Meath Ladies Match Reports

Leinster U-16 ‘A’ Championship Final

Meath v Dublin

Saturday 18th June at 3.15pm

St. Laurences GFC, Co. Kildare

Half Time: Meath 1-03 v 3-07 Dublin

Full Time: Meath 3-05 v 4-09 Dublin

Despite a torrential downpour and a brief abandonment of the game, Dublin powered home to secure the Leinster U16 Championship over a brave Royal side in Kildare on Saturday. A bright opening period for both sides was quickly overshadowed by a heavy rain shower which forced referee Stephen McNulty to abandon the match for a time. Dublin coped better with the wet conditions and went through a purple patch towards the end of the first half, securing 3-04, leaving Meath trailing by ten points when half time eventually came. Meath made a superb comeback in the second half and narrowed the gap to just three points but it was not to be and Dublin drove home to win by seven in the end.

Dublin began well and scored two inside five minutes, however Meath showed signs of determination and skill and it wasn’t long before Meath were back in contention – with the inspiring Laura Dempsey converting two frees in less than a minute. Meath began to have the upper hand, with Emma Troy and Ciara Donoghue both impressing in defence and surging Meath forward. In the tenth minute Meath were awarded a penalty after Dempsey was fouled in the box. The Boardsmill player who had been so inspirational for Meath in the semi-final three weeks ago stepped up and converted the penalty with a smashing shot past keeper, Danielle Aylmer. The game balanced on a knife edge, with both teams intent on raising the Championship cup. Dublin were the first to respond with a well taken point on 16 mins. However this was cancelled out again by a Dempsey free on 20 mins.

And then it came, much to the delight of the sizable contingent that had travelled from the Royal County and the Capital who raced under shelter or into nearby parked cars while the game continued. Nothing like an Irish summer shower to shake up proceedings! This turned out to be Meath’s demise though as they struggled to keep a now rampant Dublin team from their goals. The Capital side added 1-03 before the referee stopped the match due to the dangerous nature of weather. When the game restarted 15 mins later to wet conditions underfoot it was Dublin that maintained their previous run of good form and Sarah Powderly was unlucky with two goals that passed her by. Meath needed to get much tighter to their opposition and maintain possession when they won it. Maeve Scanlon was in terrific form for the Royals and inspired many Royal attacks, some of which came to no avail but Scanlon continued to torture her marker with surging runs. Meath were relieved to hear the half time whistle to dry off and plan a Royal comeback! At half Time the score looked as ominous for the Royals as the weather – Meath 1-03 v Dublin 3-07.

Dressed in dry jerseys, Meath took to the field with a spring in their step confident that they could alter proceedings. And just as they had done in the semi-final against Laois, Meath produced a marvellous display of football in the second half which had Dublin running scared for a time. Substitutes and positional changes at half time made a difference with Kelly Harris coming on for Shelby Leahy. Dublin’s Ciara McGuigan pointed for Dublin in the 31st min, but this was cancelled out by the hard working Emma Healy on 35 mins. A moment later, Michelle Peel was fouled in the box and the Royals were awarded a second penalty which was duly and expertly converted past the Dublin keeper by Dempsey. Almost immediately Dublin had the chance to respond with a goal of their own, with only Powderly to beat but the chance was spurned wide. Substitute Rosanna Irwin converted a point on 40 mins and a minute later the gap was reduced to just three points when Laura Dempsey got her hat trick of goals much to the cheering of the Meath supporters.

Just as Meath were on the up, disaster struck again when Captain Michelle Peel was forced off the pitch with an injury. Although Meath tried their best and never gave up this was the straw that broke the camel’s back and Dublin once again came into the ascendance tagging on 1-02 in the last minutes of the game to secure the victory. There was just time for Laura Dempsey to add her third point of the contest before referee Derek McKittrick blew for full time. In what had been an interesting and exciting contest, Meath were unlucky runners up. In the end Dublin raised their game when they were forced to by a determined set of Royal players and did enough to secure the Championship by 4-09 to 3-05. Best for Meath on the day were Laura Dempsey, Michelle Peel, Maeve Scanlon, Emma Troy and Ciara Donoghue.

Meath Team & Scorers: Sarah Powderly, Ciara Donoghue, Laura Murray, Siofra Cleary, Laura Griffin, Emma Troy, Ciara Delaney, Michelle Peel, Helen Regan, Ailish Moriarty, Laura Dempsey (3-03), Maeve Scanlon, Emma Healy (0-01), Leslie Buchanan, Shelby Leahy. Subs: Kelly Harris for Leahy, Rosanna Irwin (0-01) for Moriarty, Aoiffe Flynn for Peel, Ellen Hennelly for Delaney. Caroline Brothwood, Niamh Sheridan, Suzy Kennedy, Taylor Little, Rachel Lynch, Sarah O’Reilly, Edwina Olwill, Kelly Gorman, Saoirse McGrath.

