Ladies football in Meath started in the late 1960’s with teams being set up but with no structured competitions to speak of so, the ladies got together, played and had fun. It was very much a social gathering as often it was the only time some of these ladies got away from their duties. Later on though, competitions were set up and a committee was formed. Ultan Fitzpatrick, Fyanstown, was one of the main people to help at that time, with Mrs. Lenehan, Bellewstown, as secretary.

12 teams registered to play in the competition, Fyanstown, Moynalty, Cormeen, Moylagh, Bellewstown and Simonstown being some of them. They were all adult clubs. A representative from each province got together to discuss the rules of ladies football and it was in Ultan Fitzpatrick’s kitchen that they met on that historical day. Cavan represented Ulster, Munster was represented by Waterford, and Conaught was represented by Galway and Meath represented Leinster. It was over tea and sandwiches some of the rules of ladies football were decided:

1. Clean pick up of ball from the ground,

2. No one allowed attempting to kick the ball if another’s hand is near the ball,

3. No pulling hair, which appeared to be a major foul.

On the 1st May 1976 Ladies GAA was formed and in Navan at a meeting on the Wednesday night a mew Meath Ladies Gaelic Football County Board was formed, Mrs Kathleen Carroll was the unanimous choice of the delegates to become the first chairperson of the board. Miss Ann Callaghan of Simonstown gael was elected as secretary with Miss Ann Reilly, Cormeen the treasurer, elected on the Committee were Brigid Branningan, Bellewstown, Mary Mc Kenna Kells P.O., Geraldine Farrelly, Castletown, Mary Fitzpatrick, fyanstown and Martin Reilly, Colmicille Gales.

Eight teams entered for the County Championship and the following first round draw was made – Castletown, Colmicille gales, Simonstown gael, Kells P.O., Bellewstown, Fyanstown, O’Mahony’s and Cormeen. Meath first game to Louth in inter-county football championship at Navan on 28th July at 7pm. Meath beaten by Louth in the championship 2-5 to 3-1 in a replay at Ardee

Cormeen won the county championship on 15th Sept 1976 against Castletown. Meath have gone on over the years but dwindled for a while but now there is a great interest with twelve teams in the county championship. St Michaels, St Ultans, Kilcock, Dunboyne, Moylough (a) and (B), Ballinabracky, Dunsary, Kingscourt, Rathkenny, Meath Hill and Rathmologn. They also have Under 14’s, 16’s, 18’s Juniors and senior county teams.

Meath have ahead of them some very exciting years as the potential is there for a National Champion team until the help and co-operation of the GAA County Board.

P.R.O. for the Meath Ladies Gaelic F.C Ruth Lawler. This information was mainly got from Navan Library and The Meath Chronicle.


1976 Representative from Leinster Council attended a meeting in O’Mahoney’s centre, Navan to set up the County Board. Mr. Ultan Fitzpatrick also attended and under his guidance the Co. Board was set up. Mrs Carroll was elected chairperson from O’Mahoney’s and Ann Callaghan secretary. It was agreed to start off with eleven aside to enable other clubs affiliate and in 1976 it was eight clubs in two different divisions with winners and runners up of each division playing each other.

Clubs; Cormeen, Bellewatown, Fyanstown, Simonstown, Navan O’Mahoneys, Kells Post Office, Colmalle Gaels, Castletown.

Cormeen were the runners up of their division and they played the winners of the other division who were Simonstown O’Mahoneys played the runners up Simonstown.

Final Cormeen v O’Mahoney’s

More clubs affiliated for the league.

1977 – It was proposed in 1977 and passed that the numbers of players be increased to 15. Again Cormeen were victorious against Moylagh.


The Cormeen team which won the Meath Ladies’ football championship.

Collette Lynch, Angela Lynch, Frances Kangley, Rosemary Smith, Patricia Carolan, Cave Carolan, Catherine Gogarty, Mary Griffin, Ann Reilly, Maisie McKeown, Marian Gargan.

Cormeen Meath’s first ladies champions

There were great celebrations after Cormeen’s outright triumph in the Meath ladies football championship. This was the first ever women’s gaelic football championship ever held in the Royal County and in the final at Kells the Cormeen girls scored a decisive 2-5 to 0-1 victory over Navan O’Mahony’s.

Cormeen got off to a losing start in the competition when going under to O’Mahony’s but from then on it was success all the way with victories being recorded over Bellewstown, Fyanstown, Simonstown Gaels in the semi-final and then the Navan girls in the final.

