Bord Gáis Energy Ladies National Football League round up
by Jackie Cahill
ULSTER champions Monaghan cruised to victory against beaten 2010 All-Ireland finalists Tyrone as the Bord Gáis Energy Ladies National Football League swung into action on Sunday.
Monaghan laid down a real marker for the coming season with a devastating attacking display as off-colour Tyrone slumped to a 0-7 to 2-14 defeat at Emyvale.
At half-time, Monaghan led by 2-7 to 0-5 as Caoimhe Mohan and top scorer Catriona McConnell struck the first half goals for the Farney County.
Monaghan raced into an early four-point lead before Gemma Begley hit Tyrone's first point in the tenth minute.
But goals for Mohan, after twenty minutes, and McConnell three minutes later put Monaghan on the road to victory, despite losing key defender Isobel Kierans to a sin-binning.
Incredibly, Tyrone's seventh point 12 minutes after half-time was their last score of the game as Monaghan piled on the agony with a run of seven unanswered points.
Goalkeeper Edel Monaghan preserved a 'clean sheet' with a couple of fine saves in the second half while Tyrone's misery was complete late on when inspirational defender Sinead McLaughlin was sin-binned.
In Division 2, All-Ireland champions Dublin began their campaign in ominous fashion with an emphatic 2-17 to 1-4 victory against Armagh.
The Sky Blues were relegated from Division 1 last year and on yesterday's evidence, they are desperately keen to return to the top flight.
Dublin, who led by 0-8 to 0-3 at half-time, pulled away in the second half as Orla Egan bagged both goals for the hosts at Fingallians.
But it was Armagh who struck for the opening goal of the game early in the second half as Kelly Mallon pounced from close range after former Allstar goalkeeper Cliodhna O'Connor had prevented a long-range free from going over the bar.
But Dublin, with six current Allstars in their starting line-up, hit back with a brace from Egan, who netted 18 minutes into the second half and again before full-time to seal a comfortable win.
Sinead Ahern, player of the match in last year's All-Ireland final, hit four points while Amy McGuinness, Lyndsey Davey, Noelle Healy and Elaine Kelly also impressed.
In Division 3, Clare also signaled their determination to bounce back from last year's relegation with an opening day 2-9 to 0-7 victory against Down.
Eimear Considine was the provider for Niamh O'Dea's two goals as the Banner County secured an eight-point victory at Miltown-Malbay.
Clare led by 1-5 to 0-6 at half-time but it wasn't until late in the day that the hosts pulled away against a Down team inspired by Kyla Trainor, who scored all of the Mourne County's first half points.
In Division 4, last year's beaten divisional semi-finalists Antrim will be a force to be reckoned with after crushing provincial rivals Derry 5-15 to 0-9 on the opening day.
Remarkably, Derry led by 0-9 to 0-4 after twenty minutes but failed to register a score for the remainder of the game.
Antrim led by 2-6 to 0-9 at half-time and ran riot in the second half as Mairead Cooper (2), Claire Timoney, Anna Finnegan and Rachel Fulton scored the goals for the Saffrons.
Bord Gáis Energy Ladies National Football League Division 1:
Donegal 4-13 Galway 2-9
Laois 1-10 Kildare 4-10
Monaghan 2-14 Tyrone 0-7
Bord Gáis Energy Ladies National Football League Division 2:
Sligo 2-5 Cavan 3-11
Waterford 1-4 Meath 4-14
Kerry 2-17 Tipperary 1-7
Dublin 2-17 Armagh 1-4
Bord Gáis Energy Ladies National Football League Division 3:
Clare 2-9 Down 0-7
Leitrim 3-15 Wexford 1-4
Longford 2-8 Wicklow 2-9
Bord Gáis Energy Ladies National Football League Division 4:
Carlow 2-6 Offaly 2-11
Derry 0-9 Antrim 5-15
Contact the Clare GAA Office at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org