Clare and Meath Play out Thriller

Tesco Homegrown NFL Division Two; Round Two

Sunday 8th February 2015

Meath v Clare

Kilmihil GFC, Co. Clare

Throw in; 2pm


Half Time; Meath 1-04, Clare 1-06

Full Time; Meath 2-12, Clare 2-12


There are days that no matter how much you give, how many runs you make, how many high balls you field, it just isn’t good enough. Meath did everything right today, they gave 100% for the jersey they wore proudly and in the end were probably fortunate to escape the foggy confines of Kilmihil GFC with a point. The youngest Senior team Meath have put forward for years (23 of the current panel are under 21) are doing their all for their County and above all else they need time and matches. Neither of which are at their disposal.


The game was a tight one from the off with Vikki Wall getting Meath’s opening score, which was immediately cancelled out by well taken Banner point. Meath dominated early possession and were gifted an early goal when Becks Goodwin found the back of Aoife O’Neill’s net on 4 mins. Clare’s response was immediate, as they carved open the Meath defence to allow Ailish Considine hit the back of the Meath net with aplomb. Considine added a point for the Banner County on 12 mins which was duly cancelled out by Royal Gaels’ Laura Murray a minute later. The teams traded scores again on 14 and 19 mins with Murray finding her second of the afternoon. Defensively, the Royals stood strong – pushing forward, with Emma Troy and Aideen Guy impressing. Michelle Peel and Kate Byrne’s partnership in midfield supplied plenty of ball to the forwards who had to work hard for their scores. The last third of the half belonged to Clare though as they commanded possession, adding three points on 27, 28 and 30 mins. Emma Troy popped up moments before half-time, in a super run to leave just a brace between the sides at half-time.

HT; Meath 1-04, Clare 1-06.


The second half started brightly for both sides with Clare extending their lead to three, before Oldcastle’s Bridgetta Lynch pointed on 32 mins to reduce the gap back to two. Clare added a further two points in quick succession before substitute Niamh Crowe scored a beauty on the left hand side to keep Meath in touch on 37 mins. Laura Murray added her third of the afternoon on 39 mins before Geraldine Doherty exchanged points with Clare’s Orla Devitt on 40 and 42 mins respectively. The Royals to their credit never once broke stride and kept pressing, despite the fog that descended frequently over the course of the game, waiting for the opportunity to strike. Aideen Guy, Siofra Cleary and Shauna Ennis harried and hassled and refused to give up. They were rewarded on 51 mins when Vikki Wall pointed her second of the contest to put the minimum between the teams. Murray converted a free on 52 mins to level matters and ensure an exhilarating final five minutes. Meath had two goal chances saved by Clare keeper Aoife O’Neill before Jacinta Maher put Meath noses in front with a fine score on 55 mins. A minute later the sides were level again but Meath were in resilient humour and Troy added her second point of the contest on 61 mins. It was all Meath traffic at this point with the Royals firmly pushing for the win. Wall added her side’s second goal on 63 mins to put daylight between the sides, sending the Meath supporters into a frenzy of delight. The frenzy however was cut short however as Clare remarkably pulled back the four point lead, firstly with a goal that just escaped Samantha Monaghan’s outstretched hand and it was left to Ailish Considine to force a share of the spoils on 66 mins with a fine point. Referee, Des McEnery finally finding his whistle to blow for full time with 66 mins and 49 seconds on the clock. The sides finished level, 2-12 apiece.


It would be difficult not to feel disappointed after today’s game. Playing what appeared excessive extra time is something that Meath will feel hard done by on, however if the shoe was on the other foot, it would have been deemed necessary. A bitter pill to swallow nonetheless. The Meath Seniors now have a week’s break before they welcome Down to the Royal County on February 22nd. There will be brighter days for this Meath team and how crucial that point may be by League’s end. Best for Meath today were Samantha Monaghan, Aideen Guy, Emma Troy, Siofra Cleary and Vikki Wall.

There will be love and hope in the air next Saturday as the Meath minors make the journey to the Garden County to take on Wicklow in the first round of the Minor Championship. Meath Minor Manager, Eamon Murray will be eager to get off to a positive start to the 2015 campaign with many more fixtures coming quick and fast.


Meath Team & Scorers: Samantha Monaghan, Shauna Ennis, Sarah Powderly, Aideen Guy, Emma Troy (0-02), Siofra Cleary, Niamh Lister, Michelle Peel, Kate Byrne (C), Laura Griffin, Jacinta Maher (0-01), Laura Murray (0-04, 4f), Bridgetta Lynch (0-01), Rebecca Goodwin (1-00), Vikki Wall (1-02).

Subs: Geraldine Doherty (0-01) for Goodwin (12 mins), Kate Flynn for Powderly (18 mins), Niamh Crowe (0-01) for Griffin (18 mins), Adrienne McCann for Lynch (42 mins), Laura Dempsey for Flynn (46 mins), Ailbhe McHugh for Maher (57 mins), Roisin Williams, Alex Goodman, Julie Donnellan, Leah Kelly, Hannah McKeon.


Clare: Aoife O’Neill, Roisin Considine, Laurie Ryan (C), Grainne Harvey, Fiona Touhy, Louise Woods, Ellie O’Gorman, Eimear Hillery, Carol O’Leary, Orla Devitt, Niamh Keane, Becky Mahon, Grainne Nolan, Ailish Considine, Roisin Looney.


Referee: Des McEnery (Westmeath)


Leinster Minor Championship Round One

Wicklow v Meath – Saturday 14th February at 2pm.

Venue – Wicklow Venue TBA

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