Meath Minors Edge Neighbours

Meath were pushed all the way by neighbours Westmeath in the second round of the Leinster Minor Championship on Saturday afternoon. Leading by just two points at half time, Meath went two points into arrears in the second half before storming back to win by seven points. The win sets up a crucial meeting with Kildare on March 19th to see who tops the group ahead of the semi-finals.

Meath Minor team Leinster Minor Champ Round Two

There was eight minutes on the referee’s watch before Meath’s Vikki Wall kicked over the first score of the game. Early signs were good for the Royals as they controlled the play and pushed forward, Marion Farrelly kicking two early frees for the Royals on 8 and 10 mins giving them a three point cushion. With Emma White, Eimear McEntee and Roisín Commons solid at the back for the Royals, Meath maintained possession and ran at pace towards the Westmeath goals. Farrelly grabbed her first of four fabulous goals on 12 mins and unfortunately this was to be their last score of the half as a resurgent Westmeath team hit back at the Royals. Points from Aoife Connolly and Lucy McCarton left the home side just two points adrift at half time.


Half Time; Meath 1-03, Westmeath 0-04.


The opening fifteen minutes of the second half was an even tighter affair with both sides intent on maintaining their 100% record. A brace of frees from McCarton in the 33rd and 38th minutes levelled the scoring and it was the home side that were looking at pushing on to victory with substitute Ashley Ruane dictating play as she ran with aplomb at the Meath rearguard. Further points in the 39th and 42nd mins put Westmeath into the driving seat but a wonderful team goal from the Royals edged them back in front on 44 mins. Karley Leavy sent a wonderful ball direct to Vikki Wall who in turn found Farrelly and the St. Michaels player needed no second urging to bury it in the net on 47 mins. With legs tiring, both teams had efforts drift wide, Ailbhe Leahy’s effort coming back off the post on 55 mins. With time running out, Farrelly grabbed a brace of goals on 57 and 59 mins to put the result beyond doubt, adding a free on the stroke of full time. Westmeath were still pushing and one fine effort somehow deflected and skimmed along the Royal’s goal line before going wide. Deep into injury time, Westmeath did grab a goal and it was well deserved, coming from Aoife Connolly’s boot. The last score of the game however was left to the Royals, Megan Thynne splitting the posts just before referee Eoghan O’Neill blew the full time whistle.


Full Time: Meath 4-06, Westmeath 1-08.


While it was important here for Meath to pick up all three points on offer, it was surely their calmness under pressure that the Meath Minor management will be most impressed with. Emma White, Roisín Commons, Karley Leavy, Niamh Cassidy, Vikki Wall and Marion Farrelly all showed a coolness under pressure that augurs well with a tough task ahead against Kildare on March 19th. Fielding a strong 15 with injuries, holidays and bereavement was sure to take a toll on the team, however Eamon Murray and his management team will surely be happy with their team’s progress, knowing however they will have to improve still further ahead of their third round.


Meath Ladies would like to offer their condolences to Kelsey Nesbitt and her family on their recent bereavement. Ar dheas Dé go raibh a anam.


Meath Team & Scorers: Laurie McLean, Emma White, Roisín Commons, Megan Lyons, Eimear McEntee, Katie Bellew, Karley Leavy, Aoibhín Cleary, Niamh Cassidy, Natasha Mullen, Vikki Wall (0-02), Niamh Rispin, Megan Thynne (0-01), Marion Farrelly (C, 4-03, 3f), Ailbhe Leahy.

Subs: Emma McCarney for Bellew, Katie Bellew for Rispin, Martha Reidy for Mullen, Clare Mullen for N. Cassidy.


Westmeath: Gráinne Byrne, Rachel Halligan, Aoife Moran, Becky Nolan, Rachel Dillon (JC), Katie Heffernan, Megan Ennis, Ellen Cronin, Niamh Nolan, Ellie Conway, Ruth O’Connor, Amy Alford, Aoife Connolly, Róisín Clinton, Lucy McCarton (JC)


Ref: E. O’Neill (Kildare)


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