All Ireland Senior Semi-Final

All Ireland Senior Semi-Final
St. Marys, Ardee.
(Michael Forde Leinster PRO)
Dublin 2-14 Monaghan 1-15

Sinéad Ahern’s personal tally of one goal and nine points (three from play) catapulted Dublin in to Croke Park on September the 27th for the first time in Five years, when they defeated a determined Monaghan side in front of a large crowd in St. Mary’s GAA club, Ardee,on Saturday last.
With the attractive carrot of , not just a place in the TG4 all Ireland senior final on offer, but also the challenge of taking on Cork in the final, dangling in front of these two great sides, they kept their supporters and mentors sitting on the edge of their seats until the final hooter blew to signal victory for the Dubs.
However Dublin’s celebrations were short lived as Dublin trainer Jim Kielty brought the girls back to Earth, with a long warm down routine, No need for plan ‘B’ here.
The sides were level four times in the game, with the Jackies playing catch up on each occasion, until the twenty fifth minute when Aherne tagged on probably the most important points in her career to date, to put the game beyond the Monaghan side.
Dublin played against a very strong breeze in the first half, and were six points adrift at the end of the first quarter (0-3 to 1-6), and in fairness to Monaghan they had the Dublin side in the palm of their hand for the first twenty minutes, with a brace of points from Ciara McAnespie, Niamh Kindlon, and Edel Byrne with Ellen McCarron hitting the back of Cliondha O’Connors net in the eight minute of the half, the Farney back line were also in top form keeping the Dubs to just three points, two from frees, in the same period.
At this stage of the game the Jackies needed their big players to step up to the mark if they were to progress, and with six minutes remaining on the clock, Sinead Aherne pop up with two points quickly followed by a well executed goal from the boot of Lyndsey Davey to close the gap to three points (1-9 to 1-6) on the stroke of half time.
Dublin were living dangerously in the third quarter as the Farney’s moved in to a four point lead, Davey and Amy McGuinness notched up a point apiece to keep the Jackies in touch, Lyndsey Peat forced a great save from Monaghan keeper Linda Martin, while Cliondha O’Connor was ever alert to push over a goal bound shot from Ella Hackett.
The turning point for Dublin came in the forty second minute of the game when Linda Martin’s short hand pass was intercepted by Aherne, and the St. Sylvesters club player made no mistake, rifling the ball to the back of Martin’s net, Niamh Hurley added a crucial point to level the scores as the game moved in to the final quarter.
All bets were off at this stage, as both teams were fully focused on the finish line, Monaghan went ahead with a point apiece from Aoife McAnespie and Catriona McConnell, Dublin’s response came from the accurate boot of Sinead Aherne to level the scores (1-15 to 2-12) for the fourth time in the game. Dublin’s top scorer Sinead Aherne broke Monaghan hearts when she added a further two points to book Dublin’s place in the 2009 TG4 all Ireland senior final.
Leinster President Sean McMullin presented Dublin defender Siobhan McGrath with the player of the match trophy.
Dublin Team: Cliondha O’Connor, Avril Cluxton, Noelle Comyn, Marie Kavanagh, Colleen Barrett, Sorcha Furlong, Siobhan McGrath, Denise Masterson ( C ), Niamh McEvoy, Mary Nevin (0-10, Amy McGuinness (0-10, Kim Flood, Lyndsey Davey (1-2), Sinéad Aherne (1-9), Lyndsey Davey (1-2). Subs: Elaine Kelly for Niamh McEvoy, Niamh Hurley (0-1) for Mary Nevin, Noelle Healy for Kim Flood.
Monaghan Team: Linda Martin, Yvonne Connell, Sharon Courtney (capt) Christina Reilly, Aoife Mc Anaspie 0-1, Fiona Courtney, Lavina Connolly, Amanda Casey, Elanna Hackett 0-1, Cathriona Mc Connell 0-2, Edel Byrne 0-3, Nicola Fahy 0-1, Ciara Mc Anaspie 0-2, Niamh Kindlon 0-2, Ellen Mc Carron 1-2 Subs: Grainne Mc Nally, Natasha Mohan 0-2, Therese Mc Nally, Isobel Kearns.
Referee: Declan Corcoran (Mayo).

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