Aisling McGing Memorial Championship Round 2

MEATH LADIES

Aisling McGing Memorial Championship Round 2
Dublin v Meath
Wednesday 2nd July 2008
St. Margaret's G.F.C.
Throw In: 8pm

Half Time: Meath 0-04 v Dublin 1-05
Full Time: Meath 0-07 v Dublin 3-11

Meath failed to topple old rivals Dublin despite a fine display at St. Margaret's on Wednesday evening in their first game of the Aisling McGing Championship.

The game opened brightly with clever play from midfielders Grace Donnelly and Eve Wardick. On 3 minutes Meath took the lead registering the first score of the game from a free from Emma Harris. On the resumption, Aoife O'Rourke was to Meath's rescue as she cleared Meath's defences and stopped a Dublin attack in its tracks. On 6 minutes it was all square when Dublin's Teresa Molohan converted a 13m free. As Dublin began to up the tempo Meath responded with great defending and a great save from Eimear Murray who conceded a 45'. Dublin worked the ball into full forward Denise McKenna, who finished off the phase with a point on 8 minutes.
On 9 minutes, Meath drew level again and Harris converted her second free of the evening. Against the run of play, McKenna slipped away from Meath's full back Mary Ellen Sheridan and found space to point with 10 minutes gone, putting the capital side in front, 0-03 to Meath's 0-02.

Meath's first goal opportunity came on 13 minutes when Meath found Fiona O'Neill in space and despite a determined shot, Dublin keeper Lynn Dowling was equal to it and cleared it firmly. O'Neill was once again in action on 14 minutes as she forced her defender to concede the 45'. The resulting kick taken by Orla Tuite found Simonstown's Eve Wardick and she pointed to level the game once again. O'Rourke continued her tireless defending as she pressurised and tormented Dublin's Elena Griffin, forcing her chance wide.

However, Meath were soon to rue the goal chance they missed as loose defending allowed Dublin's McKenna space and time, and the Fingallians player didn't need a second chance to fire the ball into the back of the net, beating Murray on 18 minutes. The introduction of Aedin Murray for injured Shona Donohue on 19 minutes lifted Meath and they worked tirelessly to get the lead back. Sheridan and O'Rourke combined on 26 minutes to defend their lines and Tuite recovered a point for the Meath side on 27 minutes from a free thirty metres out. On 28 minutes McKenna restored Dublin's 3 point advantage and despite good defending from Leona Nestor on 31 minutes, McKenna added a further point to go 4 clear. However, Meath could have gone in at half time closer, when O'Neill was fouled just inside the 21 on the club house side of the pitch. O'Neill took the free quickly to Grainne Harrington who was by herself just outside the small square. One on one with the keeper, Dowling made herself big and somehow denied Harrington's shot. Although four points clear at half time, Dublin were certainly the more worried team at half time, knowing that without their keeper they may well have been trailing by two points. At half time, Dublin were 1-05 to Meath's 0-04 in front.
At half time, Meath made some positional changes, moving corner back Maria Kealy into the full back position, charging her to mark McKenna who had scored 1-04 of Dublin's first half tally of 1-05. The switch paid off as McKenna failed to score in the second half.
On 33 minutes, Orla Tuite pointed from play to reduce the deficit to three once again. A minute later Tuite's score was cancelled out as Molohan converted a free after Kealy had conceded the free.
On 40 minutes, game captain, Eve Wardick was fouled and Harris converted the resulting free in, to put 3 points between the teams. While this should have lifted Meath spirits, it was Dublin who upped it a gear, leaving the Royals trailing in their wake.
On 43 minutes Denvir, Dublin's corner forward added the second goal of the game. Dublin continued their scoring spree adding a further 1-04 from Molohan and Denvir. Meath had their chances but could not get the ball between the posts and both Harris and O'Neill missed their shots. On 59 minutes, Molohan added Dublin's final score compounding the Royals misery. Deep into injury time, Fiona O'Neill ended the scoring with a fine point. Although Dublin had time to attack once more, keeper Murray saved Royal blushes with a fabulous save. The game ended with Meath the wrong side of a thirteen point margin, Dublin comfortable winners 3-11 to Meath's 0-07.

The score line however doesn't reflect the true story of the game. For the first half and the beginning of the second, the Dublin team had to work hard for their scores, something that Meath manager Joe McCormack will be happy with. However, to progress in the competition Meath will need to up their performance and prepare for the home fixtures against Kildare in a fortnight's time on July 20th. Meath were best served by Maria Kealy whose relentless defending Meath kept Meath's heads above water. Aoife O'Rourke, Fiona O'Neill and substitute Aedin Murray also impressed for Meath.

Meath Team & Scorers:
E. Murray, M. Kealy, M.E. Sheridan, A.M Ball, L. Nestor, A. O'Rourke, S. Donohue, E. Warwick (0-01), G. Donnelly, E. Harris (0-03). O. Tuite (0-02), O. Sheridan, F. O'Neill (0-01), J. Cusack, G. Harrington. Subs: A. Murray for Donohue (19 mins), S. O'Donnell for Harrington (43 mins), C. Dempsey for Ball (47 mins), G, Flanagan for O'Rourke (56 mins), L. Clarke for Harris (56 mins).

Referee: Martin Seery (Westmeath)

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