Dublin Edge Meath in U16 Leinster Final

Despite a rip-roaring opening half, Meath slumped to a second defeat in 24 hours against Dublin in front of a sizeable crowd in Clane GAA on Sunday afternoon. Trailing by four at the break, the Dubs upped the pace in the second half and ran out five point winners – their 7th U16 Championship title in a row. For the Royals, it is the end of the road but it remains a road that is paved full of promise, skill and determination, and one filled with memories that will, in time, re-energise the players who go back to their clubs with lessons learned and memories made.

5 Action from the Leinster U16 Final

It was the team from the Capital that opened the scoring, Ciara Holland pointing from a free in the opening minute in a damp and humid Clane. Lauryn Grier levelled matters for the Royals before Timmons doubled the Royals advantage with a beautiful score on 4 mins. With the Royals pushing hard, Deirdre Murray, Abbie Timmons and Aedin Slattery all contributing well to the Meath attacks, they added a third point through Timmons on 7 mins after the talented Donaghmore Ashbourne player gathered the loose ball from a Lauryn Grier shot that rebounded off the post with a bang. Holland added her second score for her side on 9 mins to reduce the defecit to one and the sides were level on 12 mins when Jodi Egan pointed. Dublin could have taken the lead but for an incredible save by Meath captain and netminder Judy Bobbett. Timmons took the lead for the Royals once more on 15 mins when she split the posts for her third point of the contest. The Royals hit a purple patch and two goals in as many minutes for Simonstown’s Lauryn Grier pushed the Royals into a 2-04 to 0-03 lead after 17 mins. Orlagh Lally, Kate McCarthy and Sarah Wall kept the Dublin attack at bay and a super save off the line kept the Royals in front heading into the final ten minutes of the half. A Rachel Troy point on 19 mins pushed the Royals into an eight point lead. Murray reduced the gap to seven on 22 minutes but this was cancelled out on 23 mins as Timmons hit her fourth score of the contest. As both defences got on top, both sides were forced into wides. Dublin were patient in their build up and were rewarded on 28 mins as Caoimhe O’Connor found the back of the Royal net. A Ciara Murray free reduced the gap to four points as the half time whistle went.


Half Time; Meath 2-06, Dublin 1-05.


As the weather deteriorated in the second half, sadly so too did the Royals’ lead on the scoreboard. The Royal defence was immediately put under pressure with the Dubs attack patient and direct. Three unanswered points brought the sides to within a point of each other – two Captain Rachel Brennan points sandwiching a Ciara Murray point. The Royals were battling hard and were rewarded as Mollie Byrne pointed on 39 mins to stretch the lead to two once more. Unfortunately, from a Royal point of view, this was to be Meath’s only score of the second half as the Dubs pulled away, scoring a further six points unanswered to seal the title. To their credit, the Royal ladies never gave up, and never threw in the towel – an admirable quality that will serve these ladies well in the future. Judy Bobbett between the Meath posts was exceptional – pulling off a hat trick of saves in quick succession as Dublin searched for a second goal to put the contest to bed. The Royals defence stood strong with Niamh O’Sullivan, Katie Newe and Sarah Wall all doing well in the second period. However, it was not enough and when the full time whistle went, Dublin had five to spare over the Royals, sealing their 7th Championship title in a row.

Full Time: Meath 2-07, Dublin 1-15


The result on Sunday will be a disappointing one for players who had not dropped a game heading into the final. The game was certainly one of two halves, and the players will surely be comforted as they were well in control in the first half. The second half did not go to plan and it is to the players’ credit that they refused to give in and continued to chase and block their opposition. The wait for a Leinster title continues at this age grade, but with the talent in this county, the old saying; good things come to those who wait, comes to mind.


Meath Ladies County Board would like to congratulate the U16s on their fine performance today and thank all those who worked with the team to prepare them not just for today, but for this season. They will be back stronger than ever, of that there is no doubt.


Meath Team & Scorers; Judy Bobbett (C), Niamh O’Sullivan, Orlagh Lally, Sarah Wall, Kate McCarthy, Katie Newe, Orla McLoughlin, Deirdre Murray, Laoise McDermott, Abbie Timmons (0-04), Aedin Slattery, Lauryn Grier (2-01), Rachel Troy (0-01), Mollie Byrne (0-01), Leah Reilly.

Subs: Leah Devine for Slattery, Anna Myles for McLoughlin, Sophia Payne for Reilly, Eva Hunter for McDermott, Katie Brangan, Marina Kelly, Emma Connell, Sorcha Gough, Emma Moriarty, Aine Carr, Emily Jo White, Orla Smith, Aoife Lenehan, Mary Kate Lynch, Kathleen Yore.


Dublin Team & Scorers; A. Ryan, L. Dempsey, L. Davies, H. Murphy, E. Healy (0-01), S. Fagan, M. O’Dea, G. O’Driscoll, N. Hetherton, J. Egan (0-03), R. Brennan (0-02), S. McMahon, C. O’Connor (1-00), C. Murray (0-04, 3f), C. Holland (0-04, 1f).

Subs: E. McCormack (0-01) for McMahon, G. Kos for Hetherton.


Ref: Cathy Forde (Wicklow)

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