Dublin's reign continues


Women's Football Leinster and Ulster finals: The Dublin and Monaghan women footballers were celebrating last night after retaining their respective provincial titles in the TG4 All-Ireland football championship.

Dublin beat Meath by 2-13 to 1-13 in the Leinster final at Dr Cullen Park yesterday to collect their fourth successive title and cement their dominance of the province.

Monaghan also retained their Ulster title yesterday, with a 2-8 to 1-6 victory over Tyrone at St Tiernach's Park to collect their third provincial crown.

The Leinster side will now have their eyes set on trying to end their All-Ireland hoodoo, but they were made to fight for the Leinster title yesterday after a second-half rally by Meath almost saw them grab the victory.

Dublin dominated the first half and were 0-9 to 0-2 up at the interval. Dublin's chief scorer in the opening period was corner forward Mary Nevin, who registered three frees.

Bernie Finlay and Sinead Aherne both hit a brace, while Louise Kelly and Niamh Hurley both scored a point apiece.

Dublin looked to be easing to victory but Meath battled back and started to reduce the deficit. Points from Gemma Fay and a goal each by Aherne and Lynsey Davey kept Dublin's noses in front though and proved crucial at full-time.

Meath were six points adrift when Mary Sheridan scored a consolation goal in the dying seconds of the game as Dublin hung on for the win.

Monaghan had to survive a strong Tyrone challenge in Clones and were left to rue a number of missed goal chances in the opening half, after which Monaghan led by 0-6 to 0-4.

Martina Gray had to pull off a number of saves in the Monaghan goal as Tyrone appeared to have the upper hand. However, their lack of accuracy in front of the posts cost them dearly as they kicked 14 wides in total.

Tyrone suffered a blow two minutes after the restart when Cathy Donnelly was sin-binned. Her loss was not felt immediately, however, as Lynette Hughes rattled the back of the Monaghan net. The goal put them one point in front, but that was cancelled out by an Aisling Tierney point.

The game turned after 10 minutes of the second half when Monaghan scored two goals in the space of four minutes through Therese McNally and Diane Dempsey. Monaghan were then six points ahead and they never looked like allowing Tyrone back into the game.