Dublin 3-15 Meath 2-9
Ace forward Sinead Aherne scored nine points as Dublin claimed a comfortable nine-point victory in today’s Bord Gáis Energy Ladies National Football League Division 2 final.
Aherne, player of the match in last year’s senior All-Ireland decider, was a pre-match injury doubt but started the showpiece Parnell Park decider in place of Siobhan Woods.
And St Sylvester’s star Aherne more than justified her inclusion with her match-winning haul, which included six frees.
Amy Ring, Olivia Leonard and Lyndsey Davey scored Dublin’s goals in this dress rehearsal for the forthcoming Leinster semi-final against Meath.
Dublin, who also had centre forward Elaine Kelly in free scoring form, were rarely troubled against their provincial rivals.
Centre forward Geraldine Doherty hit 1-4 from play for the Royal County as corner forward Vivienne McCormack chipped in with 1-2, the goal coming from a penalty in the 55th minute.
That successful effort cut Dublin’s lead to six points, 2-14 to 2-8, but Davey’s goal in the 60th minute put the icing on the cake for the Jackies, who collected a second Division 2 title in five seasons.
The sides were level twice in the early stages but once pre-match favourites Dublin stepped on the gas, Meath struggled to compete against the All-Ireland senior champions.
Amy Ring’s well-taken goal in the 18th minute handed Dublin a 1-5 to 0-3 lead and some breathing space, before Olivia Leonard netted five minutes later after Aherne’s initial effort was kept out by Meath netminder Irene Munnelly.
In the 25th minute, Kate O’Brien came close to goaling for Meath but her fierce shot crashed off the crossbar and over, with Dublin going on to lead by eight points at half-time, 2-7 to 0-5.
Dublin corner back Sinead Goldrick claimed the player of the match award as part of a formidable Sky Blue defence.
Dublin, relegated last year, and Meath will both operate in Division 1 of next year’s Bord Gáis Energy Ladies National Football League.
Scorers for Dublin: S Aherne 0-9 (6f), E Kelly 0-4, L Davey, O Leonard & A Ring 1-0 each, N Healy & L Peat 0-1 each.
Scorers for Meath: G Doherty 1-4, V McCormack 1-2 (1-0 pen), K O’Brien, F Mahon (f) & E Duffy (f), 0-1 each.
DUBLIN: C O’Connor; S Goldrick, J O’Sullivan, A McKenna; G Fay, S Furlong, S McGrath; D Masterson, N McEvoy; L Davey, E Kelly, N Healy; S Aherne, O Leonard, A Ring.
Subs: L Peat for McEvoy (33), M Nevin for Leonard (36), S Woods for Ring (53), G O’Malley for McKenna (60+1), S McEvoy for Goldrick (temp, 60+4).
MEATH: I Munnelly; K Allen, E Rahill, A Murray; O Sheridan, S Bennett, B Lynch; K O’Brien, F Mahon; G Nulty, G Doherty, E Duffy; J Rispin, M Sheridan, V McCormack.
Subs: C O’Shaughnessy for Duffy (h.t.), A Carolan for Rispin (50), P Sheridan for Rahill (60+2).
Referee: Michael John O’Keeffe (Cork).