Jackies storm back for victory
LADIES NFL DIVISION 1
A SUPERB second-half comeback saw defending champions Dublin move the summit of the Lidl NFL 1 with a comeback victory (1-17 to 3-9) over Mayo at Croke Park on Saturday.
St Sylvester’s forward Niamh McEvoy ended the contest with an impressive personal haul of 1-5 and was instrumental in steering the Jackies to a second top-flight triumph.
Trailing 3-2 to 1-2 after 20 minutes, Mick Bohan’s charges reeled in their Connacht rivals.
After the westerners stormed in front with points from the Kelly sisters – Niamh and Grace – full-forward Rachel Kearns rattled Ciara Trant’s net with a powerful strike.
Dublin’s response was immediate – Niamh McEvoy’s effort raised a green flag at the opposite end – but they suffered a further blow on 11 minutes. After hitting the post off a close-range free, Kearns bagged her second goal off the ensuing rebound.
The holders narrow the gap with a second Davey point, only for Fiona Doherty to subsequently fired home from a tight-angle for Mayo’s third major of the half.
The introductions of Siobhan Killeen and Jennifer Dunne, and Player of the Year Sinead Aherne in the second-half, added an extra to Dublin play, and they helped to reduce their deficit to 3-4 to 1-6 at the interval.
Nicole Owens and McEvoy split the posts on the resumption to bring the gap to two while Kearns’ 38th-minute penalty blazed over.
Although full-back Niamh Collins was sin-binned, Dublin out-scored their opponents 0-4 to 0-1 in her absence. McEvoy (two), Carla Rowe and Killeen found the range in this period.
Aherne and McEvoy edged Dublin in front for the first time with frees, before Doherty’s two-point salvo levelled matters moving into the home stretch.
Dublin never panicked though, and McEvoy and Davey raised white flags in the dying moments to see off the Mayo challenge.