Referee: Stephen McNulty (Wicklow)

Aisling McGing Memorial Tournament Round 1

Meath 0-4

Cork 4-15

The Meath Junior ladies got their Aisling McGing memorial tournament off to a bad start after a disappointing defeat to a strong Cork team in Simonstown on Sunday. It was the home team that started the scoring with Tara Ryan pointing from a free inside the opening minute. Gillian Bennett doubled Meath’s lead after 3 minutes with a well taken point. The Rebel ladies responded in good fashion with Claire Keohane pointing her first of the game. After 5 minutes Cork took the lead when team captain Shelly Twohig found the net after great link up play among the forwards. Orlaith McLoughlin, undoubtedly Meath’s best player on the day, pulled of a super save from Danielle Downey to keep the score close. Minutes later she then pulled off another fine save from Jenny Luddy to keep Meath two points behind. Midway through the first-half Bennett pointed again for the Royals to close the gap to the minimum however this was their last score of the half and the red outfit took control. Cork squandered yet another goal chance when Downey smashed a rasping shot onto the crossbar after a great pass from Sineád O‘Reilly. At this stage the Rebels should have been out of sight but the Meath defence continued to put the pressure on the Cork forwards. On 17 minutes Twohig added to her goal with a fine solo point for the away side and a minute later Ella Ryan added her first point of the game to leave a goal between the teams. Meath were struggling to contain the Rebel captain and after 20 minutes she scored her second goal of the game with a stinging shot into the top left hand corner after great work from Luddy.

Keohane then added two superb long range frees for the away side who continued to dominate possession, especially around the middle of the park. McLoughlin pulled off two superb saves yet again from Twohig and Luddy to deny the Cork side from pulling further ahead. Keohane was clinical from frees and with 4 minutes remaining in the half she added another free, her fourth point of the half. Two further points from Cork full forward Ryan finished the scoring to leave Cork with an 11 point interval lead. Meath 0-3 Cork 2-8.

The second-half continued to be a rather one sided affair with Cork storming out of the blocks with Keohane adding another point from a free and Ryan finishing to the net after a superb run from midfielder Aisling Hutchins. Keohane then added her second point from play before slotting over another free a minute later. The Rebels were proving too much of a challenge for the home side and with the wind behind their backs they continued to keep the score board ticking when Laura Cronin pointed her first of the game. Half back Rosie O’Mahoney also got in on the action with a fine point and Cronin added her second in two minutes to leave the Rebels fully in charge of the tie. A final goal and a point from Ryan finished the scoring for the Rebel County. Meath added a consolation point from Aisleen Regan with minutes remaining but it was Cork that went home the happier team running out comfortable winners in the end.

The Meath Juniors will now regroup and learn the lessons from Sunday’s fixtures. On Saturday next the 25th they will play in a fundraising challenge against a combination of Moylagh and Oldcastle Ladies in memory of Barry Hanlon, last year’s Junior manager who sadly passed away earlier this year. The game will be played in Moylagh GFC at 5pm next Saturday and all support to this game would be appreciated in honour of Barry.

Meath team; Orlaith McLoughlin; Mary Coyne, Shauna Rowe, Cailin McDonagh; Sinéad McCormack, Lisa Keenan, Andrea Pearle; Briona Rowe, Lisa Young; Fiona Nevin, Maria Kealy, Tara Ryan (0-1, free); Aisleen Regan (0-1), Gillian Bennett (0-2), Jackie Kavanagh. Subs – Cliona Murray for McDonagh 30m, Fiona O’Neill for Ryan 30m, Orla Tuite for Fiona Nevin (blood sub), Blathnaid Keogh for Kavanagh 41m, Fiona Nevin for Young, Jennifer Newman for Pearle 54m.

Cork team; Martina O’Brien; Eimear Harrington, Niamh O’Kieffe, Sinead O’Reilly; Patricia Murphy, Rosie O’Mahoney (0-1), Danielle O’Shea; Eleanor Aherne, Aisling Hutchins; Shelly Twohig (2-1), Danielle Downey, Laura Cronin (0-2); Jeny Luddy, Ella Ryan (2-4), Claire Keohane (0-7, 0-5 frees). Subs – Emma Firren for O’Shea 42m, Roisin O’Sullivan for O’Reilly 42m, Nicole Hickey for Cronin, 50m, Áine Hayes for Murphy 57m, Maureen O’Sullivan for Twohig 58m.

Referee Derek McKittrick (Dublin).

(Aisling McGing Report by Sarah Stanley)

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