Leinster champs off to a winning start. 2016-06-13 22:34:00

Leinster Senior Championship Rd 1
FT Dublin 3-15 Laois 0-04

Dublin got their 2016 championship campaign off to a good start with a notable 20 point win over a resilient Laois side.

Reigning Leinster champions Dublin were forced into a late change to their starting 15 with Lauren Magee coming into the side as a late replacement for club mate Molly Lamb who was unable to field owing to sickness.

However the late change did not falter the home side with Sinead Aherne slotting over the opening point of the game from a free kick with under a minute gone on the clock.

Laois had set up defensively, as a result Dublin’s forwards had to be patient on the ball while trying to maintain possession. With 22 minutes gone, Dublin had built up a 7 point lead courtesy of Lyndsey Davey, Aherne (free), Nicole Owens, Sinead Goldrick, Davey, and a third Aherne (free) before Noirin Kirwan got the first score for the O’Moore County from a 20 metre free kick.

Just before half time Laois lost the services of Jane Moore as the full back was sin binned in the 30th minute for a dangerous challenge on Dublin’s Sinead Goldrick. Aherne slotted over the resulting free kick to leave 7 points between the sides at the break, Dublin 0-08 Laois 0-01.

The second half of the game started as the first ended with another Sinead Aherne point this time the St Sylvester’s sharp shooter was on target from play. Dublin were in full control of the game tagging on four unanswered points with Davy, Siobhan Woods and Aherne (2 frees) on all target for the home side.

With Dublin piling on the pressure the Laois defence buckled with Lyndsey Davey pouncing to get the game’s opening goal in the 40th minute pushing Dublin 15 points clear of Laois.

Laois responded with another Kirwan free but the writing was truly on the wall for the O’Moore County. Laois were given a short life line when Dublin’s Nicole Owens was sin binned in the 43rd minute. Their extra player advantage was soon cancelled out a minute later when Laois corner back Amy Loughman joined Owens in the bin following a high challenge on Goldrick.

Dublin management took the opportunity to introduce fresh legs with Niamh McEvoy, Amy Conroy, Colleen Barrett, Ciara Ruddy and Olivia Leonard all coming into the game.

Ciara Ruddy made a huge impact on the game as the Ballyboden St Endas player scored two quick fire goals in rapid succession. Ruddy was unlucky not to register a hat trick having been put through on goal again late in injury time, but her shot on goal trailed to the left of Ciamh Dollard’s post.

Next Sunday, Dublin will face Westmeath, away in what will be a repeat of the 2015 Leinster final. Westmeath enjoyed a 5-21 to 2-14 victory over Meath today in Summerhill.

Ciara Trant, Olwen Carey, Deirdre Murphy, Leah Caffrey, Sinead Goldrick, Sinead Finnegan, Niamh Collins, Sorcha Furlong, Lauren Magee, Noelle Healy, Nicole Owens, Carla Rowe, Siobhan Woods, Sinead Aherne, Lyndsey Davey

Subs: Niamh McEvoy for Healy, Amy Conroy for Woods, Colleen Barrett for Furlong, Ciara Ruddy for Goldrick, Olivia Leonard for Aherne

Dublin scorers: Sinead Aherne 0-07 (6f), Lyndsey Davey 1-04, Ciara Ruddy 2-00, Sinead Goldrick, Sorcha Furlong, Nicole Owens, Siobhan Woods 0-01 each

Ciamh Dollard, Amy Loughman, Jane Moore, Martha Kirwan, Aine Haberlin, Laura Nerney, Anne Moore, Fiona Dooley, Joyce Dunne, Aoife Kirrane, Noirin Kirwan, Maggie Murphy, Caoimhe Simms, Meaghan Dunne, Aileen O’Loughlin

Subs: Alice Malone for Kirrane, Eva Galvin for O’Loughlin, Deirdre O’Shea for Simms

Laois scorers: Noirin Kirwan 0-02 (2f), Maggie Murphy, Alice Malone 0-01 each