Monaghan and Dublin serve up early season Classic

Monaghan v Dublin - Tesco HomeGrown Ladies Football National League Division 1


When Dublin and Monaghan were drawn to play each other in Round 1 of the TESCO Homegrown National Football League it promised to be a great game but weather intervened and we were forced to wait until last weekend but it was very much worth the wait.

Monaghan started with a strong wind at their backs but it was Dublin that made the early running with Sinead Aherne and Lyndsey Davey leading the way in the full forward line and Noelle Healy and Sarah Rowe providing pace an incisiveness from the half forward line. Monaghan were first off the mark through the unlikely source of ace defender Sharon Courtney but Dublin responded through Aherne and were pushed ahead by Davey. Cora Courtney had a big influence on the game from midfield and it was her that grabbed the equaliser and that was followed by a score from Caoimhe Mohan whose influence on the game was to be much limited by the excellent Sinead Goldrick. Aherne registered another score and then Noelle Healy ran through the heart of the Monaghan defence to bury the ball into the net. It was tit for tat for much of the rest of the half as Aherne and Davey pointed for Dublin with Niamh Kindlon taking up the scoring burden for the home side. Monaghan were struggling to overcome the setback of conceding that goal but it was the combination play of their two best players on the day that brought them right back into it as Cora Courtney played a beautiful pass through to Kindlon who drilled it to the net from an acute angle leaving the sides level at half time.

Davey and Kindlon swapped scores early in the second half before Aherne made use of the wind to float a lovely free over the bar to put Dublin back into the lead. Cora Courtney then chipped in with a peach of a score from a near impossible angle but her Monaghan side were left off the hook as Noelle Healy drove at the heart of their defence in typical fashion but her shot on the run went just over the bar instead of the back of the net. Then came a significant moment in the match as Dublin’s Leah McCaffrey saw yellow as Dublin were beginning to assert their dominance with the benefit of the conditions. Aherne and Kindlon swapped points from frees and Kindlon added another from play to bring the sides level again. However, with the extra space in the forward line  Monaghan’s subdued star player, Caoimhe Mohan, suddenly burst into life with two scores from play as Monaghan could see the finish in sight but substitute Natalie Hyland provided the inspiration for Dublin with a monster pointed free from distance followed by another more straightforward effort to bring the sides back level as Monaghan were forced to hang on with Joanne Geoghegan going into the sinbin. However, Monaghan did hang on as the final whistle blew signalling a draw which was the fairest possible result for a very evenly matched set of players.

Elsewhere, in Division 2, Galway produced a masterclass as they easily disposed of Kildare whilst in Division 3 there were wins for Armagh and Leitrim.


Tesco Homegrown Ladies National Football League Division 1:


Monaghan 1-13 Dublin 1-13


Tesco Homegrown Ladies National Football League Division 2:


Kildare 0-5 Galway 2-15


Tesco Homegrown Ladies National Football League Division 3:


Armagh 3-11 Longford 1-8

Offaly 0-9 Leitrim 3-9

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