Meath stun Dublin in Aisling McGing

After last week’s defeat to Laois in the opening round of the Aisling McGing U21 Championship, spirits in the Royal camp were of a more determined nature with Dublin the opposition yesterday. Indeed Dublin were to be feared as many of the girls playing had All Ireland Minor and U16 medals in their pockets from previous successes. However Meath were in no mood to accept defeat and put in a very impressive display to come away with all three points.


It was the Jackies that found the scoreboard first, finding the net from the first attack. However, it wasn’t long before Meath responded with two points from Sinead Coyle. Meath were starting to dominate with Shauna Ennis and Orla Byrne in firm control in the middle. The Royals went ahead when Lauren Mc Cann found the back of the Dublin net after good work and assistance from Katie Callaghan. Dublin tacked on 3 points from frees to edge in front once again. Without panicking, Meath continued to push on with the hard working Megan o Brien and Bridgetta Mc Cormack kicking 2 excellent points. Dublin were finding it difficult make inroads against a solid Meath defensive unit led Maire o Shaughnessy and Aideen Guy turning over possession time and time again. Then, in the run up to half time, Meath got the break their dominance deserved with Bridgetta Lynch getting on the end of a long ball to finish superbly to the Dublin net. Dublin pointed again, however points from Na Fiannas Meabh Downey and the energetic Sinead Coyle left Meath three up at the interval, 2-7 to 1-7.


Dublin started the second half brightly kicking the first two points, however Sinead Coyle restored Meath’s lead to two with a superb point. Coyle was on target and pointed again after a great run from Captain Orla Byrne. Bridgetta Lynch was causing all sorts of problems for the Dublin full back and got a great score from an excellent delivery by Hannah Cullen. Further Meath scores from Lynch, Downey and a brilliant Sinead Coyle point from the outside of her foot kept Royal noses in front. With forty-five minutes gone, the Dublin keeper made a great save from Lauren McCann and on-form Sinead Coyle was on hand to finish the rebound over the bar. Dublin tried to claw Meath back but excellent defending from Danielle Sweeney, Aideen Smith and Elaine Plunkett kept them at bay. Meath overall played with a higher intensity and were full value for their six point winning margin on a scoreline of 3-14 to 1-14.


Meath now face Wexford next week and a win will ensure a three way play off, if Dublin beat Laois. On an excellent team performance the Royals showed they can perform as well as any team in the country. In particular, Maire O’Shaughnessy, debutant Danielle Sweeney, Shauna Ennis and Sinead Coyle were outstanding. Meath can look with optimism to their final group game of the competition.


Meath Team & Scorers:  Lisa Mullen, Laura Bagnall , Maire O’Shaughnessy , Elaine Plunkett, Hannah Cullen, Aideen Guy, Danielle Sweeney, Orla Byrne (capt), Shauna Ennis, Meabh Downey (0-02), Sinead Coyle (0-07), Megan o Brien (0-02), Bridgetta Lynch (2-03), Lauren McCann (1-00), Katie Callaghan.

Subs; Cliona Murray for Mullen, Aideen Smith for Plunkett, Ciara Dunne for Callaghan, Dearbhala Ní Ostín for Cullen, Sarah Jane Farley for Bagnall, Karen Blaney, Aileen Coyle.


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