Opening Wins For Kerry, Dublin, Donegal & Cork As Provincial Championships Get Underway

Round-up of all the weekend's action from the first round of the TG4 Ladies Football Provincial Championships 2023.

Opening Wins For Kerry, Dublin, Donegal & Cork As Provincial Championships Get Underway
HerSport Editor
HerSport Editor

THE 2023 TG4 Provincial Championships began with a bang on Sunday – with key victories for Cork, Kerry, Dublin and Donegal at Senior level. Louise Ní Mhuircheartaigh sparkled for Kerry as the Kingdom secured a 2-8 to 0-8 victory over Waterford at Fraher Field.

In Cahir, meanwhile, a haul of 1-12 for Aishling Moloney wasn’t enough for Tipperary as the Premier County fell to a 1-14 to 1-17 defeat against Cork.

In Leinster, a big crowd was present at Páirc Tailteann as Dublin claimed early bragging rights in the TG4 Leinster Championship with victory over Meath, the reigning TG4 All-Ireland champions.

In the TG4 Ulster Senior Championship, Donegal showed real spirit to dig out a 1-6 to 0-4 victory against Cavan at Kingspan Breffni.


Elsewhere on Sunday, Clare made it two wins from two in the Munster Senior B Championship, with victory over Cork, to follow up an opening round success against Kerry.

In the TG4 Leinster Intermediate Championship, there were victories for Wexford, holders Kildare, Louth and Westmeath, while Leitrim enjoyed a big win over Sligo in Connacht.

Tyrone saw off Monaghan by two points in the TG4 Ulster Intermediate Championship, as Fermanagh and Down drew their Junior fixture.

TG4 Ulster Senior Championship


Cavan 0-4

Donegal 1-6

Tom Comack reports from Kingspan Breffni

Donegal opened their TG4 Ulster championship campaign with a hard-fought victory over Cavan at Kingspan Breffni this afternoon.

Five points separated the sides at the final whistle, with veteran forward Karen Guthrie turning in a five-star performance in the full forward line. Guthrie ended the game with a personal tally of 1-4 as Donegal bounced back from the disappointment of relegation from Division 1 of the Lidl National League to get off to a winning start in the Championship.

Her goal before half-time was the game’s defining score and sent Donegal in two point clear at the break, after Cavan had led by 0-3 to 0-1 early on.

Katie Dowds was the other Donegal point scorer in the opening half.

Lauren McVeety landed two of the Cavan points and full-forward Aishling Sheridan posted the other.

Guthrie, starring in her first game of 2023, kicked the game’s opening point inside three minutes, as Donegal took the game to Cavan from the off.

With both defences on top, it was another six minutes before the locals got off the mark, when Aishling Sheridan unlocked the packed Donegal rearguard to stroke over Claire Friel’s crossbar.

Cavan played with the advantage of a stiff breeze and added the game’s next two scores to go 0-3 to 0-1 ahead, both scored by ace forward McVeety.

Katie Dowds then converted from 30 metres, way out on the left hand side, to reduce the Cavan lead to one.

That was on 20 minutes and five minutes later, Guthrie netted first time when the ball broke in a crowded goalmouth.

The goal opened up a 1-2 to 0-3 advantage for Donegal, and that’s how it stayed until half-time.

Cavan scored the first point of the second half, with Neasa Byrd splitting the posts three in, but that was the only score of the half for the hosts.

It was midway through the half before Donegal responded, with Susanne White converting a close-range free, and the visitors finished with three late points to claim a vital win, despite a missed penalty from 2022 TG4 Senior Players’ Player of the Year Niamh McLaughlin.


TG4 Munster Senior Championship 

 Cork 1-17 

Tipperary 1-14 

 Anthony Newman reports from Cahir  

 A battle to the finish as Cork just about got the better of Tipperary in the TG4 Munster Senior Ladies Football Championship clash in Cahir.  

Star of the show was Tipp’s Aishling Moloney who scored 1-12 for her side in an outstanding individual performance but it was the experience of Cork that saw them home thanks to the likes of Ciara and Doireann O’Sullivan, Emma Cleary and Roisin Phelan. 

Cork made five changes to the team announced during the week with Meabh O’Sullivan, Hannah Looney, Libby Coppinger, Katie Quirke and Sarah Leahy replaced by Sarah Murphy, Eimear Meaney, Aoife Healy, Anna Ryan and Doireann O’Sullivan. 

Aishling Moloney opened the scoring just 30 seconds in, with Eimear Kiely getting Cork off the mark from the restart. 

Moloney put her side back in front after six minutes in a low-scoring start.  

The Cahir player, operating on home soil, put two between the sides as she was causing problems for the Cork defence – and she got her fourth to keep her side in control early on. 

It took Cork 12 minutes to get their second score, with Kiely pointing again from another free. She made it a one point game after 17 minutes with the Rebels’ first point from play, to make it 0-3 to 0-4. 

Kiely had the sides level before Ciara O’Sullivan put Cork in front for the first time. 

