Meath Progress to Leinster Minor B Final

A score fuelled second half was enough for Meath to seal a place in this year’s Leinster Minor ‘B’ Final against Kildare on July 3rd. Meath struggled in the opening half and were five points adrift at half time but a rip roaring start to the second half paved the way for a narrow victory in a mild Thursday evening in Boardsmill.

Vikki Wall leads the charge

The Royals were the first to change the scoreboard, Roisín Commons splitting the posts in the opening minute. A converted free from Cliodhna Ní Shé levelled matters for Carlow in the third minute. With Emma White in impressive form, Meath kept initial Carlow attacks at bay, however Carlow took the lead on 8 mins as the impressive Aoibhinn Gilmartin pointed. Meath’s response was immediate, Megan Thynne and Hannah Mulvaney setting up Commons for her second point on 9 mins. A long range Marion Farrelly point a minute later seemed to settle the home side and they should have gone further ahead but for Vikki Wall’s effort rebounding off the crossbar. This effort proved costly as Gilmartin made no mistake down the other end, burying the ball past Meath netminder Laurie McLean on 13 mins. This simply ignited the Carlow attack as they tore apart the Meath defence, hitting a further 1-04 without reply with the crossbar stopping Ní Shé’s shot to save Royal blushes further. Trailing by 2-06 to 0-03 coming towards half time, the Royals stood up. Niamh Cassidy was impressive in defence while Aoibhín Cleary’s runs into the forward line began reaping dividends. Four Meath frees between the 27th and 31st minutes – three from Marion Farrelly and one superb effort from Aoibhín Cleary, brought the Royals back into contention but still five points adrift at half time.


Half Time: Meath 0-07, Carlow 2-06.


Meath took stock at half time and came out for the second period with glints in their eyes and fire in their hearts. Ailbhe Leahy blasted to the net on 32 mins to leave a brace of scores between the sides while a Cleary free a minute later reduced the gap to one. A Vikki Wall goal on 34 mins, blasted to the net to the joy of the Meath supporters, put the Royals back in front, for the first time since the 10th minute. Farrelly converted a free on the resumption to put daylight between the sides. Ní Shé reduced the gap to two once more on 37 mins, but this was cancelled out on 41 mins as Wall pointed a free. Katie Bellew, Karley Leavy and the industrious Megan Thynne were kept busy as they fed the Royal forward line with plenty of ball while Emma McCarney, Emer McEntee and Megan Lyons had to be on the top of their games to limit the Carlow attack. A brace of Carlow points from Ní Shé and Gilmartin brought their side to within one point of the home side, but this time the Royals didn’t panic. Their dominance in midfield pushed them forward as Farrelly put the Royals two ahead again on 48 mins. The score of the game however came on 53 mins as Vikki Wall hammered home goal number three to give her side a five point lead. Ní Shé brought the gap to three after two points on 55 and 57 mins, but the Royals were home and dry, Farrelly converting an injury time free to seal the win for the Royals.


Full Time; Meath 3-12, Carlow 2-11.


While Meath will be overjoyed to have made it to the Leinster Final, they will be concerned about their first half performance. Too many missed chances and wrong decisions made in the opening hald were put to rights in the second half as the Royals dominated possession. Meath’s second half demonstrated their power, precision and determination to succeed. With a tough Leinster final assignment against Kildare on the 3rd July looming after the Leaving Cert break, Meath will know they will need to be at the races from the throw in. Having lost to the Lillies by a point not once but twice, this Leinster Final is definitely not one to miss! Take nothing away from Carlow however, they were hugely impressive and were perhaps unlucky at times, they are certainly a team to watch out for in the future.


Meath Ladies would like to thank Boardsmill for coming to our aid and providing a pitch at short notice to allow us complete this fixture.


Meath Team & Scorers: Laurie McLean, Megan Lyons, Emma White, Emma McCarney, Emer McEntee, Katie Bellew, Niamh Cassidy, Aoibhín Cleary (0-02, 2f) Karley Leavy, Hannah Mulvaney, Roisín Commons (0-02), Megan Thynne, Ailbhe Leahy (1-00), Marion Farrelly (0-07, 5f, C), Vikki Wall (2-01)

Subs: Regina Hand for Commons (36 mins), Emma Cassidy for McCarney (51 mins).


Carlow: S. Cotter, J. Bullen, A. Dooley, A. Monaghan, A. Roche, K. Byrne, N. Forde, E. Aitkenson, O. Hickey, H. Lillycrap, A. Gilmartin, K. Bullen, C. Ní Shé, R. Whelan, R, Sawyer.


Ref: J. Doherty (Dublin)


Congratulations to Meath Senior Captain Paula Dunne, Vikki Wall, Stacey Grimes and Niamh Gallogly who were on duty for Leinster at the MMI Interprovincials in Kinnegad last Saturday. The Leinster side were managed by ex-Meath Ladies manager Lar Wall while Jenny Rispin was part of the management team. Despite a good display, Leinster lost out in the Shield Final, however for all four players, it was their first Interprovincial competition. It certainly gave them a taste of playing against the very top elite players in the country which can only auger well with the Leinster Senior Championship now just weeks away. Meath are due to get their Leinster Championship underway on the 12th June, a home fixture against Westmeath.


Meath Senior Ladies would like to sincerely thank Meath GAA for their invite and reception last Friday in Tayto Park at the now annual ‘Meet and Greet’, a great time was had by all!


Next Saturday, attention focuses on the Meath U14s as they take on Wexford in the Leinster U-14 ‘B’ Final. Phil Fay’s charges will be looking forward to getting their hands on some silverware and while they comfortably bet Wexford in the round stages, they will be well aware not to take the side from the sunny South-East for granted! Throw in next Saturday is in Geraldine Park, Athy at 2pm.


Upcoming Fixture;

Saturday 28th May; Leinster U-14 ‘B’ Championship Final; Meath v Wexford in Geraldine Park, Athy at 2pm.


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