Leinster Minor Championship Shield Final

Leinster Minor Championship Shield Final

Meath v Kildare
Sarsfields GFC, Newbridge, Co. Kildare
Sunday May 17th 2009
Throw in 1.30p.m.
Ref: Mags Doherty (Wexford)

Half time score: Meath 3-05 – Kildare 0-00
Full time score: Meath 4-08 – Kildare 1-00

Meath cruised to an easy victory in the Leinster Shield Final on Sunday against Kildare. Unfortunately for the Lilywhites they failed to score in the sixty minutes, but Meath gave a fine display, and shone on an otherwise cloudy day. After losing to Dublin in the semi final, manager Geraldine Sheridan was hoping for a better performance against neighbours Kildare in the new shield final. While in previous years, a defeat in the semi final would see the end of competition for the minors, the shield final gave the squad a chance to represent their county again and victory in the final sees time in an All Ireland Shield Semi Final.

Meath began brightly with Rebecca Considine making an immediate impact on the game from midfield. Team work was the order of the day from the Royal side and it was clear from the throw in that plenty of work had taken place since the defeat in the semi final. Meath signalled their intent on three minutes when Áine Fagan collected a loose ball, found captain Lisa Kelly and Kelly sent in the ball into the square where Alisha Jordan made no mistake with the finish, finding the bottom corner of the net. Fiona O’Neill added a point from a free on 8 mins. Jordan was again to the fore on 12 mins as she put the ball between the uprights for a second point. Try as Kildare might they couldn’t find a way past the Meath defence, who were rock solid with Aoife O’Rourke giving nothing away at full back. Defence turned into attack on fourteen mins when O’Rourke cleared the ball to Laura Gilsenan, who found Siobhan Sheridan. Sheridan sent a long ball over the top of Kildare’s defence and Hayley Lawton ran free of her marker and did the rest to add Meath’s second goal. On the restart, O’Neill added her second point of the afternoon. While Kildare were unlucky putting in two wides, Meath added a further two points through Vivienne McCormack and Lisa Kelly, both of whom played excellently all afternoon. Just before the end of the first half, Lawton added her second goal of the game which was almost a carbon copy of her first, an over the top ball to Lawton let the Donaghmore-Ashbourne forward free to roll the ball into the back of the net. The first half was all Meath, scoring 3-05 to Kildare’s no score.

In the second half, Meath played against the wind, but this didn’t change the result. Although Meath faced a tougher test in the second half, the midfield and forwards still dominated the play. Meath were defensively sound at the back with O’Rourke, Áine Fagan, and Alisha Jordan alive to any danger. Indeed Jordan was so alive to the danger that an attack by Kildare was cut out by Jordan but the loose ball ended up in the back of the net. Against the wind, scores proved more difficult to come by, but it did not stop the Royals adding 1-03 in the second half. O’Neill added two of the three points on 39 and 58 mins respectively. Shannon McDonagh was everywhere in the second half and her efforts were rewarded with a well taken score on 50 mins. Hayley Lawton made it a hat trick of goals on 47 mins to compound Lilywhites misery.

All in all, Meath were superb throughout the field. O’Rourke, Fagan, McDonagh, and Orla Byrne were excellent in defence. Maire O’Shaughnessy and Rebecca Considine worked well in midfield, while all six forwards were outstanding. The full forward line of Hayley Lawton, Alisha Jordan and Fiona O’Neill were faultless scoring 4-05 between them. Player of the Match Award went to Alisha Jordan.

The Meath minors now take a small break as the pressure of exams take hold. Manager Sheridan will be hoping to get her team back together as soon as possible to iron out some of the minor faults that could be seen today. They await the news of who they will face in the All Ireland Semi Final on July 15th and will be hoping to progress through to the All Ireland Final on 2nd August.

Meath Team & Scorers: Monica McGuirk (Duleek-Bellewstown), Aine Fagan (Walterstown), Aoife O’Rourke (Donaghmore-Ashbourne – vice-captain),
Blathnaid Keogh (Clann na Gael), Shannon McDonagh (0-01 – Clann na Gael),
Siobhan Sheridan (Seneschalstown), Orla Byrne (Duleek-Bellewstown),
Rebecca Considine (Royal Gaels), Maire O’Shaughnessy (Donaghmore-Ashbourne), Lisa Kelly (Captain, 0-01, Blackhall Gaels), Vivienne McCormack (0-01 – Clann na Gael), Laura Gilsenan (Clann na Gael), Hayley Lawton (3-00 – Donaghmore-Ashbourne), Alisha Jordan (1-01 – Skryne), Fiona O’Neill (0-04 – Dunboyne)

Subs: Aisling O’Reilly (Ratoath) for Keogh, Grainne Field (Donaghmore-Ashbourne) for Byrne, Lucy Dillon (Gaeil Colmcilles) for V. McCormack, Martina Kelly (Clann na Gael) for L. Kelly, Aódhnait McAdam (Seneschalstown) for Fagan. Ciara Dixon (Donaghmore-Ashbourne), Grainne Rice (St. Colmcilles)

Kildare: Lauren Nolan, Rachel Burke, Orla Ryan, Sarah Quinn, Roisin Mellett, Aoife May, Shona Cogney, Aisling Hughes, Fiona Trant, Caoimhe Keoghan (capt), Naoise Berry, Stephanie Barrett, Cliodhna McSweeney, Miriam Murphy, Caroline Hill.

The Division 1 Final replay between Donaghmore/Ashbourne and Seneschalstown will take place on Wednesday next May 20th at 7.15p.m. in Walterstown. (Weather permitting).

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