The battle for the precious top-four places in Division 1 of the Lidl Ladies National Football League intensified on Sunday as Dublin and Galway drew level with Cork on nine points at the head of affairs.
A superior scoring difference leaves Cork, winners on their travels to Mayo on Saturday, on top of the pile but Dublin and Galway turned up the heat with victories a day later.
Dublin were comfortable 2-17 to 3-07 victors against visiting Donegal at Parnell Park – with both of the home side’s goals coming in the second half.
Lethal Donegal forward Geraldine McLaughlin scored 2-01 in the first half but Dublin, with four frees from captain Sinead Ahern, went in front at the break.
Carla Rowe’s 39th-minute goal eased Dublin into a 1-11 to 2-03 advantage and Mick Bohan’s charges never looked back from there.
Lyndsey Davey netted with nine minutes left for the Sky Blues and while Niamh Hegarty bagged Donegal’s third goal, Dublin ran out winners with seven points to spare.
Galway, despite losing Dora Gorman to a red card in the first half, clinched a dramatic 2-11 to 1-12 victory against Armagh at Tuam Stadium.
Mairead Seoighe came off the bench to score two goals in the last four minutes – and her second goal was the final kick of the game to seal victory in a sensational finish.
Roisin Leonard top-scored for Galway with seven points, with Caroline O’Hanlon leading the way for Armagh with a personal haul of 1-02.
At half-time, O’Hanlon’s goal had Armagh 1-03 to 0-05 in front and while the visitors looked set for the win late on, Seoighe’s introduction turned the game on its head.
Meanwhile, improving Kerry collected their second victory of the campaign, running out 3-11 to 2-09 winners against Ulster champions Monaghan.
On the day her brother Jack scored 1-03 for the Monaghan men’s footballers against Kerry, Ellen McCarron bagged 2-o5 against the Kingdom but it wasn’t enough to prevent defeat.
Louise Ní Mhuircheartaigh collected eight points for Kerry as they boosted their hopes of a top-four finish.
McCarron netted in the second minute but that goal was cancelled out by Laura Rogers eleven minutes later as Kerry settled.
Sarah Houlihan and Amanda Brosnan added further goals for Kerry, before McCarron collected another before half-time to leave the visitors to Listowel Emmets in touch at the break, trailing by 2-03 to 3-03.
After Ní Mhuircheartaigh scored two early frees in the second half, Monaghan were awarded a penalty in the 37th minute, with Kerry goalkeeper Ciara Murphy sin-binned for a foul on Laura McEnaney, but Cora Courtney fired her effort over the crossbar.
That was a let-off for Kerry but the hosts took control of proceedings from there to run out five-point winners.
In Division 2, emerging Laois and Tyrone sides leapfrogged Waterford to take the top two spots in the pool.
Laois were 2-14 to 0-11 winners against Sligo, while Tyrone won their Ulster derby clash with Cavan by 4-09 to 2-14.
In Division 3, Wexford were winners on their visit to Leitrim and in Division 4, there were victories for Fermanagh, Wicklow, Louth and Longford.