Meath mauled by Mayo

Meath were simply over-run in this TESCO HomeGrown National League fixture against Mayo on Easter Sunday. Mayo’s physicality was too much for the Royals and the defeat confirms Meath’s drop to Division 2 ranks for the 2014 season, although the Royals still face Laois in the final round of the league next Sunday 7th April.


It was all one way traffic in the first half as Mayo pointed eight times without reply. Cora Staunton showed her prowess with five points in the first half, four of which came from frees. Meath, to their credit did show promise at times with Maire O’Shaughnessy restricting the impressive Staunton on a number of occasions. However, Meath could not seem to get the ball past their half forward line. Katie O’Brien was forced on numerous occasions to come back into her own half back line to win possession only for it to be lost further up the field. At half time, Meath knew they needed a bigger response in the second half.


To the player’s credit they persisted in the second period. Mayo were always on top but Meath seemed to throw caution to the wind and push forward. Two goals through Mayo’s Aileen Gilroy and Captain Fiona McHale early in the second half put the game out of the Royals hands, yet they still persevered. Oldcastle’s Bridgetta Lynch did all she could to push on the Royal side only to be sin binned with just a minute to go. The Royals pointed three times through three frees, two from Katie O’Brien (36 and 58 mins) and one from Geraldine Doherty (50 mins) and O’Brien found the back of the net on 59 mins. Mayo’s Deirdre Doherty scored 1-04 in the second half and the centre half forward, alongside Staunton, was a constant thorn in the Royal’s defence. Meath did find their feet in the last few minutes but by then the result was out of reach. It finished in Boardsmill with Mayo easy winners, 3-18 to 1-03.


Meath will be far from happy after the performance in Boardsmill today, however this is an exceptionally young senior team and being exposed to playing at the top level will stand the younger players in good stead ahead of the Aisling McGing U21 Championship in May and the Leinster Senior Championship at the end of June. Meath will look to work hard now in preparation for those competitions and confine the league to the history books for another year. Before that though they will face Laois next Sunday at a Meath venue to be confirmed. Best for Meath today were Maire O’Shaughnessy and Bridgetta Lynch.


Meath Team & Scorers: Irene Munnelly, Jenny Rispin, Aedin Murray, Orla Byrne, Niamh Lister, Maire O’Shaughnessy, Laura Bagnall, Vivienne McCormack, Fiona Mahon, Shauna Ennis, Kate Byrne, Katie O’Brien (1-02, 2f), Geraldine Doherty (0-01), Bridgetta Lynch, Sinead McCormack.


Subs: Sinead Coyle for V. McCormack (HT), Aideen Guy for Lister (39 mins), Aine Bennett for Ennis (41 mins), Colleen Jordan for S. McCormack (45 mins), Tracy King, Aideen Smith, Katie Callaghan, Meabh Downey, Lauren McCann.


Mayo: Y. Byrne, M. Corbett, M. Carter, K. Sullivan, C. McManamon, C. Egan, G. Kelly, A. Gilroy, C. McManamon, F. McHale (C), D. Doherty, S. Rowe, A. Brennan, C. Staunton, N. Kelly.


Referee: Eugene O’Hare (Down)

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