Darren Cleary at Croke Park
A late Sinead Aherne goal wasn’t enough for Dublin as they were beaten by Mayo in their historic LIDL National Football League game, the first ever staged at Croke Park.
The Dublin skipper hit 1-7 on the night and she converted a late goal to reduce the gap to a point in the closing stages of an enthralling encounter.
The forward moments later then uncharacteristically squandered a late free as her effort was too high and way too short from within 25 metres of the Mayo goal.
Before that the Sylvesters woman was almost flawless having kicked all of Dublin’s scores in a cagey first half as the sides went into the break with Dublin 0-5 to 0-3 up.
That advantage was quickly extinguished after the restart with scores from Sarah Rowe and Grace Kelly to tie up the game 0-5 to 0-5.
Cora Staunton got the goal that proved to be the turning point for Mayo after she pounced on a rebound from a free 13 metres out to poke it beyond the Dublin keeper.
Mayo looked out of sight with a 6 point lead as they took control of the game in the 53rd minute, leading 1-10 to 0-7.
The Dubs battled back and their persistence was rewarded when Hannah O’Neill kicked the equalising point on the hour mark.
The drama didn’t end there as Staunton showed her class to kick the winner with a free from the 45 metre line.
It was a fitting game for the history books the first ladies league game was an open and entertaining affair.
The show was stolen by Staunton who led Mayo to victory by scoring 1-6 on a night that marked her first appearance in Croke Park since 2009.
Next up Dublin face Galway knowing only a win will do.