Former chairman of the Meath GAA Board, very Rev> P. Tully, P.P., Duleek presented the cup to Cormeen captain Frances Kangley.

The winning team which triumphed in the eleven-a-side final was Ann Reilly (in goals), Frances Kangley and Collette Lynch (the full backs), Marian Gargen and Katherine Gogarty (the half backs), Bernie McEntee and Cait Carolan at midfield. Half forwards Patricia Carolan and Masie McKeown and Mary Griffin and Rosemary Smith in the full forward lines.


The subs were, Angela Lynch, Rose Carolan, Geraldine McConnell, Bernie McConnell, Kathleen Smith and Breda Smith. Eight of those girls figured on the Meath team which played in the Leinster championship. The team has been together for the last four years under the guidance of trainer and coach Charlie Martin. Their training schedule this year has seen them in the local park three nights per week. Last week the local people feted the successful girls with a parade from the park led by the Tierworkes Youth Band followed by celebrations in the local public house.

A Ladies Football League starts on Sunday with the following games: (first mentioned teams at home): Slane v Dunshaughlin; Kells Post Office v Colmcille Gaels; Fyanstown v Castletown (all at 6.30) and Cormeen v Moylough at 3.30. Slane, Dunshaughlin and Moylough are new teams to affiliate.

From 1979 onwards Meath do not appear to have had any teams or committees until 1991, when the Meath ladies reformed. Many honours have been won since but for one a Senior All-Ireland. Hopefully the seniors will follow in the footsteps of the under age teams and before too long have a senior title on the records.





Meath were outplayed by Dublin in the closing stages of this Ladies Friendly at Dunshaughlin. Terry Kearns, Ann-Marie Maher and Mary Ball scored goals and others to impress were Claire Nulty, Tina Tolan and Dorothy McGoldrick.

MAY 1991


The County Team were in action at Carlanstown in a friendly. No results found.

Co. Board meeting Wellington Court Hotel Trim 9p.m.

July 1991

Meath Ladies GAA Co. Board may have a cash crisis on their hands, but things were never better on the football field. The organisation is down to its last £50 in the bank.



Next game v Wexford, Saturday July 18th 1991 Home.



Training at Dalgan Park.



Meath Ladies will open their NFL DIV 3 campaign at Castletown v Monaghan.











August 1st MEATH V DUBLIN LEINSTER FINAL (no score available)





MAY 17TH 1992












Under age league was started.


Chairperson Richards Matthews Rathkenny

V. Chairperson Jim Fitzsimons St. Ultans

Secretary Karen Nolan Kilcloon

Fix. Sec. Sharon Maguire St. Michaels


P.R.O./Registrar Ruth Lawlor Dunsany/Kilmessan

Asst. Treasurers/

Gate Supervisors Ollie Melia Moylough

Jakie Boland Dunsany/Kilmessan

Irish Lang. Officer Helen Matthews Rathkenny


Meath Ladies Junior Team were presented with Leinster medals by Colm Brady in the Russell Arms Hotel.








Meath go on to meet Dublin or Wexford in the Leinster Semi Final.










Meath Ladies AGM January 1993 saw the following offices elected; Richard Matthews (Rathkenny) – Chairperson, Jim Fitzsimons – Vice chairperson (St. Ultans); Karen Nolan – Secretary (Kilcloon); Ruth Lawlor – Treasurer/PRO (Dunsany); Helen Matthews (Rathkenny) – Irish Language Officer.

This year saw an increase in popularity for ladies football in Meath with the formation of the following six new clubs; Syddan, Ratoath; Summerhill, St. Mary’s, Dunderry and Dunleek. This brings the total number of affiliated clubs in the county to twenty. This foundation will lead to a firm basis for the future of ladies football in Meath.

Meath ladies began their National League campaign on March 21st in Dunshaughlin against Kildare and won handsomely, Meath 3-11 Kildare 1-2. They went on to beat their neighbours Louth at Gibbstown. On April 18th Meath lost to Carlow, (Meath 2-8 Carlow 2-9), when only 15 of the squad were able to travel and when Celine Nulty went down with an injury ten minutes before full time, Meath were effectively left with only fourteen players. On April 25th a wonderful game of football was played in Rathkenny. The opponents on this occasion were Donegal. The ladies from both teams were watching the game. The final score was Meath 4-10, Donegal 2-5.

