Meath Ladies


Bord Gais Energy Ladies National Football League 200

Division 2b

Meath v Cavan,
Pairc Tailteann,
Sunday 15th March
Throw-In: 2pm

Half Time: Meath 1-03 v Cavan 0-07
Full Time: Meath 3-06 v Cavan 0-12

Meath snatched victory out of Cavan’s hands with two late goals in the last round of the Bord Gais Energy National Ladies Football League in Pairc Tailteann on Sunday. With just three minutes left on the clock, Meath were the wrong side of a 1-05 to 0-12 point scoreline. However, the switch by Brendan Dardis to put Mary Sheridan into full forward, from midfield, proved ingenious as Sheridan was involved in both goals.

With the aid of a strong breeze Meath dominated the opening exchanges registering an early three point lead through Gillian Bennett, Elaine Duffy and Grainne Nulty with five minutes gone. The Meath midfield pairing of Grainne Nulty and Mary Sheridan dominated and successfully won the kick outs and the wing forwards, Aedin Murray and Eve Wardick did well in fielding the ball and crucially getting it into the full forward line. Cavan’s first shot on Meath goal resulted in a wide but a minute later, Cavan’s Bronagh Sheridan split the posts for Cavan’s opening score. This was the first of many Cavan attacks on goal, and only for the strong defending of Claire Coffey and Rebecca Considine; the game could have put beyond all Royal reach early enough in the game. Cavan doubled their score on 13 mins, while the Royal forwards missed several chances at the other end.
On 17 mins, Philomena Sheridan and Gillian Bennett combined to find Elaine Duffy in space and the St. Ultans player had little difficulty in finding the back of the Cavan net, putting the Royals ahead, 1-03 to 0-02. On 21 mins, Cavan pulled a point back from a free. It was Cavan that finished the half the happier as they added a further three points through Roisin O’Keefe, Bronagh Sheridan and Sharon Cassidy. Cavan were getting through the Meath defence with little difficulty, an issue addressed by Dardis at half time. Cavan went in at the break just a point ahead of the Royals, 0-07 to 1-03.

Meath made two changes to the half forward line at half time with Shauna Bennett replacing Wardick and Roisin Nulty replacing Philomena Sheridan. Despite having early frees, Meath failed to convert against the stiff breeze. Cavan doubled their lead to two points on 34 mins. Again Meath dominated possession but failed to reap the rewards by scoring. On 46 mins, Áine Fagan added a point for the Royals to bring the deficit to just one point. This was cancelled out on the next passage of play as Bronagh Sheridan ran at the Meath defence and coolly slotted over a point. Cavan stretched their lead to four with two more points on 50 and 52 mins respectively. Substitute Niamh O’Sullivan was unlucky not to reduce Cavan’s lead as her shot just went an inch wide of the upright. Elaine Duffy, did reduce the lead to 3 points on 55 mins but this was cancelled out with 3 mins to go by the untiring threat of Bronagh Sheridan. With just a few minutes left on the clock, Dardis swapped Mary Sheridan into full forward. Irene Munnelly found Nulty on the kickout and a long kick into the Cavan defence found Sheridan waiting. As Mary drew the corner back to her, she offloaded the ball to Elaine Duffy, who promptly added her second goal of the game, with a massive cheer from the crowd that was in the stand. Although losing the resulting kick out, Brid Guy somehow got the ball from her player on the half back line, found Nulty in waiting and the third goal was a carbon copy of the second, albeit with Elaine Duffy having more work to do, leaving the Cavan defenders reeling. A four point victory looked evident for Cavan, but in two moves, they were staring at a two point defeat. Deep into injury time, Aimee Bennett added a point, to ensure Meath took all three points home. Meath ran out three point winners on a score line of 3-06 to Cavan’s 0-12.

On the balance of play, Meath used their get out of jail free card. There were times when Cavan dominated play, leaving Meath players in their wake. However, it takes a very determined team to play right until the final whistle and the result today proves that the never-say-die attitude is right at home in the Royal camp. To the fore for Meath were Elaine Duffy, Mary Sheridan, Claire Coffey and Rebecca Considine. Meath now begin to prepare for a quarter final against either Waterford or Wexford to be played on the 5th April.

Meath Team & Scorers: Irene Munnelly, Claire Coffey, Louise McKeever, Sinead McCormack, Aoife Guy, Jane Burke, Rebecca Considine, Grainne Nulty (0-01), Mary Sheridan, Aedin Murray, Philomena Sheridan, Eve Wardick, Elaine Duffy (3-02), Gillian Bennett (0-01), Áine Fagan (0-01).
Subs: Shauna Bennett for Wardick, Roisin Nulty for P.Sheridan, Niamh O’Sullivan for A.Guy, Aimee Bennett (0-01) for G. Bennett, Brid Guy for McCormack., Orlagh McLaughlin, Blaithin Brennan, Fiona Mernagh, Fiona O’Neill, Tara Ryan, Ciara Daly, Fiona Nevin, Avril Robinson.

Cavan: Christine McCutcheon, Maria Smith, Ciara Grey, Ciara Reilly, Sheena Kiernan, Ailish Cornyn, Susan Lynch, Donna English, Rosie Crowe, Caitriona Leddy, Bronagh Sheridan, Roisin O’Keefe, Brid Boylan, Aishling Doonan, Sharon Cassidy.

Referee: Tommy McSorley (Tyrone)

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