DUBLIN 2-12 KERRY 1-10
Dublin booked their place in another TG4 All-Ireland ladies' senior football semi-final as they disposed of Kerry at St Brendan’s Park in Birr in a dogged affair in decent conditions, with Sinead Aherne firing 0-8 for her side.
Goals in either half from Niamh McEvoy and Noelle Healy proved crucial and although Kerry fought hard particularly in the second half, Leinster champions Dublin simply had too much quality throughout the pitch.
In the opening half, Dublin quickly went three points to the good when Sinead Aherne popped over three frees as Gregory McGonigle’s charges looked to break down Kerry’s blanket defence.
The Kingdom finally got off the mark when Sarah Houlihan pointed from a placed ball, but the Dubs responded by going 0-6 to 0-1 ahead with two more Aherne frees and a point from Lindsay Peat forming the first score of the game from play.
Kerry, who lost a quarter-final for the first time under William O’Sullivan’s management, struggled to get into the Dublin half and were dealt a real hammer blow on 24 minutes when a quick free from Lyndsay Davey was collected by Aherne, and she fed the running Niamh McEvoy who coolly lobbed into the net past Edel Murphy.
Emma Sherwood finally got Kerry’s opening score from play as Houlihan added a free, but Dublin ace Aherne stretched her tally to eight points for the half, making no mistake with two more frees and a decent score from play to give her side a commanding 1-9 to 0-3 interval lead.
After the restart Kerry greatly improved, as scores from Patrice Dennehy, Lorraine Scanlon and Louise Ni Mhuircheartaigh gave them belief until Dublin fired a second goal when Noelle Healy ended her fine solo run with an impressive finish.
At the other end, Louise Galvin hit the post for the Kingdom and Deirdre Corridan pointed the rebound, but Dublin kept ticking over with Lyndsey Davey and Carla Rowe splitting the posts.
Beaten Munster finalists Kerry had no option but to change tactics, with Dennehy and Ni Mhuircheartaigh points keeping Dublin on their toes, but time was running out as Carla Rowe scored Dublin’s final point of the match.
Kerry, who needed extra-time against Donegal in their previous outing, forced a goal late on when Deirdre Corridan’s long range free went all the way into the net but, despite late pressure, Dublin’s defence proved stern and they had done enough to return to the last four.
Scorers for Dublin: S Aherne 0-8 (7f), N Healy, N McEvoy 1-0 each, C Rowe 0-2, L Peat, L Davey 0-1 each.
Scorers for Kerry: D Corridan 1-1, P Dennehy 0-3 (1f), S Houlihan 0-2 (2f), L Ni Mhuircheartaigh 0-2, E Sherwood, L Scanlon 0-1 each.
Dublin: C O’Connor; R Ruddy, S Furlong, L Caffrey; M Byrne, S Goldrick, S McGrath; D Masterson, M Lamb; N Healy, N McEvoy, C Rowe; L Davey, S Aherne, L Peat. Subs: S Woods for McEvoy (50), N Hyland for Peat (52), O Leonard for Lamb (54), L Collins for Aherne (60).
Kerry: E Murphy; A Lyons, A Desmond, A Leonard; C Kelly, C Lynch, D Hallissey; E Sherwood, B Breen; M Quirke, L Galvin, G Crowley; L Ni Mhuircheartaigh, S Houlihan, P Dennehy. Subs: L Scanlon for Quirke (26), L Rogers for Crowley (45), D Corridan for Leonard (45), M O’Connell for Galvin (50).
Referee: J Niland (Sligo).