However Roscommon were to provide much tougher opposition and despite the gallant attempts of the Meath ladies Roscommon won with ease by 3-14 to 2-6 Meath’s campaign came to a disappointing end against Tyrone. Meath, not at their best, were beaten by 2-9 to 1-6.

Meath’s successful Championship campaign kicked off in Edenderry against Offaly. Meath struggled in this game but eventually came from behind to snatch a late victory. The final score was Meath 3-3, Offaly 1-2. On July 18th Meath proved that they had the tenacity to perform well in any conditions. Goalkeeper Helen Matthews played a superb game with sound support from Lisa Kane, Marcella price and Janet Quinn. Meath had the edge from the start and Christine O’Brien’s spectacular goal was a major contribution to a 2-9 to 2-8 victory.

The climax of the campaign provided Meath with the opportunity to exact revenge on the Carlow team who had earlier defeated the Royal County in the National League. Sarsfield Park in Newbridge provided a fitting venue for the final of this competition. Meath took control from the start and an early point from Christine O’Brien laid the foundation for an excellent team performance. Meath led all the way and took the championship with a score of 1-10 to 1-5.

However, the tables were turned when, in the All Ireland semi-final, Donegal gained their revenge for the earlier defeat in the National League. The Meath team were never in contention. Donegal gave a first class exhibition of attacking football and won handsomely by 3-10 to 1-6.

Meath’s fine season was in no small way assisted by Kepak’s very generous contribution of the team kit and to this end we are very grateful to Kepak for the support.

The Meath Ladies Football panel for 1993.

Jakie Boland, Catriona Rennicks, Clare Reynolds, Christine O’Brien, Aimme Bennet, Sinead Smith, Ann Marie Maher, Elizabeth Grall, Anne Marie Dargan, Linda Fitzsimons, Mandy Carr, Dorothy McGoldrick, Natasha Reid, Ann Gorman, Patricia Grimes, Tara Sweeney, Brendan Dardis (manager/selector), Ann Marie Denehy, Marcella Price, Janet Quinn, Lisa Kane, Helen Matthews, Terri Kearns, Geraldine Cavanagh, Olivia Dunne, Catriona Lynam, Celine Nulty, Niamh McNeills, Jim Fitzsimons (selector), Richard Matthews (selector).







MEATH V MAYO 2-12 TO 0-7











Could not find any information for this year.







MEATH V MAYO 4-10 TO 2-5












MEATH V MAYO 1-6 TO 4-24



Team: Nula O’Brien, Una Burke (Blackhall Gaels), Ann Marie McKenna (Syddan), Mandy Carr (St Michaels), Joanne Cunningham (Dunsany), Mary Maguire (Capt. Ratoath), Michelle Bennett (St. Ultans), Cora Bennett (St Ultans), Eimear O’Carroll (Seneschalstown), Ailish Fitzsimons (St Michaels), Sharon Lynch (St Michaels), Ann Marie Snee (Blackhall Gaels), Karen Ward (Dunsany), Orla Brennan (Ratoath), Colette Rowan (Dunderry)

Subs: Jenny Sheridan (Dunsany), Roisin Grogan (Ratoath), Louise McKeever (Meath Hill), Leona Gilchrist (Tratoath), Laura Matthews (RathKenny), Alison Kelly (Ratoath) Mairead Cleary (Dunsany).

Our minor panel did us proud this year by defeating Wexford in the Leinster final after a tough campaign with some superb football by the girls. On the day they were some outstanding performances from half back Michelle Bennett, and half forward Sharon Lynch but captain and centre back Mary Maguire led by example and received the “Player of the Match” award. The final score in this match was 8-7 to 4-9.

However, the Leinster champions were beaten by a stronger Mayo squad in the All Ireland semi-final, played in Dunshaughlin. The team was managed by Brendan Dardis (county senior manager) and Christine O’Brien (senior player) with Richard Matthews (county chairman) selecting.

The county U-16 team had a major disappointment being defeated by Wexford in the Leinster final by 1 point, 2-7 to 1-9. This was probably the most promising underage team from the county but unfortunately on the day the cup was to travel back to Wexford town. The most disappointing aspect from an otherwise successful year was the performance of the senior squad. With only 1 drawn game against Donegal in Pairc Tailteann, relegation to Division 2 of the league was inevitable. A glimmer of hope and an actual comeback to form was seen in their mighty performance against Waterford in the league where they were narrowly defeated by the All Ireland 1995 champions by 2 points.

