Women’s Gaelic football round-up: Dublin begin title defence with a win

Metropolitans get down to business with emphatic victory over outgunned Waterford

Dublin star Martha Byrne says the reigning Lidl National Football League Division One champions are targeting silverware on both fronts after an opening 4-7 to 1-4 victory over Waterford.

Meath famously defeated Mick Bohan’s side in last year’s TG4 All-Ireland Senior Championship final, and in their first game since then, Dublin were comfortable winners at Fraher Field in Dungarvan.

Caoimhe O'Connor, Jennifer Dunne, Siobhán Killeen and Hannah Leahy cancelled out the second-half consolation goal from Emma Murray.

“We are really buzzed to get on the road, we wanted to set down a marker here today,” said Byrne. “We are going after the league, we are going after the championship, we are really hungry to get back at it again.

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“There’s so much energy in the group and we want to get out there again and put wins behind us and keep going for it.”

Meath and Cork opened this year's league, and the other tie in Division 1B was competitive right until the end where Emma Cleary gave Cork the lead only for Emma Duggan and Orlagh Lally to score two vital goals late on.

Meath were victorious on a 2-7 to 1-8 scoreline at Páirc Tailteann in Navan and their manager Eamonn Murray explained how his county are still basking in last September's fairytale success.

“To see the guard of honour and us running out, that’s very emotional,” said Murray. “I waited a long time to see that. This means a lot, not just to young people but to older people too. No matter what house I go into, they are all excited about it.”

Donegal got the better of Galway, 0-10 to 0-7, in Ballybofey in Division 1A on Saturday evening. Geraldine McLaughlin shone up front for the hosts but their manager Maxi Curran warned against any early-season complacency.

“It’s very important to keep perspective here, it’s still the second week of February,” said Curran.

Mayo were comprehensive winners at the Connacht GAA Centre of Excellence in the other game in that group. Maria Reilly (two), Shauna Howley, Sinéad Cafferky, Sinéad Walsh, Laura Moran and Ava Keane all found the net in a 7-22 to 1-12 win over Westmeath at the Air Dome.

Kerry beat last year’s relegated outfit Tipperary, 0-11 to 1-4 in Division 2A. Elsewhere, Laois beat Clare 2-12 to 2-7. Monaghan were 0-10 to 0-9 winners against Cavan and Armagh beat Tyrone 5-9 to 1-10 in Division 2B.

In Division 3 there were wins for Down, Kildare and Longford while Sligo and Louth drew. Leitrim, Antrim, Offaly and Limerick won their Division 4 ties.