Aisling McGing Memorial Championship Semi Final


Aisling McGing Memorial Championship Semi Final

Meath v Dublin
Saturday 6th September 2008
Throw in: 3pm

Half Time: Meath 0-05 v Dublin 1-04
Full Time: Meath 0-06 v Dublin 1-17

Meath’s hopes of reaching their first Aisling McGing Championship Final were dashed at Martry on Saturday while the side from the Capital breezed into their second consecutive final in as many years. This came as a massive disappointment to the manager who had pinned his hopes on playing Cork in the final.

From the throw in, Dublin were the stronger side. In the opening minute a Dublin free was sent in to the box and a goal mouth scramble finished up with the ball in the back of the net. From then on though Meath looked brighter, Fiona O’Neill was fouled thirty yards out and Orla Tuite pointed the resulting free on two minutes to add Meath’s first score. On three minutes, the kick-out from Dublin keeper Lynn Downling fell straight into Meath’s Anne-Marie Ball’s waiting arms and the Ultans player brought the ball up the pitch and was unlucky to see her shot go wide. Denise McKenna added a point for Dublin on five minutes but this was cancelled out with a sublime point from Orla Sheridan, thanks to Ciara Dempsey who gifted her with the ball at the opportune moment. The wind took its toll on the game as shot after shot was put wide. Popular Ballyboden St. Endas player Teresa Molohan added a point from a free on nine minutes.

On sixteen minutes the ball was sent long to the Meath forwards and corner forward Shona O’Donoghue collected it comfortably and passed it off to Orla Tuite who in turn put the ball over the bar for Meath’s third point, leaving just two points between the teams. Meath then struggled for pace, allowing Dublin too much time on the ball and the Capital side took advantage of this with two points from wing forward Nicola Daly on twenty one and twenty-five points respectively. This seemed to shock the Meath team as they finally began to use the wind advantage that had escaped them prior to that. These produced dividends as immediately Ciara Dempsey’s shot went narrowly wide on twenty-six minutes and both Orla Sheridan and Orla Tuite pointed on twenty-seven and twenty-eight minutes, to again put just two points between the teams. Meath saw a further two shots go wide before referee Des McEnery blew the half time whistle. It finished at half time with Meath trailing by two points, Dublin 1-04, Meath 0-05.

The Meath girls came out in the second half with not only having to play against a strong wind but also ensuring that their Dublin counterparts didn’t get to use the wind advantage. For many this would be a very difficult task but the Meath team were as courageous as ever and took to the task. Maria Kealy and Maire Hegarty were rocks in defence while Ciara Dempsey and Stephanie Byrne did well in attack. On thirty-three minutes Maire Hegarty sent the ball long and high, despite the wind, and straight into the hands of Orla Tuite. The Moylough player demonstrated Meath’s intent in the second half as she firmly placed the ball over the bar to leave Meath trailing by just one point. Sadly, this was to be Meath’s only score of the second half as try as they might they couldn’t overcome the girls from the Capital. From the resulting kickout Meath appeared to fall apart and Dublin took clear control of the half, scoring an incredible twelve points without reply. All Dublin forwards were in on the attack as each one in turn scored with Molohan finishing top scorer with an impressive six points. Despite the dominated display from Dublin in the second half, Meath never gave up and Captain Maria Kealy ensured that the Royals kept their heads up to the final whistle, a task in itself. It finished at Martry, Dublin 1-17 to Meath’s 0-06.

Meath were unlucky to have been second best on the day as they had good performances from Maria Kealy, Maire Hegarty, Ann-Marie Ball, Ciara Dempsey and Orla Tuite. They will now turn back to their clubs as the leagues kick back into action and the championship draws to an exciting close. With the talent in the squad, it is a definite that Meath will be back fighting next year.

Team List and Scorers: N. Seoighe, M. Kealy (capt), M. Hegarty, A. Murray, A.M. Ball, K. Healy, G. Donnelly, G. Flanagan, E. Wardick, S. Byrne, C. Dempsey (0-01), O. Sheridan (0-01), S. O’Donoghue, O. Tuite (0-04), F. O’Neill.
Subs: J. Cusack for O’Donoghue (30 mins), M.E. Sheridan for O’Neill (51 mins), O. Ryan for Byrne (56 mins), N. Brogan for Murray (58 mins).

Referee: Des McEnery (Westmeath)

In club news,
Duleek-Bellewstown added to their trophy collection when they captured the Junior A Championship at Seneschalstown with a comprehensive win over Gael Colmcilles. Player of the match was undoubtedly Duleek-Bellewstown corner forward, Debbie Rogers. They now wait to play the Wexford Junior Champions on Sunday 14th with a venue and time to be confirmed.
It was more disappointment for Na Fianna as St. Michaels raised the Intermediate Trophy under lights at Simonstown last Tuesday evening. It was an entertaining contest and Na Fianna will surely be back again next year to finally enter the senior ranks. Player of the match went to talented Michael’s wing forward Megan O’Brien.
Next weekend (13th/14th) will be one of the Meath Ladies County Board’s busiest. On Saturday, eight under ten and under twelve finals will be played.
On Sunday, Senior Champions Seneschalstown will be looking to add yet another honour to their long list of achievements in recent years, when they take on old foes St. Ultans in the Senior Championship Final at 3.15pm in Donaghmore-Ashbourne. St. Ultans missed out on last year’s final after defeat in the semi, and they will surely be out for revenge and dismiss the notion that they are the figurative ‘bridesmaids’ of ladies football in Meath. Referee for the final is Martin Mannering.
The Junior B Final will act as a curtain raiser to the Senior Final as it throws in at 1.30pm. Clann Na Gael will finally attempt to gain entry to the Junior A Championship. After defeat by Duleek-Bellewstown last year, Clann Na Gael will be out to prove themselves. However, they face difficult opponents in Ratoath, who despite a slow start to the year, have now gained the momentum and the talent in the squad to give the Final a good go. Referee for the Final is Paddy Brady. All Meath supporters are asked to come and witness the talent that is in our county at Donaghmore-Ashbourne next Sunday.

Reminder; Meath Ladies County Board are hosting the ‘X Factor’ fundraiser in conjunction with their sponsors The Palace. Heats are on the 19th and 26th September and all clubs are asked to come and support on the night at just €10 entry. For further details contact Aisling 087-7533844.

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