Dublin Claim Leinster Under 14 Title

A STUNNING scoring burst just after half-time sent Dublin to victory over a game Meath team in the Leinster under 14 final at Clane.

Having played against the stiff wind in the first half, Meath trailed by just two points at the break but Dublin made light of the conditions in the second half to grab the title.

The two teams had played out a memorable draw in the round-robin stage of the championship and there was little between them again in the first half in Clane as the Meath girls battled hard against the wind. Indeed for long spells in that opening 30 minutes, the green and gold were the better team as they carried the game to Dublin and were actually left to rue at least two missed goal opportunities which might have put an entirely different complexion on the final.

Meath’s Anna Wogan opened the scoring with a well taken point in the opening minute. Scores were at a premium, though, and despite the wind advantage Dublin were finding it difficult to create chances as Meath tackled tenaciously with captain Emma Regan marshalling the defence and Rachel Casserley excelling in a roving role.

Ali Griffen, Ciara O’Connor (free) and the impressive Jennifer Hanrahan had Dublin 0-3 to 0-1 ahead by the 20th minute but Meath took the lead when Nicole Smith fired to the net. Hanrahan leveled, and then Aishling O’Neill and Katie O’Sullivan were on target to give Dublin the lead at half-time, 0-6 to 1-1.

Meath looked to be in a strong position at this point. However, it was Dublin who were the side who made the burst for the line. Hanrahan, O’Connor and Aoibhinn McCarthy extended the lead with three scores in quick succession. Wogan converted a free but then came the decisive minutes of the game when Eimear Mangan scored two goals in three minutes to put a serious dent in Meath’s hopes. With 19 minutes left, Dublin had sprinted into a 10-point lead.

Zoe Matthews and O’Neill exchanged scores but try as they might Meath couldn’t engineer the goals needed to get them back in the tie. Dublin’s third goal, with three minutes left to play, a speculative effort by O’Connor gave them a cushion to the final whistle.

The final score did not do justice to the effort put in by Meath, who had outstanding performers on the day, including Regan, Alanna McNulty, Rachel Casserley, Sarah Muldoon and Anna Wogan.

This is a good Meath team and supporters can look forward to better days ahead with this group of players.




Scorers – Dublin: E Mangan 2-0, C O’Connor 1-2 (2f), J Hanrahan 0-5, A O’Neill 0-3, K O’Sullivan 0-2 (1f), A McCarthy 0-1, A Griffen 0-1.

Meath: N Smith 1-0, A Wogan 0-2 (1f), Z Matthews 0-1, A McNulty 0-1, L Troy 0-1, E McConnell 0-1.

Meath: Amy O’Leary, Caitriona Flynn, Emma Regan (captain), Alanna McNulty, Zoe Matthews, Karla Kealy, Katie Cagney, Siofra Murphy, Sarah Muldoon, Grainne Aylward, Anna Wogan, Eva O’Hagan, Eva McConnell, Nicole Smith, Rachel Casserley. Subs: Anu Balogun for Eva O’Hagan, Saoirse Quinn for Zoe Matthews, Leah Troy for Grainne Aylward, Gemma Clarke for Eva McConnell.

Dublin: Rugile Auskalnyte, Erin Christie, Aoife O’Sullivan, Sophia Nyhan, Ali McCarthy, Lucy Crowe, Roisin Quigley, Ali Griffen (captain), Aoibhinn McCarthy, Ciara O’Connor, Ellie Young, Jennifer Hanrahan, Aishling O’Neill, Katie O’Sullivan, Eimear Mangan. Subs: Aoife Coppinger for Erin Christie, Ada Greene for Ali McCarthy, Sarah Willis for Aoibhinn McCarthy, Emma Kane for Ciara O’Connor, Ella Darcy for Ellie Young.

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