Meath await their first ever Suzuki Division 1 Final


Meath v Cork Division 1 NFL Final Saturday May
6th 2006 – Parnell Park, 7.45p.m. 

Meath Ladies head to their first ever Division 1 final on Saturday
next. There is little doubt that they will be rank outsiders,
Cork being the current All Ireland and NFL Division 1 champions.
These sides have met three times in the last two years and it
has been Cork all the way.

On the last occasion it was in the round robin series of the
competition where Meath went down to the Leesiders by 2-13 to
1-10. This was a difficult game for both sides as it was played
in gale force winds and Cork seemed better suited to these conditions.
Meath just didn’t have any answers on that day. It has to be said
that since their defeat to Galway in Round 5 where Meath lead
for most of the game and then lost by a solitary goal was a turning
point for the Royal Ladies. This defeat didn’t go down at all
well. Both players and management learned a lot from this game.
Since then things have turned around again.


The Meath panel that defeated Mayo in the Suzuki Ladies National
League Semi-Finals

In the last game of the round robin series Meath comprehensively
beat off the challenge of Donegal in what has to be said were atrocious
conditions for even the hardiest of players. Meath finished third
in their group of the league and this set up a quarter final berth
with the up and coming Kerry. This would be a tough game. Luckily
for Meath it was a home game and the Royal girls went out and completely
demoralised a fancied Kerry team. Kerry didn’t have a look in during
the first half of the game where Meath pounded the Kerry defence.
It was an unlikely easy win for Meath.


Things were starting to come together for Geraldine Sheridans charges
and next on the menu were the outstanding Mayo. According to the
people in the know this was to have been a game that Mayo would
dominate. But true to form Meath were not going to let Mayo away
easily. It was a day that many a Mayo player and supporter would
like to forget. Keeper Irene Munnelly was to be one of the key players
on the day. Several outstanding saves were to prove crucial. Another
important factor was the battle to keep all star Cora Staunton quiet.
This was done by corner back Sinead Dooley.

It would be unfair to say that one player either way made the difference
but several individuals at certain times made that one vital save,
interception or scored that difficult point from acute angles that
made it a day that Meath lady footballers and supporters would never
forget. With the talented Jackie Shiels out for most of the season
with a broken leg it looked like a more difficult task for Meath,
but with a panel of players equal in ability and skill this breach
would be filled.

Next Saturday will hopefully be another day that the Meath girls
won’t forget. They are playing well and there is still a lot more
to come from this talented group of girls, some of whom have been
together since underage. Manager Geraldine Sheridan and her team
are confident that they will take the league cup back to the Royal
county for the first time. The panel is working extremely hard,
all the girls are giving everything to reach this goal.


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