Dublin’s double wraps up the inter-county year

Photo: Irish Independent (Seb Daly/Sportsfile)

Two weeks after Dublin’s men reclaimed the Sam Maguire, the county’s women footballers today did the LGFA equivalent by winning back the Brendan Martin Cup. They were full value for their All-Ireland win this afternoon, their sixth one ever in what was the 50th LGFA national final, as they saw off Kerry by 0-18 to 1-10 in front of a crowd of just over 45,000 at Croke Park.

On TG4’s match commentary, the word brú invariably features prominently. Right from the throw-in today, Dublin went after Kerry, applying pressure all over the pitch and this hard-working approach – which captain Carla Rowe pointed to in her after-match interview – was the bedrock for their success.

Kerry haven’t tasted an LGFA All-Ireland victory in thirty years but having dethroned back-to-back champions Meath on the way to today’s decider they were warm favourites to land their twelfth title today. But it was clear from early on that they were in bother in this one, with their star turn up front Louise Ní Mhuircheartaigh well shacked in the opening half, while Dublin largely controlled the middle third and put a real squeeze on the Kerry kickout.

Hannah Tyrell has excelled at both rugby and soccer as well as Gaelic football but, hunting her first All-Ireland medal, she had the look of a woman on a mission today. In a Player of the Match performance she shot eight first half points, four of them from play, as Dublin went in at the break seven to the good.

Kerry started the second half brighter but then a third quarter surge saw Dublin extend their lead to nine points. When Louise Ní Mhuircheartaigh – now a real handful up front – pawed the ball to the net for the game’s only major, it gave the Kingdom renewed hope but in truth the score had come too late and Dublin were relatively comfortable in how they closed out the win.

As both manager Mick Bohan and skipper Carla Rowe acknowledged afterwards, an All-Ireland title was the furthest thing from the team’s minds when the panel assembled before Christmas. With an influx of new players since the glory days, the main aim for 2023 was to make the county competitive again and there was no real expectation of national glory this year.

Dublin’s success today – coming in the wake of Meath’s bolt from nowhere when they made the breakthrough in 2021 – shows how it’s possible in LGFA to emerge without warning from the pack and claim a national title. That said, Kerry’s second successive final defeat – and, be in no doubt, this is a fine Kerry team – shows that the final step can also be a perilous one.

Seen through a Mayo lens, we can be happy enough after this year that we’re not that far off the top in the women’s game. There’s another level, of course, for us to reach if we’re to compete for glory but, after all the solid work put in over the past three years, with further hard work and perseverance there’s no reason Mayo can’t go toe-to-toe at the highest level in the coming years. Which means, of course, that the decision on who’ll succeed Michael Moyles as manager is such a crucial one.

Speaking of managers, congrats to Diane O’Hora who was on the line for Kildare at HQ today as they tasted All-Ireland success in the Intermediate final. They looked well in charge at half-time against Clare but the Banner women struck for two goals in the second half, which meant the Lilies were hanging on for dear life at the end, winning by a single point.

For Diane, it’s now All-Ireland glory as both a player and a manager. It’s an achievement she can be rightly proud of and it provided a nice Mayo angle to the day’s events at Croke Park, on an afternoon where the curtain came down on this year’s inter-county action.

5 thoughts on “Dublin’s double wraps up the inter-county year

  1. Just like in the Mens Final. Dublin Ladies were not going to let one Great player alone beat them.
    We should consider this in Mayo.

  2. Well done to the winners Dublin who were the better team but I was a bit annoyed that the ref and his assistants allowed continuous arm hooking by the Dubs that was not picked up. Also the buzzer in the ladies game prevents discretion from the ref in allowing for any time wasting. I think they need to fix both. The other thing is the defensive mindedness in that’s ruining the men’s game is creeping in. Kerry made a lot of unforced errors in the 2nd half sending in too many 50 50 and 40 60 kicks. When they look back they will be kicking themselves. Dublin’s movement and kickouts were far superior in the 1st half. Hannah Tyrell won several of her converted frees and set up at least 4 points for others along with her 4 from play, a master class from her.

  3. Congratulations! To Dublin, they were the more effective team that were better on the day against us.
    I’ve taken the defeat of the Ladies as bad as the men’s two weeks ago. Two finals lost in two different genders to the same opposition in two weeks, is tough.
    Dublin Ladies are no Meath of last year, nor Cork in their pomp. They were there to be beaten, they were effective in their arm hooking that Shane Curley let go and was strict enough enforcing punishment to this consistent strategy. No wonder Shane left the men’s football and went to the Ladies, based on this performance. We did not lose because of Shane Curley.
    We lost it ourselves. Kerry blew everybody away in the league, except our nemesis, Cork, lost to them in the Munster Final, who in turn, were well beaten by Dublin.
    The alarm bells should have been going then by the players and management. It’s hard to feel sorry for them, to lose last year is one thing, to lose in a second successive final, when it was apparent what Dublin were going to do, what mind games Bohan was doing and saying.
    As Cira Staunton stated, we play beautiful, quintessential Kerry style of football, but we were unbelievably naive in that final. We abandoned all the good things we were doing all along.
    Were still way ahead of Dublin in the Roll of Honour Records in both League and Championshio, but now, this is the end of the line for our management team, they lost it on the line too.
    Let Dublin press up on us, we were not aggressive enough, stood back and admired the Dublin players, brutal marking, last of free pocket / space kick utilisation. Our goalkeeper, very good, lost us 4 points alone with her suicidal kick outs. She’s always been bad at those. We were too predictable in playing it into Louise.
    The Ladies game is more honest, more cut and dry than the men’s game. The buzzer is superb, no bullshit, none of this at the referee’s discretion shit = corruption, many games down through the decades having sadly been unfairly decided this way.
    Louise Ní Muírhítígh, one of the greatest players to play the Ladies game in the last 15 years, is sure to retire, with 3 others I think.
    Last Sunday was such a rare and glorious chance in bridging a 30 year gap, imagine that! In Kerry, of having not won the Brendan Martin Cup, back in the days where we had the untouchable Mary Jo Curran, a player, whose records will never be beaten. Different era.

    I cannot forsee this Keery Ladies team back in another All-Ireland Final for many years to come. I was heartbroken for them, and I was angry at them and management. The naivety was astounding. Chance gone now.

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