DUBLIN are back in the TG4 All-Ireland Ladies SFC final for the first time since 2004 following a thrilling semi-final victory over Monaghan at St Mary’s GAA club, Ardee, Co. Louth, on Saturday.
Dublin’s victory over last year’s beaten finalists has set up an attractive September 27 showdown with all-conquering Cork, who are chasing a fifth successive title.
Ten minutes after half-time, Dublin trailed by four points, 1-13 to 1-9, but they were the stronger team for the remainder of the game and deservedly clinched victory.
Siobhán McGrath won the player of the match award for a fine defensive display while Sinéad Ahern shot 1-9 for the Dubs.
Monaghan led 1-9 to 1-6 at half-time, having scored their only goal after just seven minutes when Ellen McCarron looped a shot to the net after taking a pass from the influential Edel Byrne.
Monaghan went on to lead by eight points, 1-9 to 0-4, after 24 minutes but, less than a minute before half-time, Lyndsey Davey dragged Dublin back into contention with a superb goal, after being set up by my McGuinness.
Monaghan managed to keep Dublin at arm’s length for the early stages of the second half but goalkeeper Linda Martin’s stray handpass was pounced upon by the deadly Ahern in the 42nd minute for Dublin’s second goal.
Substitute Niamh Hurley brought Dublin level at 2-10 to 1-13 before experienced Monaghan hit back to regain a two-point advantage.
The game was up for grabs in the last ten minutes and Dublin stepped up to the plate, with four unanswered Ahern points securing a famous victory for the Leinster champions.
Scorers for Monaghan: E McCarron 1-2, N Kindlon 0-3, E Byrne 0-3, C McAnespie 0-3, C McConnell 0-2 (1f), E Hackett 0-1, N Mohan 0-1.
Scorers for Dublin: S Ahern 1-9 (0-7f), L Davey 1-1, L Peat 0-1, A McGuinness 0-1, M Nevin 0-1, N Hurley 0-1.
MONAGHAN: L Martin; Y Connell, S Courtney, C O’Reilly; A McAnespie, F Courtney, L Connolly; A Casey, I Kierans; C McConnell, E Byrne, N Fahy; C McAnespie, N Kindlon, E McCarron.
DUBLIN: C O’Connor; A Cluxton, N Comyn, M Kavanagh; C Barrett, S Furlong, S McGrath; D Masterson, N McEvoy; M Nevin, A McGuinness, K Flood; L Davey, S Ahern, L Peat.
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