Bord Gáis Energy Ladies NFL round-up.
By Jackie Cahill
DEFENDING champions Cork lost out to Dublin in the Bord Gáis Energy Ladies National Football League for a third successive season as the Sky Blues won by three points in Fermoy on Sunday. The Jackies gained some measure of revenge for last year’s All-Ireland final defeat against Cork as they secured a 1-12 to 3-3 win.
Dublin, who won in the Bord Gáis Energy National league against Cork in Portmarnock last year and Mallow in 2008, had Noelle Healy to thank for an opportunistic first half goal which ultimately proved the difference between the two sides. After rattling the five-in-a-row winners in last September’s All-Ireland final, Dublin are touted as the main challengers to Cork’s Bord Gáis National League and All-Ireland crowns but the Rebelettes are notoriously slow starters in recent seasons.
Cork, however, will not have wanted to lose to one of their biggest rivals so early in the year while Dublin travelled back to the capital with fresh optimism after this success.
The sides were level at half-time, 1-6 to 2-3, as corner forward Valerie Mulcahy bagged two first half goals for Cork.
But in the second half, Cork managed just a goal from Deirdre O’Reilly as Dublin, led by Healy and Sinéad Aherne in attack, kicked on for a noteworthy win.
In Division 2, Kildare overwhelmed Meath in Celbridge as the Lilywhites collected a 2-17 to 2-7 success. Kildare, relegated from Division 1 last season, raced into an early five point lead and responded comfortably to Meath forward Elaine Duffy’s goal to lead by 1-10 to 1-1 at half time. Five of Kildare’s six starting forwards registered first half scores and Siobhán Hurley completed the set after half-time as the home side surged to victory. Brigetta Lynch grabbed a consolation goal for Meath but Kildare would not be denied a first ever win against the Royals in the Bord Gáis Energy National League.
In Division 3, Cavan defeated Ulster rivals Fermanagh for the second successive league season with a 2-9 to 2-2 victory at Brewster Park in Enniskillen. The visitors restricted Fermanagh to just a goal in the first half, scored by Imelda McGovern, as Aisling Doonan and Clara terrorised their opponents. Doonan scored 1-3 and Reilly added 1-1 as the Breffni girls led by 2-5 to 1-0 at half-time. Reilly added two more second half points while a brilliant goal scored by Caroline Little added some gloss to the scoreboard from a Fermanagh perspective.
In Division 4, last year’s beaten All-Ireland junior finalists Limerick emerged from Stabannon with a 2-2 to 1-2 victory against hosts Louth.
Clodagh Reidy scored Limerick’s first half goal as the sides were deadlocked at 1-2 apiece at half-time before Sheila Moynihan scored the crucial second goal for the Shannonsiders five minutes from time.
Bord Gáis Energy Ladies NFL Division 1:
Cork 3-3 Dublin 1-12
Laois 2-8 Mayo 0-12
Tyrone 1-5 Monaghan 3-13
Kerry 1-9 Galway 1-10
Bord Gáis Energy Ladies NFL Division 2:
Donegal 4-12 Down 3-4
Sligo 1-10 Tipperary 1-8
Kildare 2-17 Meath 2-7
Bord Gáis Energy Ladies NFL Division 3:
Cavan 2-9 Fermanagh 2-2
Wicklow 0-3 Waterford 4-12
Bord Gáis Energy Ladies NFL Division 4:
Louth 1-2 Limerick 2-2
Leitrim 7-15 Offaly 3-2