Mayo’s full-forward line shoot the lights out against Donegal
Reigning All-Ireland champions Dublin hammer Monaghan to also make quarter-finals
Mayo’s Grace Kelly gets her shot away as Deirdre Foley of Donegal closes in during the TG4 All-Ireland Ladies SFC match at Bord Na Mona O’Connor Park in Tullamore, Offaly. Photograph: Ben McShane/Sportsfile
Mayo 1-22 Donegal 3-12
The magnificent full-forward line of Grace Kelly, Rachel Kearns and Sarah Rowe came up trumps for Mayo at O’Connor Park in Tullamore as they claimed top spot in Group 4 of the TG4 All-Ireland SFC with a deserved triumph over Donegal.
Between them, the outstanding attacking trio registered a combined haul of 1-20 to give Peter Leahy’s side a safe passage in the quarter-finals.
Karen Gutherie with 2-4 and Geraldine McLaughlin, who scored 1-6, led the Donegal resistance, but they miss out on second place in the table to northern rivals Tyrone.
While McLaughlin traded an early point with Grace Kelly, Mayo soon established a foothold through Kelly’s sister Niamh and Rowe.
Yet, it was a scoring blitz either side of the first-quarter mark that brought the Donegal challenge to life.
Supplementing Gutherie’s superbly-taken goal on 11 minutes, McLaughlin added a brace of scores to propel the Ulster champions into the driving seat.
Unanswered efforts from Grace Kelly (two), Kearns (two) and Rowe subsequently got Mayo back into the groove.
However, it was Donegal who had the final say in the opening period. With Mayo netminder Aisling Tarpey out of position, McLaughlin smashed the net to give her side a 2-6 to 0-10 interval cushion.
Consecutive points for Gutherie and McLaughlin significantly improved their prospects on the resumption, but a resilient Mayo spectacularly turned the tables on their opponents with a powerful scoring blitz.
Grace Kelly (three) and Rowe (two) bolstered their personal tallies and even though Gutherie interrupted this scoring sequence at the far end, Donegal couldn’t halt the momentum of a rampant Mayo.
A Rowe free restored their advantage on 43 minutes and with Grace Kelly and Kearns proving to be a constant thorn in Donegal’s side, they moved five points clear at 0-21 to 2-10 inside the closing quarter.
Kearns’s palmed finish looked set to ease Mayo over the line, until Gutherie pounced for her second goal in the dying stages.
A square ball denied Gutherie a hat-trick with two minutes remaining on the clock and this effectively ended Donegal’s Brendan Martin Cup hopes for 2019.
MAYO: A Tarpey; N O’Malley, R Flynn, Ciara McManamon; D Caldwell, C Whyte, E Ronayne; Clodagh McManamon, D Finn; S Cafferky, F Doherty, N Kelly (0-1); G Kelly (0-8, four frees), R Kearns (1-3, three frees), S Rowe (0-9, four frees).
Subs: K Sullivan for Flynn (7 mins), L Cafferky (0-1) for Doherty (39), E Needham for Whyte (53), N Moran for Clodagh McManamon (59).
DONEGAL: A McColgan; D Foley, E McGinley, K Keeney; N Carr, T Doherty, E Gallagher; K Herron, Nicole McLaughlin; N Boyle, A Boyle Carr (0-1), Niamh McLaughlin (0-1); G McLaughlin (1-6, three frees), K Gutherie(2-4, three frees), N Hegarty.
Subs: S McGroddy for McGinley (45 mins), AM McGlynn for Boyle (52), M Ryan for Keeney (53).
Dublin 3-20 Monaghan 0-4
Reigning champions Dublin safely made their way through to the TG4 All-Ireland quarter-finals by comprehensively beating Monaghan to top Group 2 after a one-sided affair at Parnell Park.
The ease of their navigation from the group will both delight and worry Dublin manager Mick Bohan in equal measures.
The lack of a test may be of concern down the line but for now, having taken care of Waterford by 18 points and Monaghan by 25, they ooze confidence with that scoring ability.
Dublin captain Sinéad Aherne returned in place of fellow Sylvester’s forward Niamh McEvoy, who was ruled out with injury, and she produced a stunning performance which yielded 1-11.
Having shipped seven goals a week previously, Monaghan set up with defensive approach, with Aoife McAnespie playing a sweeping role.
That meant Louise Kerley at full forward was isolated for the majority of the contest and led to Monaghan struggling to find scores, managing just a couple of points in each half.
Dublin’s further riches were apparent when star forward Nicole Owens injured herself in the warm-up and Carla Rowe came in to replace her. Rowe was in fine form and ended the first half with a terrific score to make it 1-12 to 0-2 at the break, with the goal coming from a penalty by Aherne.
Kerley landed the first point upon the resumption for Niall Treanor’s Monaghan side but there would be no comeback as Aherne landed three of the next four scores and Sinéad Goldrick also came forward to point.
Dublin substitute Caoimhe O’Connor firmly put the tie to rest in a breathtaking cameo off the bench, with a brace of goals. Daughter of the Dublin kitman Willie, she struck for her first championship goals as the reigning champions ran out comfortable winners.
Dublin now face Kerry or Westmeath in a mouth-watering contest next weekend. Meanwhile Monaghan, will need to regroup for a relegation battle.
DUBLIN: C Trant; M Byrne, N Collins, É Rutledge; A Kane (0-1), S Goldrick (0-1), O Carey; L Magee, N Hetheron; C Rowe (0-2), S McGrath, L Davey (0-1); N Healy (0-1) , S Aherne (1-11 , seven frees, 1-0 pen), O Whyte (0-2).
Subs: J Dunne for Magee, R Ruddy for Collins, C O’Connor (2-0) for Whyte (all h/t), E McDonagh (0-1) for Goldrick (47 mins), H O’Neill for Healy (48).
MONAGHAN: B Tierney; H McSkane, S Boyd, C McBride; N Kerr, E Woods, S Coyle; A McCarey, E McAnespie; N McGuirk, C Treanor (0-1), R Courtney; A McAnespie, L Kerley (0-3, two frees), C McAnespie.
Subs: H Kingham for N Kerr (28 mins), R Hughes for McSkane (42), Orla Maguire for Courtney (48) N Kerr for Woods (51), McSkane for McGuirk (59).
Referee: Kevin Phelan (Laois).
Referee: Stephen McNulty (Wicklow).