Dublin held off a stiff challenge from Monaghan to prevail in their TG4 All-Ireland Ladies SFC quarter-final at St Tiernach’s Park in Clones this afternoon.
Leading by six points, 1-7 to 0-4, at half-time, last year’s beaten All-Ireland finalists saw that advantage shrink to just two by the 43rd minute as Monaghan came out for the second period with renewed vigour.
Dublin settled again, however, with points from Amy Connolly, Lyndsey Davey, Niamh McEvoy and Hannah Noonan to give themselves breathing space once more. To their credit, Monaghan never gave in and Caitríona McConnell and Cora Courtney helped to bring them back to within two again as the game entered its final minute. Dublin won the resultant kickout, though, with the ball worked to inspirational captain Davey, whose perfect pass allowed Niamh Collins to get the clinching score.
While Monaghan had home advantage, in Dublin’s favour was the fact that their manager Gregory McGonigle was previously in charge of the Farney Women and the visitors scorched into a 0-4 to 0-0 lead in the opening quarter. Carla Rowe – named at wing-back but moved into attack as part of pre-throw-in alterations, kicked two good frees with Davey and Connolly also on target.
Bar a Courtney goal chance which was well saved by Ciara Trant, Monaghan struggled to create opportunities early on but got going through points from McConnell and Ellen McCarron.
Dublin were firmly in the groove, however, and they pushed on again. Connolly and Nicole Owens made it 0-6 to 0-2 and, while McConnell replied with a long-range point for Monaghan, Rowe then struck for a goal after Davey’s run and pass.
That left it 1-6 to 0-3 and, though McConnell replied with a free, just before half-time Monaghan’s hopes suffered a blow as they lost attacker Caoimhe Mohan to a nasty injury. Noelle Healy fisted a late point to give Dublin a 1-7 to 0-4 advantage but, upon the resumption, the Ulster side were revitalised had scores from Fiona Lafferty, Courtney (two) and McConnell.
At the other end, Martin denied Kim Flood, but Dublin finally ended their scoring drought when Niamh McEvoy pointed and that set them going once more. Monaghan battled hard, but Dublin had enough in them to move on to a semi-final meeting with Armagh.
Scorers for Dublin: C Rowe 1-2, L Davey 0-3, A Connolly 0-3 (0-1f), N Owens, N McEvoy, H Noonan, N Healy, N Collins 0-1 each.
Scorers for Monaghan: C McConnell 0-8 (0-3f), E McCarron, C Courtney 0-2 each, F Lafferty 0-1.
DUBLIN: C Trant; O Carey, M Ní Scanaill, F Hudson; C Barrett, S Finnegan, S Furlong; M Lamb, S Goldrick; N Healy, N Owens, C Rowe; A Connolly, L Davey, N McEvoy.
Subs: K Flood for Owens (39), H Noonan for Lamb (47), S McCaffrey for Connolly (52), L Collins for Hudson, N Collins for Barrett (both 55).
MONAGHAN: L Martin; C McDermott, S Courtney, G McNally; A McAnespie, N Fahy, E McAnespie; E McElroy, F Lafferty; C Courtney, L McEnaney, C Mohan; C McAnespie, E McCarron, C McConnell.
Subs: T Scott for Mohan (30), A Casey for McEnaney (38), R McKenna for Lafferty (50).
Referee: S Joy (Kerry).