Monday 24 October 2016

no picnic as jackies take ticket to final

Holders progress following tough challenge from O'Moore County

TWISTING roads to Timahoe. The pretty village offered a slice of rural Sunday splendour. The ideal spot for dancing at the crossroads.

On the radio that morning, Dublin manager, Gregory McGonigle, had been on 98FM's 'Now, That's What I Call Sport' with Stephen Doyle.

It would have been a good day for Dana to be giving the weather forecast.

Thunder and lightning in the capital. Sunshine and showers in Laois.


Timahoe possess a tidy venue. And a friendly people. At half-time, there was delicious brown bread straight from the oven, and butter direct from the creamery.

The host club have five players on the starting 15. And two more on the bench. It was their third match in the TG4 Leinster Senior Championship.

Dublin had received a bye to the semi-final. And after this 1-17 to 1-7 win, they'll play Westmeath in the Leinster final on Sunday week.

They'll be glad of the decent test they got here. Laois carved some purposeful pockets.

They weren't afraid to run at the Dublin back door, and they were well able to hold possession.

In the end, the ten-point deficit didn't do their efforts justice. But they'll take much from the hour. The county, and indeed the sport, misses the graceful presence of Tracey Lawlor.

Yet Laois had many noble contributions to ponder. One of the best came from Noirin Kirwan. She produced a peach of a point at the start of the second half.

Aine Haberlin was also prominent, and the captain, Laura Marie Maher, had many bright moments.

So too did the full-forward, Martina Dunne, who e-mailed over a beauty on 46 minutes.

Dublin's skipper, Lyndsey Davey hit four points from play. So did the impressive Kim Flood.

Kim sent over an elegant first half point with the outside of her right foot, measured with a ruler borrowed from Louis Copeland.

Carla Rowe was her energetic self. She also scored four points, two from frees.

Sarah McCaffrey struck three tidy points, while Fiona Hudson excelled at the back. Fiona read the play well. She was breaking up moments of danger and bursting clear of the traffic.

Referee, Colm McManus, let the traffic flow. For the toss of coin, he asked Lyndsey Davey to call. It is always Harps for the Skerries Superstar, and the coin obliged her request.

The Leinster champions attacked the pavilion end in the opening period. They had four points on the electronic scoreboard within the opening four minutes.

Yet Laois came more and more into the tussle. And a well-worked, and taken, Maher goal lifted their mood on 19 minutes.

They almost had a second goal on the half-hour when Joyce Dunne scampered clear. But Ciara Trant made a tremendous save.

Dublin led by 0-11 to 1-2 at the interval. Dublin's goal came five minutes in.

It was taken superbly by Noelle Healy, who also clipped over a first half free.

Laois kept at it. Coming down the home stretch, there were six points between them.

The Dubs then hit four points in-a-row to book the bus to Carlow. They came from Flood, Rowe, Davey and McCaffrey.

All from play, and all gleaming with blue polish.

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