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Meath Emphatically Defeat Down

Action from NFL v Down

Meath 4-14, Down 1-06


While, patience is a virtue, success requires determination, skill and passion. Meath showed these qualities and a lot more in blustery conditions in Donaghmore Ashbourne this afternoon. The pain of losing round one to Kildare and drawing with Clare two weeks ago were definitely the driving force behind today’s supreme performance and while there is still work to be done, Meath Ladies manager Diane O’Hora must be pleased with how her side is progressing. With tougher opponents still to face, this Meath team are gaining experience and confidence all the time.


While it was the Mourne County that registered the first wide, Meath stole the show playing with the wind in the first half, despite losing the toss. Geraldine Doherty was captivating in the first half – registering 2-04 in the first period. She opened her account for the afternoon in the 2nd min and on the resumption, fielded possession and the shot sailed past Danielle Byrne and into the Down net for the first Royal goal. Laura Murray converted a free in the third minute and Captain for the day Emma Troy found her scoring range on four mins after super teamwork from Bridgetta Lynch and Ger Doherty. The midfield role seemed to suit Troy – who had one of her best games in a County jersey – her surging runs causing Down’s rearguard all sorts of trouble. Doherty grabbed her second point on six mins – Down unable to stop the unwavering Royal attacks. Meath’s second goal came on seven mins – Niamh Crowe’s initial shot was saved by Down keeper Byrne and the ball spilled free to Oldcastle’s Bridgetta Lynch who was unmarked on the square. Lynch did not need an invitation and emphatically finished to the net. A minute later, Laura Murray grabbed her second point of the afternoon, converting a free from thirty yards out. Doherty split the posts on nine mins while the industrious Crowe got herself on the scoreboard with a fine point on ten mins. Doherty pointed again on 12 mins with Murray grabbing her third point from a free on 14 mins. The Royals’ third goal encapsulated the potential that is in this Meath team. Possession was cleverly won by Troy who found Rebecca Goodwin in space. Goodwin found Doherty seamlessly and the St. Ultans player delightfully chipped the keeper to find the back of the net on 18 mins. Meath’s Michelle Peel kept Down stalwart Kyla Trainor quiet and despite the Down Captain covering every blade of grass, Peel was with her every step of the way. Murray pointed from play on 26 mins and added a further point from a free when Siofra Cleary was fouled on 28 mins. Substitute Laura Dempsey notched up Meath’s twelfth point of the half on 28 mins and there was just time for Niamh Crowe to grab her second of the game on 31 mins before referee, Kevin Phelan brought the half to a close.

Half Time: Meath 3-13, Down 0-00

The second half was a tougher affair, with Down throwing everything at a resilient Meath rear guard. Once again, Emma Troy was everywhere, leading by example. A Laura Dempsey effort was saved by Down keeper Byrne, however Goodwin had other ideas and excellently dispossessed the keeper before running out of ground and the ball going wide. The incident showed the Royals unyielding hunger for the ball – something that will certainly please O’Hora and her team. Down’s first score came on 36 mins, Emily Martin’s chip just slipping past the open hands of Meath keeper Sarah Powderly. Meath’s response was almost immediate – playing against the wind they were patient in the build up, but fittingly it was Troy who effectively killed the contest, grabbing Meath’s fourth goal on 38 mins. Down Captain, Kyla Trainor, grabbed a brace of scores on 39 and 40 mins and Down grabbed a further score a minute later. Shauna Ennis, Cleary, Peel and Aideen Guy stood resolute, breaking down countless Meath attacks with Niamh Lister and Rebecca Considine also enjoying good outings. Trainor grabbed a further point for Down on 45 mins however the windy weather took its toll as both teams spurned chances to increase the score. Down’s Kate McKay grabbed Down’s fifth point on 59 mins and there was still time for the teams to trade scores with Doherty pointing her seventh score (fifth point) of the afternoon on 60 mins.

Full Time: Meath 4-14, Down 1-06.


With Meath’s next round game coming up next Sunday 1st March, a home fixture against neighbours Westmeath, today’s victory is a huge psychological boost for the Meath team. However, it is not just the victory but the manner of the victory which made today so special. Meath were unyielding, their athleticism and skill combining to ensure their first League win of the 2015 campaign. Judging by today’s performance, it will not be their last either. Best for Meath today were Geraldine Doherty, Laura Murray, Emma Troy and Michelle Peel. Undoubtedly they will be ready for the challenges that Westmeath will pose next Sunday.


Meath Team & Scorers: Sarah Powderly, Niamh Lister, Michelle Peel, Rebecca Considine, Síofra Cleary, Shauna Ennis, Aideen Guy, Kate Byrne, Emma Troy (1-01, C), Laura Murray (0-05, 4f), Alex Goodman, Jacinta Maher, Geraldine Doherty (2-05), Bridgetta Lynch (1-00), Niamh Crowe (0-02).

Subs: Rebecca Goodwin for Lynch (16 mins), Laura Dempsey (0-01) for Maher (20 mins), Laura Griffin for Byrne (46 mins), Ailbhe McHugh for Guy (50 mins), Adrienne McCann for Crowe (50 mins), Hannah McKeown for Lister (54 mins), Leah Kelly, Aoibheann Leahy, Kate Flynn, Kate Lawless, Niamh Sheridan, Aisling Sheridan, Vikki Wall, Elaine Plunkett.


Down: Danielle Byrne, Aimee Greene, Sinead Brannigan, Alison McCaul, Adair Trainor, Grainne Hughes, Annamarie Magee, Kate McKay, Jordan Magee, Siobhan McCann, Emily Martin, Laoise Duffy, Mairead Grant, Kyla Trainor (C), Laura Mason.


Referee: Kevin Phelan (Laois)


Saturday 28th February

Leinster Minor Championship Round Two

Meath v Louth – Meath Venue & Time TBA

Leinster U-16 Championship Round One

Meath v Dublin – Dublin Venue & Time TBA

Leinster U-14 Championship Round One

Meath v Dublin – Dublin Venue & Time TBA


Sunday 1st March

Tesco Homegrown National Ladies Football League – Round 4

Meath v Westmeath – Meath Venue & Time TBA

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