TG4 Cumann Peil Gael na mBan Senior Championship 2009 Round 2

Meath v Kerry

After disposing of the Orchard County last weekend, the Royal Ladies will courageously take on the Kingdom next weekend in round 2 of the TG4 Senior Ladies Championship. On paper, Kerry would appear to be one of the easier teams that Meath could draw, given that the Royals could have faced 2008’s All Ireland finalists, Monaghan or 2007’s finalists Mayo. Nevertheless, Meath Ladies manager Brendan Dardis will be treating Kerry with caution. The Kingdom were dumped out of the Munster Final courtesy of Cork in ruthless fashion, the Rebels winning on a 6-15 to 0-09 scoreline played on the 4th July. Kerry have not played a competitive game since this and will no doubt be hoping to make amends. On the other hand, Meath are fresh after a good result against Armagh and are hoping to cause a second upset this summer.

The St. Ultans quintet of Geraldine Doherty, Katie O’Brien, Shauna Bennett, Elaine Duffy and Aimee Bennett were arguably Meath’s best players against Armagh and will be crucial of the Royals are to book their place in the All Ireland Quarter Finals. This time last year, Meath players were worrying about their chances of staying in the Senior ranks for this year, twelve months on, and there’s a different atmosphere in the camp, with Senior status guaranteed in 2010 after victory over Armagh. Dardis has introduced many new players to Senior Championship, the most successful of these being Walterstown’s Áine Fagan. The sixteen year old, nicknamed ‘Little One’ by her fellow team mates has been a revelation to this year’s Senior team and has consolidated her place on the first fifteen with good displays in the Leinster semi final against Dublin and against Armagh last weekend. Undoubtedly, Fagan’s presence has inspired the players around her, with all the defence playing well against the Orchard County. Maria Kealy was outstanding against Armagh, and will have another difficult afternoon ahead of her to mark one of the Kingdom’s corner forwards, who like their male counterparts are exceptionally quick.

The last time the two sides met was the quarter final of the National League in 2006. Meath accounted for Kerry before defeating Mayo in the semi final and reaching the League final against Cork for the first time in its history. While much has changed for both counties in the interim, both teams will be hoping to proceed to the All Ireland Quarter Finals where they will face either Tyrone, Dublin, Galway or Cork. Exact fixture details are yet to be announced. The Kingdom may be one bridge too far for the Royals this year, however if Meath can play to their ability there is no reason why the Royal Ladies can’t follow their male counterparts into the All Ireland Quarter Finals.

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