U-16 All Ireland Final

Meath v Donegal

Meath Ladies football has received a well timed boost courtesy of their county under 16 footballers who booked their place in the All Ireland Final against favourites Cork last weekend. Just a goal separated the sides at the finish, a last minute score from Captain Bridgetta Lynch to secure her teams spot in the final. Scoring at the last minute is something that the team has become accustomed to in the last year, however they always have come out with the right result. This makes for very tense viewing, and supporters who will travel to see the team playing Donegal next weekend will no doubt be in for an exciting final.

The Meath under 16s are so far this season unbeaten and with the talent in the panel, this looks set to continue. They have an exceptional keeper in Samantha Monaghan whose clearances and kickouts have been integral to the team’s performance. While it would be unfair to pick out just a few players from this extraordinary squad, one feels they must be given special mention. St. Michael’s player Megan O’Brien, awarded a Green Star for her performances last year, has been one of the most consistent players on this year’s u-16 squad. The Leinster Final’s Player of the Match, Kellie Allen who plays her football with Oldcastle, will be integral to the team playing well next weekend. The under 16s will be thrilled to have Jacinta Maher back playing with them after she missed the All Ireland semi final as she was playing handball for Ireland in Germany. The ‘speedy’ O’Mahonys player will boost the full forward line where Captain Bridgetta Lynch safeguarded in Maher’s absence.

Although the players will have their minds firmly on lifting the All Ireland trophy next weekend, they have learnt over the course of the season that they have made friendships which will last long after the memories of this heroic season fades. Meath last won the U16 All Ireland Championship in 2001, and the Senior team currently has many of the players that played in that championship. If even half of the current under 16 team make their way onto the Senior panel in the next few years, Meath has a very bright future.

Last year, Meath under 14s played Donegal in the All Ireland Quarter Final and the Royal girls won comfortably to book a place in the semi final where they lost to a strong Galway outfit. Donegal exacted some revenge this year when they surprisingly defeated Galway in the u16 semi final.
The stage is set for the Meath under 16s to shine and cap a wonderful season off with an All Ireland win. Fixture details are yet to be announced.

Meath’s Path to the Final:
Leinster Championship:
Semi Final: Meath 3-09 v Wicklow 2-10
Final: Meath 5-15 v Dublin 3-05
All Ireland Championship:
Semi Final: Meath 4-08 v Cork 4-05

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