Meath v Mayo match report

Suzuki Ladies NFL Division 1 Semi-Final Meath
v Mayo

Sean Eiffe Park, Ratoath Sunday April 23rd 2006

Half time score Meath 0 – 07 Mayo 0 – 06

Full time score Meath 1 – 13 Mayo 2 – 09 

Meath Ladies battled their into the Division 1 Final with the
narrowest of victories. Mayo opened the scoring with a point from
Cora Staunton in the first minute but this was to be the only
time that Mayo would lead. Gillian Bennett got of the mark with
a brace of points in the 4th and 6th minute. Meath were putting
together some of their best football this year and put over four
unanswered points before Mayo hit back with three of their own.
Gillian Bennett, Ger Doherty and Katie O’Brien were leading the
Meath charge and at times Mayo just didn’t have the answers.

Meath went into the break with a 7 points to 6 lead. This game
really took off in the second half. Manager Geraldine Sheridan
obviously had some words of wisdom for her troops as they came
out fired up and raring to go. Grainne Nulty hit the target in
the first minute with a long range point. Mayos Staunton pointed
from a free soon after and it was game on. Some fine combination
from Mary Sheridan, Jenny Rispin and O’Brien had Meath 5 points
in front mid way through the second half.


Back row l to r: Philomena Sheridan,
Shauna Bennett, Michelle Dunne, Lisa Keenan, Aoife Thompson, Jenny
Rispin, Mary Sheridan, Caroline Griffin, Irene Munnelly, Grainne Nulty,
Susan Sullivan, Michelle Doyle, Caitriona O’Shaughnessy, Jackie Shiels.
Front row l to r: JulieAnne Scanlon, Charlene McAuley, Elaine Lynch,
Suzanne McCormack, Katie O’Brien, Edel McGrane, Jane Burke, Elaine
Duffy(capt), Louise McKeever, Geraldine Doherty, Gillian Bennett,
Sinead Dooley.

Mayos Cora Staunton was being tightly marked by Sinead
Dooley and this was to be a contributing factor to the Meath victory.
Another major factor was the superb display of goalkeeping by Meaths
Irene Munnelly who made three point blank saves at crucial times.
But true to form Mayo hit back with a vengeance. After a scrappy encounter
in the square Mayo substitute Annette Gallagher put the ball past
keeper Munnelly. This left just two point between the teams. Almost
immediately Meath hit back with a goal of their own. Meath pushed
the ball forward to Katie O’Brien who laid on a pin point pass to
Charlene McAuley who made no mistake and slotted past Mayo keeper
Linda Connolly. This restored Meath’s 5 point advantage.


In the final quarter of the game Mayo turned up the heat once again
and Meath’s backs found themselves under pressure. Louise McKeever,
Rispin and Jane Burke were solid in defence and broke down a lot
of the Mayo attacks. Well into injury time Mayo were awarded a free
when Cora Staunton was fouled. There were just 4 points between
the teams at this stage and once again Staunton stepped up to take
the free. Meath packed the goals but she managed to put the ball
into the back of the net. But it was too little too late and when
referee Eugene O’Hare blew the final whistle Meath players, Mentors
and supporters were ecstatic with delight. This is Meath’s first
ever Division 1 final.

They now go on to play Cork in the final. Cork have already beaten
Meath this year but it will make for an exciting encounter.

Meath team and scores: Irene Munnelly, Sinead Dooley, Jane Burke,
Suzanne McCormack, Jenny Rispin, Louise McKeever, Edel McGrane,
Elaine Lynch, Lisa Keenan, Mary Sheridan(1pt), Katie O’Brien(1pt),
Grainne Nulty(3pts), Ger Doherty(2pts), Gillian Bennett(6pts), Elaine
Duffy. Subs: Shauna Bennett for Keenan, Charlene McAuley(1 g) for
Duffy, Michelle Dunne for McGrane, Aoife Thompson for O’Brien.

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