Irish rugby star slots into Dublin forward line with 1-5 on her first game back
Dublin 6-15 Waterford 2-12
By Aisling Clery
Hannah Tyrell marked her return to inter county football in style this afternoon as the Irish rugby international hit 1-5, as reigning All-Ireland champions Dublin convincingly defeated Waterford in Parnell Park.
In a game that was dubbed a dress rehearsal for Championship, Dublin welcomed back Olwen Carey, Siobhan Killeen, and fresh from their endeavours in Australia, Lauren Magee and Niamh McEvoy.
Waterford did get off to a quicker start and dominated early possession, Maria Delahunty hit one from play and converted a free. Early Dublin efforts skimmed wide of the post but they opened their account for 2021 with a Sinead Aherne free after Niamh Hetherton was fouled.
As Dublin upped the intensity, Tyrell proved her worth hitting four first-half points. The first was a beautiful long range exchange cross field with Niamh Hetherton and Tyrell was again on the scoresheet twice more minutes later.
Aherne converted her second free from 30 yards before Lyndsey Davey opened up a six-point gap when she found the net after a sweeping team move involved Hetherton and Siobhan Killeen.
Hetherton’s first-half efforts were rewarded with with a point of her own, while returning Killeen and Tyrell also pointed leaving nine points between the teams at the water break, 1-8 to 0-2.
Making her senior debut, Abby Shiels was comfortable in goals while Orlagh Nolan and Leah Caffrey bolstered a Dublin defence that proved difficult to break.
Dublin’s second goal began as a sweeping team move down field and with Aherne in an inch of space, the captain offloaded to Hetherton, the Clontarf player made no mistake finishing to the net to open up a 12-point lead.
Waterford steadied their ship and Eimear Fennell (2) and Delahunty brought the Munster side back into contention. The teams traded scores before the break, with Aileen Wall finding space and Delahunty firing over from short range. However, a brace of Aherne frees ensured Dublin took a nine-point lead into half time, 2-10 to 0-7.
The third quarter was a tighter affair, although Dublin did have to cope with two separate yellow cards, Aoife Kane just before half-time and Caoimhe O’Connor before the second water break but it had little impact on the champions.
Aherne raised a green flag of her own when Hetherton found her in space and as the substitutions rolled in, the scoreboard continued to tick over. Aherne (3) and Tyrell raised white flags while Delahunty and Kellyann Hogan converted for Waterford.
The game finished in a goal frenzy with five goals inside eight minutes. Orlagh Nolan and Tyrell found the net for Dublin inside a minute, Aileen Wall and substitute Kate McGrath raised green flags for the visitors. Caoimhe O’Connor signed off on the win for Dublin when she converted from the penalty spot.
Scorers – Dublin: S Aherne 1-7 (5f), H Tyrell 1-5, N Hetherton 1-1, O Nolan 1-0, L Davey 1-0, C O’Connor 1-0 (1-0 pen), L Collins 0-1, S Killeen 0-1.
Waterford: M Delahunty 0-7 (4f), A Wall 1-1, K McGrath 1-0, E Fennell 0-2, C Fennell 0-1, K Hogan 0-1.
DUBLIN: A Shiels, O Nolan, L Caffrey, O Carey, M Byrne, A Kane, L Collins, L McGinley, H Tyrell, C O’Connor, S McGrath, L Davey, N Hetherton, S Killeen, S Aherne (C)
Subs: H Leahy for M Byrne (28), M Davoren for N Hetherton (42), L Magee for S McGrath (45), H O’Neill for S Killeen (45), J Egan for S Aherne (48), N McEvoy for H Tyrell (52), L Kane for O Nolan (55), C McGuigan for L McGinley (55), S Loughran for L Davey (55).
WATERFORD: M Foran, A Mullaney, L Mulcahy, R Casey, C Fennell, K McGrath, M Wall (C), C McGrath, M Dunford, R Tobin, A Wall, K Hogan, E Fennell, M Delahunty, K Murray.
Subs: K McGrath for R Tobin (39), A Murray for E Fennell (46), L Cusack for A Mullaney (49), B McMaugh for K Hogan (49), N Power for M Wall (56), C McCarthy for C Fennell (56), R Dunphy for A Wall (56).
Donegal 2-13 Westmeath 1-7
Report By Chris McNulty
Captain Niamh McLaughlin scored early and late goals as Donegal began their Lidl Ladies NFL Division 1 campaign with a nine-point win over Westmeath.
Donegal bagged the game’s opening goal with only 16 seconds on the clock. Niamh McLaughlin, recently installed as the Donegal captain, saw her attempted pass for Geraldine McLaughlin evade its target, but it also flew past Sinead Byrne, the Westmeath goalkeeper.
Westmeath were off cue in the early exchanges, but Fiona Claffey and Sarah Dillon kept them in touch.
Katy Herron boomed over a brilliant point, but Anna Jones’ free from the ground helped to draw Westmeath back on level terms.
The experienced Karen Guthrie, with two, and Niamh McLaughlin, hit the final points of a timid opening half, with Donegal leading 1-5 to 0-5 at the changeover.
Late in the half, Jones had a sight of goal, but her low shot was saved by Aoife McColgan, with Geraldine McLaughlin having shaved a post at the other end a few minutes earlier.
Herron and Niamh Hegarty drilled points to extend Donegal’s lead, but the home side had a let off when Sarah Dillon, fed by Lorraine Duncan, riffled over the top with only McColgan to beat.
Donegal gave a debut to Cork native Shelly Twohig and the new recruit showed some tidy moments.
Geraldine McLaughlin and Niamh Hegarty opened up a five-point lead but Dillon fired off the crossbar as Westmeath stayed on their coat tails. However, the visitors had a 25-minute blank until Leona Archibold clipped to the net from a late penalty.
Termon sharp-shooter McLaughlin, making her 100th appearance for Donegal, had to be withdrawn ten minutes from the end. McLaughlin had been forced off for a short period after clashing with Byrne in the first minute.
Two Guthrie frees put Donegal ahead by double scores, 1-11 to 0-7 and, with Niamh Spellman sent to the sin bin, Westmeath were at the base of a mountain.
Teenage substitute Suzanne White, one of the emerging youngsters blooded by Tir Chonaill manager Maxi Curran, arched over a double.
Niamh McLaughlin raced clear to bag her second goal with Archibold’s penalty arriving as a mere consolation for Sean Finnegan’s team.
Scorers – Donegal: N McLaughlin 2-1, K Guthrie 0-4 (3f), G McLaughlin 0-2 (1f), K Herron 0-2, N Hegarty 0-2, S White 0-2.
Westmeath: L Archibold 1-0 (1-0 pen), A Jones 0-3 (3f), S Dillon 0-3, F Claffey 0-1
DONEGAL: A McColgan; N Carr, E McGinley, E Gallagher; A Logue, M Ryan, A Boyle-Carr; K Herron, S Twohig; B McLaughlin, N McLaughlin, N Boyle; N Hegarty, K Guthrie, G McLaughlin.
Subs: R Rodgers for Boyle-Carr (18), K McClenaghan for Ryan (24), S White for McClenaghan (47), R McCafferty for G.McLaughlin (50), K Keaney for Guthrie (58).