Rebels leave Royals pointless.

Cork All Star Valerie Mulcahy’s personal tally of 2-07 sent the Royals home from Cork still hunting for their first win of the campaign. It was a daunting task for the Royals to take on the almighty Rebels who last year picked up another All Ireland title. However, the Royals acquitted themselves admirably and will definitely not fear the Rebels if they meet them later in the competition.

It was a goal frenzy in the first half, with Cork’s Emma Farmer raising the green flag in the opening minute, catching the Meath rearguard cold. Meath responded with a goal of their own in the 4th minute through St. Ultans’ Geraldine Doherty. Farmer pointed for the Rebels in the 7th minute while Mulcahy heaped the pressure on the Royals with a brace of goals in two minutes. Never a team to panic the Royals worked themselves back into contention. A second goal from Doherty on 11 mins after a super overhead pass from Sinead Coyle and a well taken point from Bridgetta Lynch a minute later pulled the Royals back into the battle. Vivienne McCormack, Maire O’Shaughnessy and Jenny Rispin all impressed in the opening stages. Tight defensive play from Aedin Murray, Niamh Lister and O’Shaughnessy kept the Rebels at bay and Jenny Rispin pulled the teams level for the first time in the contest on 17 mins. The teams swapped points on 18 and 20 mins with Mulcahy and Doherty pointing from frees. Cork finished the half the stronger pointing four times (Mulcahy two, one each for Doireann O’Sullivan and Rhona Ni Bhuachalla), while Meath rued missed chances at the other end, chances which could have put them into contention at the end of the game. At half time it was the Rebels who went in from the cold the happier, half time Meath 3-02, Cork 3-06.

The second half witnessed a much improved performance from the Royals, they broke down Cork attacks, Maire O’Shaughnessy, Lauren McCann, Katie O’Brien and Shauna Ennis to the forefront here, however they could not convert their dominance in possession into scores. The teams swapped points in the 32nd and 33rd mins, with Sinead McCormack pointing. This exemplified all that was good in Meath football, a patient build up, plenty of players involved and hard work before McCormack splitting the posts confidently. Vivienne McCormack added Meath’s fourth goal of the contest on 42 mins after substitute Colleen Jordan’s shot was saved by Cork keeper Lisa Crowley. Despite the siege that was laid at the Cork goals, Meath struggled to convert their scores and ran out of energy so that when Cork upped a gear in the last ten minutes where they racked up seven points, Meath had no answer and it was Doherty who scored Meath’s last score on 60 mins. Irene Munnelly, after her heroic saves last week against Dublin was again to the fore, saving the Royals from any further woes. It ended in Mourneabbey with the Rebels scoring their first points of the league while the Royals rued what could have been. Final score was Meath 4-04, Cork 3-15.


Meath will now regroup and prepare for another challenge, last year’s All Ireland semi-finalists Monaghan. With the top three teams in the country in the opening three rounds, Meath will be hoping that they can improve enough in the remaining rounds to remain in Division One and possibly make the semi-finals. With the talent in the squad, combined youth and experience, success is by no means far off for this panel. Best for Meath in Cork were Irene Munnelly, Maire O’Shaughnessy, Lauren McCann, Jenny Rispin, Vivienne McCormack, Bridgetta Lynch and Geraldine Doherty.

Meath will play Monaghan next Sunday 17th February at home at 2pm. Venue to be confirmed.

Meath Team and Scorers: Irene Munnelly, Laura Bagnall, Aedin Murray, Niamh Lister, Lauren McCann, Maire O’Shaughnessy, Emma Troy, Sinead McCormack (0-01), Vivienne McCormack (1-00), Sinead Coyle, Shauna Ennis, Katie O’Brien, Geraldine Doherty (2-02), Bridgetta Lynch (0-01), Jenny Rispin (1-00).

Subs: Colleen Jordan for Lister, Kate Byrne for Coyle, Aine Bennett for Ennis.

CORK: L Crowley; A-M Walsh, B Stack, A Barrett; V Foley, R Buckley, G O’Flynn; A Walsh, B Corkery; O Farmer, D O’Sullivan, O Finn; V Mulcahy, R Ni Bhuachalla, E Farmer.

Subs: A Cott for E Farmer (48), M O’Callaghan for A-M Walsh (52), E Aherne for O Farmer (52), S Kelly for R Ni Bhuachalla (53).

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