Bord Gáis Energy National Ladies Football League Round 5

Dublin v Meath
Naomh Mearnóg, Portmarnock.
13th March 2011 @ 2pm.
Half Time: Meath 0-02 v Dublin 2-10
Full Time: Meath 1-08 v Dublin 2-15

Dublin showed why they are reigning All Ireland Champs in this neighbouring league fixture in Portmarnock . Playing against the wind in the first half proved to be crucial for the Jackies, as they built up a substantial lead in the opening half – 2-10 to 0-02. The Royals struggled with the speed and agility of the Dubs and found maintaining discipline difficult at times. The second half was by far an improved performance as Meath got some scores on the board – but Royal players, management, and supporters alike all left Portmarnock today knowing that the team are by far better than they displayed today.

With just two league round games left against Tipperary and Cavan respectfully, Meath will be hoping to regroup and ensure they qualify for the semi-finals of the competition.

Meath did get off to a blistering start against the wind, winning the throw in and immediately scoring courtesy of direct play from Grainne Nulty linking with Vivienne McCormack, and the Clann na nGael player scoring from a difficult angle. Meath doubled their advantage on two minutes as Katie O’Brien split the posts. However, they were the only two points Meath were to score in the opening half as for the remaining 28 minutes – Dublin dominated scoring proceedings. All Star full forward for the last two years, Sinead Aherne converted a free for Dublin on three minutes and Amy McGuinness, who picked up an All Star in 2010 brought Dublin back to parity on 6 mins. Katie O’Brien’s 8th minute effort dropped short into the keeper’s hands, while at the other end, Lyndsey Davey was given far too much space and buried the ball in the back of Orlagh McLaughlin’s net, not once but twice in a matter of three minutes. This knocked the stuffing out of the Royals, and the Jackies continued to pile on the pressure adding a further three points from Aherne (0-2, 1f) and Niamh McEvoy. Ringing in the changes, the Royals did try to get back into contention with Louise McKeever shoring up the back line. Donaghmore Ashbourne’s Caitriona O’Shaughnessy defended well, as did Aedin Murray in the opening half, but for the Royals, Dublin scores just kept coming with Aherne and Healy adding a further brace of points each. This left Meath adrift by 14 points at half time – Dublin 2-10 Meath 0-02.

With the advantage of the wind in the second half, Meath set out to recapture some of the ground lost in the opening thirty mins. However, it was Dublin that started the half better with Elaine Kelly pointing twice in a minute (33’). Elaine Duffy added Meath’s third point of the clash on 36 mins from a free after Kellie Allen was fouled while running through. After some good solid possession and string of passes from Allen, Duffy and Shauna Bennett – Bennett pointed on 42 mins, but this was immediately cancelled out by Amy McGuinness on the restart. On 43 mins, Meath were awarded a penalty after Mary Sheridan was pulled down in the box. Elaine Duffy duly converted the penalty. Dublin only managed two further scores – Davey on 48 mins and Amy Ring on 53 mins as Meath finally stood up to be counted. Katie O’Brien added her second point of the contest on 50 mins from a free from a difficult angle. Mary Sheridan did all the simple things right and tapped over a point on 56 mins, while O’Brien once again popped up on 57 mins after some really good team work from Vivienne McCormack and Kellie Allen. There was just time for Elaine Duffy to add another point from a free on 59 mins and a further free into injury time dropped short into the keeper’s hands. It finished, rather disappointingly for the Royals – Dublin 2-15, Meath 1-08.

Meath will surely take comfort in the fact that they outscored their neighbours by 1-06 to 0-05 in the second half, but have a lot of work to do ahead of the last two games. Meath will have a break for a week with club leagues due to start next weekend. The Meath Ladies County Board would also like to wish all their players playing in the Colleges Finals next weekend the very best of luck. Meath will next host the Premier County on Sunday 27th at a venue and time to be confirmed. The Jackies may have defeated the Royals on this occasion, but with another head to head with them due in the Leinster Championship semi final, the Meath management will be eager to rectify and tweak the team. Overall it was a disappointing result, but Meath were still well served by all their players – especially Caitriona O’Shaughnessy, Katie O’Brien, Aedin Murray and Fiona Mahon.

Meath Team & Scorers: Orlagh McLaughlin, Eve Wardick, Aedin Murray, Orla Sheridan, Bridgetta Lynch, Grainne Nulty, Ashley Leavy, Shauna Bennett (0-01), Caitriona O’Shaughnessy, Elaine Duffy (1-02, pen and 2f), Katie O’Brien (0-03, 1f), Vivienne McCormack (0-01), Fiona Mahon, Jenny Rispin, Philomena Sheridan. Subs: Louise McKeever for Wardick (15 mins), Mary Sheridan (0-01) for Leavy (15 mins), Kellie Allen for Rispin (24 mins).

Dublin Team & Scorers: Cliodhna O’Connor, Siobhan McGrath, Joanne O’Sullivan, Sinead McGoldrick, Gemma Fay, Sorcha Furlong, Fiona Hudson, Denise Masterson, Niamh McEvoy (0-01), Amy Ring (0-01), Amy McGuinness (0-02), Noelle Healy (0-03), Lyndsey Davey (2-01), Sinead Aherne (0-05), Elaine Kelly (0-02). Subs: Colleen Barrett for McEvoy, Olivia Leonard for Kelly, Sinead O’Mahony for Fay, Amy Connolly for Davey.

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