Monaghan and Cavan at the hands of heavy weekend defeats.
By Declan Rooney
Champions Dublin secured their place in the TG4 All-Ireland ladies football quarter-final and fired a handful of goals past Cavan, but manager Mick Bohan wants to see more from his outfit.
Noelle Healy and Laura McGinley kicked two goals each for Dublin, who have condemned Cavan to a relegation play-off, while Dublin will battle it out with Mayo next Saturday for top spot in Group 4.
“I just think we were stale having not played games, so that will bring us on today and we will work on a couple of things during the week that stood out, before Mayo,” said Bohan, whose side claimed a 5-17 to 2-13 win.
“We wouldn’t be happy with what we’ve conceded but that’s the challenge that these games bring that you go away and work on the stuff that you are not good at. You only find that out when you are exposed so that’s what we’ll do ahead of Mayo.”
Elsewhere, this weekend’s results in Group 1 and 3 means the top two teams will also meet there next weekend to battle for the top seeding, but in Group 2 Cork still need to avoid defeat to Armagh to finish first.
Ephie Fitzgerald’s side were 7-7 to 1-9 winners over Monaghan, but Annmarie Burns’s Monaghan can still reach the last eight on scoring difference, should Cork inflict a 17-point – or greater – defeat on Armagh next weekend.
“We can perform better than that,” said Fitzgerald, who saw Ciara O’Sullivan and Saoirse Noonan hit two goals each for his side.
“I think the score-line was weird: 7-7 isn’t the score-line we’d normally be associated with. I suppose once we got the first goal at the start of the second half the game nearly ended as a contest. But we can improve certainly our defensive play and things we’ll be looking at during the week to improve us for next week.”
Monaghan manager Burns remains hopeful that their round one draw with Armagh will see them through.
“Yeah we’re disappointed we definitely put up a good display in the first half,” said Burns. “Cork’s going to go out and play their own game next week. Armagh are a good squad.
“We’re not going to have to rely on any favours; we just have to see how the result goes and we’ll work from that.”
Meanwhile, Galway showed their All-Ireland credentials with an impressive 3-12 to 0-5 triumph over Waterford in Birr. The win has wrapped up their place in the last eight and manager Stephen Glennon is keen to see their form continue against Westmeath next weekend.
“I think that was important that we started well,” said Glennon. “If we’d left it into a dogfight, as we’ve seen with Waterford in the past against the likes of Kerry and Cork, they’re able to win dogfights.”
Donegal were also in top form at the weekend and the 12-point haul of Geraldine McLaughlin was vital in their 0-17 to 0-14 win over Tipperary, who now face a relegation battle.
“We expected it to be tough at this stage of the competition and that’s exactly what it was,” said McLaughlin.
“It was very physical but you expect that as well. From now on it will probably be the same. The ref let a lot got but that’s probably better as well.
“A tough game is what was needed and we will have another one against Kerry next weekend. If we beat Tipperary well today it would have been no good to us.
“If we beat Kerry we will get the ‘easier’ side of it and if we lose I think it’s Dublin and they’re probably the best team in the country. Whatever happens you’re going to have to play the best teams if you want to win the All-Ireland.”