Meath Minors Too Hot to Handle

Action from Meath Minors v Wicklow



Leinster Minor Championship, Division Two; Round One

Meath v Wicklow

Saturday 14th February 2015 at 3pm

Blessington GAA, Co. Wicklow


Half Time: Meath 4-01, Wicklow 0-02

Full Time: Meath 8-10, Wicklow 1-07

There wasn’t a rose in sight, but that didn’t matter as the Royals grabbed all three points on offer on Valentine’s afternoon against a plucky and determined side from the Garden County. Meath led comfortably from the start and finished in the same skilled manner they had started the game. With a large contingent of the team having made the leap from u16s to Minor this year, today’s result will certainly please Minor manager Eamon Murray.

Conditions were near perfect as referee, Billy O’Connell,threw in the ball and it was the Garden County who pointed first, soon cancelled out by a Marion Farrelly point. It was the first score of seven for the St. Michael’s player who enjoyed a fantastic game at full forward. The Royal’s first goal came on seven mins and it was Farrelly who emphatically found the back of Chloe Dwyer’s net. Wicklow pulled back a point on 14 mins with a huge amount of the play centred in midfield, Katie Bellew and Ellie O’Neill striking up a strong midfield partnership. The Meath defence was well marshalled by centre back Katie Dowling from St. Pats, who easily had her best game in a Royal jersey. The strong defence allowed Meath wing backs Aoibhín Cleary and Karley Leavy to burst forward. This created goal chances with Farrelly grabbing her second on 15 mins. Although Meath took their chances, they also wasted efforts – something that will no doubt be worked on in training over the next few weeks. The half ended brightly for the Royals with a brace of goals – Simonstown’s Kelsey Nesbitt finding the back of the net on the 30 min mark and Megan Thynne grabbing her first of a 3-02 haul in injury time. By half time, Meath were comfortably in front 4-01 to 0-02.

The second half continued the assault on the Garden County’s goals with Marion Farrelly grabbing her third and a hat trick just after half time. Wicklow found their third point, a long range effort on 32 mins, before Thynne grabbed her second goal on 33 mins and Niamh Gallogly scored a fine point on 34 mins. The teams traded scores on 35 and 36 mins with Farrelly once again finishing strongly from a relentless Royal attack. Farrelly added her third point a minute later before a strong Wicklow attack was saved, first by goalkeeper Nicole Byrne who rushed to the oncoming player, and then leading the team strongly, team captain, Hannah Heskin saved off the line.

To their credit, Wicklow never gave up. A Wicklow 1-02 haul in three mins woke the Royals up, and great work from Emma White, Karley Leavy and Gemma Donohue kept the Garden County at bay. Farrelly pointed once more on 49 mins before hitting the crossbar and later the upright! Aoibhín Cleary consolidated the fine game she was having, with a point on 50 mins, while wing forward Regina Hand got in on the scoring action with a point of her own two mins later. Cleary added the Royals’ seventh goal on 53 mins while Nesbitt, found her scoring range on 54 mins, pointing from a tight angle. Thynne proved she is as good with a football as she is with a hurl as she brought her tally of the afternoon to 3-02 with a final burst of scores, pointing twice on 55 and 57 mins respectively and then after a final Wicklow score, grabbing the Royals eighth goal, and her hat-trick, in injury time. Final score; Meath 8-10, Wicklow 1-07.

Most definitely, the sides were mismatched, however Meath did everything right. Their passing was on point, their awareness of each other and their position on the pitch a joy to behold. Undoubtedly what will please manager Eamon Murray the most is the chances that were not only scored but created as well. With six different players getting on the score sheet and tremendous individual performances – the future of ladies football in Meath is as bright as ever. Best for Meath today were Nicole Byrne, Katie Dowling, Aoibhín Cleary, Marion Farrelly and Megan Thynne. They have a week’s break next weekend before taking on Louth on 28th February, Meath’s only home game in the Championship.

MEATH TEAM & SCORERS: Nicole Byrne, Emma White, Gemma Donohue, Hannah Heskin (C), Karley Leavy, Katie Dowling, Aoibhín Cleary (1-01), Katie Bellew, Ellie O’Neill, Regina Hand (0-01), Niamh Gallogly (0-01), Hannah Mulvaney, Megan Thynn (3-02), Marion Farrelly (3-04), Kelsie Nesbitt (1-01).

Subs: Roisin Commons for White (50 mins), Caoimhe Clynch for Leavy (50 mins), Hazel Callaghan for Gallogly (53 mins) Odharnaith McKenna for Hand (54 mins), Niamh Gallogly for Farrelly (58 mins), Amy Mulvaney, Katie Brannigan, Shelly Melia, Victoria Wall.

Wicklow: Chloe Dwyer, Hannah Dowling, Shauna Byrne, Medb O’Keane, Anne Conroy, Alanna Conroy, Jessica Byrne, Katie Miley, Amy Ryan, Molly Cullen, Niamh O’Brien, Ella Doran, Ciara Byrne (C), Lisa Lawlor, Clodagh Fox.

Referee: Billy O’Connell (Dublin)

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