-3 clear at half-time and bar a sticky patch midway through the first half, were in control of proceedings.
Delahunty did point Waterford into an early lead, a free, but Kerry took over to register 1-5 without reply.
Kerry would finish the game with 14 players when substitute Anna Galvin was sin-binned in the final minute but the result was never in doubt by then.