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Leinster U/16 Championship Final

Leinster U/16 Championship Final

Meath v Dublin
Geraldine Park
Athy, Co. Kildare
Saturday July 11th 2009


Ref: Pat Kehoe (Carlow)

Half time:
Meath 5 – 09 – Dublin 1 – 01

Full time:
Meath 5 – 15 – Dublin 3 – 05

Meath u/16s reclaimed the Leinster Championship crown for the first time since the All Ireland winning team of 2001, the year the Meath girls won back to back All Ireland titles. The last time the u/16s played Dublin in a Leinster final it was the Dubs who were victorious by two points.

The game was played in atrocious conditions but this didn’t certainly take away from the performance of either team. Dublin were the first out of the blocks with a well taken point in the first minute from full forward Elaine McGrath. The Meath girls were caught cold and it looked like Dublin were adapting to the wet conditions better. But, not to be outdone Meaths captain Bridgetta Lynch stepped up to the mark with the Royals girls opening score from a tight angle. Meath never looked back after this and went on a scoring spree for the next ten minutes bagging a total of two goals and three points courtesy of Jacinta Maher (1pt), Kellie Allen (1 pt) Adrienne McCann (1g), Katie Callaghan (1pt) and Joanna Byrne (1g). Meath were playing way beyond their years with ball after ball finding the green jerseys with ease. Dublin had no answer to the midfield pairing of Maire O’Shaughnessy and Sinead Coyle. They dominated this position for most of the first half.

The tenth minute saw Dublin win a penalty and it was duly dispatched to the back of the net past the diving Samantha Monaghan. This score seemed to inspire the Royals more than Dublin and once again led by O’Shaughnessy and Coyle in midfield, Meath hit the ground running with a total of three goals and five points. Kellie Allen was in superb form at centre half back and was controlling most of the Dublin attacks into the half. Jacinta Maher, Adrienne McCann and Vivienne McCormack were unstoppable in the forwards. They drove through the Dublin defence with ease and it was a fitting end to a great half of football that Maher had the last say of the half with a left footed shot past the hapless Dublin keeper. Meath went into the break with a deserved 5 – 09 to 1 – 01 scoreline. Indeed but for some fantastic saves by Meaths net minder Samantha Monaghan the score could have been very different.

The start of the second half saw the weather deteriorate further and it was eleven minutes before Meath registered the first point of the half from Maher. Dublin were then reduced to 14 players when the full forward was dispatched to the sin bin. Meath took advantage of the situation and went on to score two more unanswered points before a long ball in to Dublin substitute Nicole Owens saw her put an unstoppable shot past Monaghan in the Meath goals.

With the rain falling freely now both teams were reduced to a very hard slog to gain possession of the ball at times. Both teams were finding the going tough and scores hard to come by but Meath had done the hard work in the first half of the game. At this stage Kellie Allen, Stephanie Caffrey and Megan O’Brien were mopping up anything that came their way. Meath were very much in charge in this game. All six forwards put their names on the scoreboard. The Meath backs worked tirelessly and the keeper was as good as any senior keeper on the day. All in all, very much a team performance. Dublin were just outplayed on the day but no one could fault their ‘never say die attitude’. It was a truly great game of football by both sets of girls.

For her performance on the day the Meath no 6 Kellie Allen was named as ‘Player of the match’.

Meath now head to the All Ireland Semi Finals were they will play Cork in what should be an enthralling match. Cork beat Kerry also on Saturday by a single point. This game will be played on July 26th at a time and venue tbc.

Meath Seniors will also be on duty on July 26th when they take on Armagh in the first round of the TG4 All Ireland Series. This game will be played at Breffni Park, Cavan and has a throw in time of 6.45p.m. Meaths last encounter with Armagh ended in a two point defeat also in the qualifier series in 2007.

Meath team and scorers:
Samantha Monaghan, Karen Blaney, Cliona Murray, Lauren McCann, Megan O’Brien, Kellie Allen (2pts), Stephanie Caffrey, Maire O’Shaughnessy, Sinead Coyle (1g), Katie Callaghan (3pts), Vivienne McCormack (1 01), Joanna Byrne ( 2pts), Bridgetta Lynch (1pt) capt), Jacinta Maher (1 03), Adrienne McCann (2 02).
Laura Dempsey (1pt) for Byrne, Laura Murray for Blaney and Rachel Andrews for Maher.

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