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Meath Ladies Report

Meath Ladies Report

Bord Gáis Energy National Ladies Football League: Round 6

Clare v Meath

Cooraclare, Co. Clare

Sunday 28th March at 2pm


Half Time: Meath 1-09 v Clare 1-07

Full Time: Meath 1-14 v Clare 1-14


Meath utilized their get out of jail free card today against a tough Clare team, and it took a last minute point from the talented boot of Geraldine Doherty to secure a share of the spoils for the Royals in Clare. The Royals had gone into the game in a confident mood after accounting for Sligo, Armagh and Tipperary in previous rounds and improving on their performance each time. However the Banner County was not going to be overcome so easily and was determined not to lose on home soil.


The game began brightly for the Royals with Geraldine Doherty immediately putting the Royals on the scoreboard with a well taken point in the opening minute. However, the lead lasted but a moment as Clare responded instantly through Louise Henchy in the second minute, and slack defending allowed Clare double their score on the resumption through corner forward Aine Kelly. Never a team to lose control, Meath got back into position and used the long ball into Kellie Allen where she was fouled at the 21m line. Elaine Duffy took and converted the free to level the match on four mins. This score seemed to ignite the Meath team and they took the lead through Doherty on five mins. On 9 mins Allen was once again fouled by Lorraine Kelly, Clare’s fullback, and Duffy dutifully popped the ball over the bar. Meath defense was doing well with Ciara Dempsey doing well. Allen was once again fouled on 11 mins, and Jenny Rispin converted the resulting free with a fine point. Meath were progressing well, 0-05 to Clare’s 0-02.


It was to get worse for the Banner County as on the kick-out, Stephanie Byrne fielded excellently a high ball, found Rispin in space who in turn let it off to Doherty. Although blocked for the shot herself, Doherty found Duffy and the St. Ultans player shot over neatly to put four points between the teams on 12 mins. Clare pulled one back on 14mins, but this was immediately cancelled out by an excellently taken point by Byrne. Shauna Bennett ran at the Clare defense and found Byrne on her own with the Seneschalstown player making no mistake with the finish. A slip in concentration in the Meath defense allowed Clare in and the move was finished by Eimear Considine. On 16 mins, Shauna Bennett lifted Meath hopes, when good combination play from Duffy, Doherty, and Allen found Bennett, who needed no second chance to firmly place the ball in the back of the net. Meath added a further two points before half time, Duffy adding her fourth of the game from a free on 18 mins. Doherty finished Meath’s scoring on 20 mins when Bridgetta Lynch combined well with Doherty. However, Clare was determined not to let the game slip away from them. Capitalizing on some weak defending from the Royals Clare added a goal and three points before the end of the half, the goal coming on 19 mins through busy wing half Eimear Considine. Henchy ended the scoring in the first half when she converted a free on 29 mins. Meath still had their noses in front, but only just, half time the score read Meath 1-09, Clare 1-07.


Hopes were high going into the second half that Meath would consolidate on their lead but unfortunately the Banner County had other ideas and was to the fore for the first 15 mins of the second half scoring six points without a Meath reply. Indeed they had eliminated Meath’s lead after 5 mins and Eimear Considine added a further two points to take the lead for the first time in the game on 36 and 39 mins. Clare was dominating proceedings now with Meath struggling to impact on the game. Clare’s corner forward Ailish Considine added two points (a free on 44 mins and a point on 45mins). These put Clare in front, 1-13 to 1-09. Meath finally got on the score sheet in the second half when Duffy split the posts from a free on 47 mins. A great save from Monica McGuirk on 47 mins kept Meath hopes of getting something from the game intact. Duffy brought the gap down to two points on 49 mins. Clare added one point on 51 mins to bring the gap back to three. Good defending from Shauna Bennett, Ciara Dempsey and Philomena Sheridan ensured that Clare didn’t score any further scores while at the other end, Meath were saved by the boot of Geraldine Doherty as she scored three unanswered points on 56, 57 and deep into injury time on 62 mins. The game ended in frantic fashion but Meath just about held on and Doherty’s final point ensured the spoils would be shared, the final result 1-14 a piece.


Meath were lucky to get a result from Clare today, but the point they did win ensures they are still in with a chance to qualify for the semi finals of the league. They must get a win from either of their two remaining games Donegal or Down over the next two weekends. Meath now face Donegal next Sunday in Pairc Tailteann at 2pm. Brendan Dardis will surely be happy that they escaped from Clare with a point, but may be worries of the lack of the scores in the start of the second half. Best for the Royals today were Stephanie Byrne, Geraldine Doherty, Shauna Bennett and Elaine Duffy. Next week’s game versus Donegal is a back match from round 3 of the competition due to snow. Meath will be hoping to capitalize on having home advantage and will be wary of a Donegal side that are doing very well in the competition.


Meath Team & Scorers: M. McGuirk, C. Coffey, P. Sheridan (Capt.), M. Kealy, C. Dempsey, J. Rispin (0-01), E. Wardick, M. Sheridan, S. Byrne (0-01), G. Doherty (0-06), S. Bennett (1-00), A. Murray, E. Duffy (0-06), K. Allen, B. Lynch.

Subs: S. Martin for Rispin 23 mins, O. Sheridan for Lynch 41 mins, V. McCormack for Kealy, R. Nulty for Byrne 54 mins. Not used: I. Munnelly, M. O’Malley, T. Ryan, O. McLaughlin, S. Monaghan, A. McHugh, R. Considine.


Clare: E. O’Driscoll, S. Eustace, L. Kelly, C. Hester, N. Greene, G. Lynch, L. Ryan, E. O’Connor, F. Lafferty, M. Considine, L. Henchy, E. Considine, A. Kelly, N. Keane, A. Considine.


Referee: P.J. Rabbitte (Galway)


The Leinster Championship minor competition also kicks off this Easter weekend. Meath minors face the challenge of Laois in a home fixture for the Royal County on Easter Monday. Venue and time is to be confirmed.

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