Bord Gáis Energy – Ladies NFL – Round 2 – Division 2 

Meath v Sligo
Pairc Tailteann Navan
Sunday February 14th 2010

Half time:
Meath 2 – 03 – Sligo 1 – 04

Full Time:
Meath 2 – 10 – Sligo 3 – 06

Referee Garry Owen McMahon

After their heavy defeat to Kildare in round 1 of the NFL Meath Ladies needed to get some points on the board to kick start their season. Before the game even started Meath were down Captain Mena Sheridan with a hamstring injury and corner back Claire Coffey with ankle ligaments. This wasn’t the ideal start to a game where the opposition were an unknown quantity, Meath never having played Sligo in competition before.

Sligo were first to strike when centre half Ruth Goodwin pointed in the first minute of the game, this was followed almost immediately by another point from Áine Gormley to put Sligo into a 2 point lead in as many minutes. Things went from bad to worse when Nicole Fowley netted in the third minute. Sligo were having the bulk of the possession with Meath not having settled into the game properly.

With both teams trying to outdo each other a long ball into the Meath forward line found Oldcastle’s Bridgetta Lynch free, she calmly collected the ball and with the ease of someone with far more experience coolly passed the ball into full forward Kellie Allen who drove forward and coolly slotted the ball passed the hapless Sligo keeper for Meaths first score (8 mins). Mary Sheridan collected the resultant kick out and sent the ball into Allen who once again sent the keeper the wrong way for her second goal in 90 seconds. Geraldine Doherty then put the ball between the posts for Meaths third score in as many minutes. Meath were now full of confidence and were keeping the Sligo defence busy. Bridgetta Lynch added her name to the scoreboard with a well taken point in the eleventh minute. Sligo blushes were spared when keeper Emma Cullen made a fine save from Allen again on ten minutes. Sligo managed another two points from frees before Elaine Duffy pointed from a free of her own to send Meath into the break with a scoreline of 2 – 03 to 1 – 04.

Meath hit the ground running in the second half and rattled off four unanswered points before Sligo realised what was happening, Ger Doherty and Elaine Duffy with two a piece. Elaine Duffy then hit the crossbar with a rocket of a shot but unfortunately the ball was collected by the full back and sent out the field.

But the Sligo girls weren’t finished yet. Corner forward Stephanie O’Reilly picked up the ball on the wing and drove forward with a vengeance and drove the ball passed Meaths net minder Irene Munnelly. This seemed to give the Sligo girls the desire they were looking for and within ten minutes they had netted another goal from Fowley. This brought the teams to within a point of each other with Meath just hanging on. Doherty and Bennett were playing some great football but Meath weren’t taking their chances. Sligo on the attack again but they were broken down by a determined Áine Fagan and Aedin Murray playing some outstanding football. Sligo pointed twice more before Doherty Duffy and Rispin made it a very hard fought one point win for the Royals.

It has to be said that Meath won this game with a mixture of youth and experience. With the likes of Fagan, Lynch, Allen and McCormack coming into team and the experience of Mary Sheridan, Ger Doherty and Shauna Bennett to name but a few it sure makes for exciting times ahead for the Royal County.

Meath now move on to play Donegal in the next round of the NFL. This game will take place on Sunday next February 21st in Pairc Tailteann, Navan. Throw In will be 2p.m.

Meath team and scorers:
Irene Munnelly, Áine Fagan, Aedin Murray, Maria Kealy, Ciara Dempsey, Jenny Rispin (1pt)
Therese Cosgrave, Mary Sheridan, Eve Wardick, Shauna Bennett, Stephanie Byrne, Geraldine Doherty (4 pts), Elaine Duffy (4pts), Kellie Allen (2 gls), Bridgetta Lynch (1pt).

Vivienne McCormack for Wardick, Orla Sheridan for Byrne, Deirdre Flynn for Lynch.

Sligo team:
Emma Cullen, Jackie Mulligan, Cammie Kennedy, Etna Flanagan, Ciara Doyle, Ruth Goodwin, Fiona May, Bernice Byrne, Siobhan O’Sullivan, Áine Gormley, Noelle Gormley, Nicole Fowley, Ellisa Codd, Sinead McTiernan, Stephanie O’Reilly


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