Aoife Healy put them two to the good, before Moloney pulled a point back from a free, 0-6 to 0-5. 

Doireann put Cork two in front again and she made it 0-8 to 0-5 from a free as half-time approached. 

Both sides had chances to score but missed easy opportunities to see it stay at 0-8 to 0-5 at the break.  

Ciara O’Sullivan increased the Cork lead five minutes into the second-half, before Moloney was on target again for the home side.  

Niamh Martin reduced the deficit to two, before scores from Emma Cleary and Ciara O’Sullivan put four between them again. 

Two more from Moloney, followed by two from Doireann O’Sullivan made it made 0-13 to 0-9 with 44 minutes played. 

Ciara and Doireann O’Sullivan scored either side of two more from Moloney as Cork led 0-15 to 0-11 after 54 minutes. 

In  a dramatic finish, a goal from Kiely looked like she has secured the win for Cork, but straight from the restart Moloney raised a green flag at the other end to make it a two-point game. 

But a late point from Laura O’Mahony sealed a three point win for the Rebels, 1-17 to 1-14 after a highly entertaining game.


Waterford 0-8

Kerry 2-8

Thomas Keane reports from Fraher Field 

ACE forward Louise Ní Mhuircheartaigh bagged 1-7 as Kerry got their 2023 TG4 Munster Senior Championship campaign off to a winning start against Waterford.

The Kingdom, fresh from landing the Lidl National League Division 1 title, emerged six-point winners against the Déise at Fraher Field this afternoon.

Ní Mhuircheartaigh was on song for Kerry, with 1-4 of her haul collected before half-time.

Kerry, who led by 1-5 to 0-4 at half-time, managed to keep Waterford at arm’s length during the second half, as substitute Danielle O’Leary wrapped up the win with a goal in stoppage time.

O’Leary came off the bench to replace Hannah O’Donoghue in the 44th minute and made her mark as Kerry, who are many people’s favourites to land the TG4 Munster and All-Ireland crowns, began with a positive result.

Kellyann Hogan was superb for Waterford, scoring five points, including two from play, with Bríd McMaugh also contributing to the home side’s scoring effort with three points.

But it was Ní Mhuircheartaigh, who was the leading scorer in Division 1 during the Lidl National League, who led the way for Kerry.

Fiadhna Tangney also scored a point for Kerry in the first half, as the visitors came from behind after McMaugh had opened the scoring with a free.

Waterford suffered an early injury blow, however, as Megan Dunford was forced off and replaced by Niamh Power.

Midway through the half, Tangney’s point had Kerry 0-2 to 0-1 clear but the sides were level at 0-4 each approaching the break.

Ní Mhuircheartaigh netted in first half injury time and the Corca Dhuibhne magician added another point before the interval, as Kerry led by four.

For the goal, Ní Mhuircheartaigh used all of her experience to stay cool and fist the ball home, following good work by Niamh Carmody.

Waterford kept battling throughout the second half and the margin was at three points before O’Leary’s late goal.

Kerry move on to face Cork next weekend, with Waterford set to face Tipperary at home in the round-robin series.


TG4 Leinster Senior Championship 

Dublin 1-6

Meath 0-7

Aisling Clery from Páirc Tailteann

Reigning TG4 Leinster SFC Champions, Dublin, opened their 2023 championship with a narrow win against a fiery Meath side in front of big support in Páirc Tailteann. A lobbed Hannah Tyrrell goal in the first half proved decisive as Dublin led by 1-3 to 0-2 at half time. Meath upped the ante in the second half, but Dublin held on to secure victory.

Championship pace was evident from the off and it took just two minutes for Jennifer Dunne to open the scoring after receiving a timely pass from Caoimhe O’Connor.

While Meath struggled to get the ball into the inside line early on, Hannah Tyrell added Dublin’s second point on seven minutes after a series of linked passes involving Carla Rowe and Ellen Gribben. Leah Caffrey found herself in attacking mode as she stretched Dublin to a three-point lead after fifteen minutes of play.

The game’s only goal came on twenty minutes when Hannah Tyrrell somewhat fortuitously found the net, lobbing Meath netminder Monica McGuirk, and the Sky Blues could have gone even further ahead but Tyrrell’s next effort dropped short and McGuirk made no mistake parrying it away to safety.

Meath finished the half with a flurry, Stacey Grimes converting a 26 minute free with Emma Duggan adding a point from play after excellent work from Niamh Gallogly in winning possession. Dublin were 1-3 to 0-2 to the good at the break.

Captain Carla Rowe hit Dublin’s first three scores of the second half, with Niamh O’Sullivan pulling one back for the Royals.

Rowe’s final score, a free on 42 minutes, turned out to be their last as Meath increased their pressure.

Vikki Wall landed a score from distance on 44 minutes and Emma Duggan’s point two minutes later reduced the deficit to five points. However, Meath were still not done and further points from Aoibhín Cleary and Mary Kate Lynch reduced the gap to two and ensuring the game finished on a knife edge. Dublin held on to possession in the final few moments to ensure victory over the reigning All Ireland Champions.

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