However a defeat by Laois in the Leinster championship semi-final was to put an end to any dreams of All Ireland glory for Meath. One good aspect that came out of the year was the nomination of Ann Marie Dennehy, captain of All Ireland Junior winning team of 1994, for a replacement all star. The centre back that plays her club football with Dunsany was sound in defence and had some storming performances during the year.




















In his first year as manager of the Meath women’s Senior team, Christy Regan has witnessed the pinnacle and the nadir of their season in terms of success. The greatest success of ’97 occurred when they overcame last year’s All-Ireland runners-up Laois to capture their first ever Leinster title. The victory didn’t come as a great surprise to Christy, however. “Although Laois have been Leinster champions for at least 5-6 years in a row, we had already beaten, as I thought, a very strong Wexford side on the way to the final so that gave me confidence going into the match,” he explains. In their best year yet the Royal County women also go to the quarter final of the National Football League where they were, as Christy say himself, “hammered” by Waterford.

The nadir of the women’s’ endeavours in ’97 came in the All-Ireland semi-final where the team once came in the All-Ireland semi-final where the team once again encountered Waterford. Christy admits to having been optimistic about the team’s chances, despite Waterfords’ comprehensive victory in the NFL. “To be honest, I was fairly confident, especially after the win against Laois. However, things started to look bad when we lost Darina Shaw just ten minutes into play,” Christy avers. After this unfortunate incident the girls in Green and Gold struggled bravely but were unable to prevent Waterford from defeating them by a decisive margin of 5-11 to 2-6.

In spite of this defeat, Christy is not overly disappointed. He describes ’97 as being one of the most enjoyable years he has spent as manager of a team and is full of glowing praise for the effort they have put in during the course of the year. “They were all class to work with,” he states. “To manage the team was a big decision for me to make but I decided to give it a go and it has worked out very well. In training the girls do everything I ask and go through just as much as the men but they’re not appreciated enough for it. There are only a few supporters but there should be much more.” Buck Mulligans’ were the sponsors of this years’ team and Christy would like to extend his thanks to them for their support, which he hopes they will extend into next year.

Christy Regan hails from Longwood and in his youth proved a useful footballer with the local club, having won U16 and Juvenile hurling titles.

This saw him following in the footsteps of his father Christopher, who was also a hurler with the Longwood club. He settled in Carlanstown, Kells 18 years ago. The fact that this is where he met his wife Rosemary played a substantial part in his decision to re-locate.

Christy played football with St. Michael’s winning Intermediate and Junior championship medals. He currently coaches the club’s Ladies’ team who were beaten in the final of the Senior Championship by Dunsany this year. Christy puts defeat down to a general lack of experience in the team members. “They’re doing well at the moment. The team is very young with the ages ranging from 22 down to 16 and 17,” he explains. In the past, Christy also coached the Michael’s underage in ‘95/’96.

Christy is indebted to the club for the use of their pitches throughout the past year not forgetting the supporters who are so invaluable in helping the teams to success.

Regan senior is not the only member of the Regan family to be involved in the GAA, with both his sons, Nigel and David, having won Leinster U-21 medals. Another rising star is daughter, Aisling, who is eleven and plays football for Carlstown National School where, according to Christy, Tony Kearney is doing sterling work to promote football amongst his pupils. Christy reserves the biggest tribute for his wife Rosemary for her continuing support of him in his GAA endeavours.

With regard to the Meath Senior women, Christy singles out selectors Niall Carry and Richard Matthews for praise, men he admires for their commitment throughout the year. Some of the key players on the team such as Darina Shaw, Christine O’Brien and Dearbhla O’Carroll are also lauded by Christy for their work at underage level.

Well, despite their defeat in the All-Ireland semi-final, ’97 has proven to be the best year for the team so far. This is surely down to the ongoing guidance and commitment of Christy Regan, a man who is the epitome of all the GAA stands for in his efforts to promote and nurture young talent.

The Meath Womens’ Senior team defeated in the All-Ireland semi-final were as follows:

M. Fox, J. Quinn (0-1), S. Kelly, A.M. Fox, D. Managan, M. Maguire, D. Shaw, D. O’Carroll, N. Mc Neilis, S. Lynch, A. Bennett (1-0), C. O’Brein (1-2), G. Bennett (0-2), T. Kiernan, D. McGoldrick (0-1).

Subs: B. Dennehy for Shaw, M. Lucey for A. Bennett, E. O’Carroll for Kiernan, S.A. Carolan for Lynch.



The ladies of Eureka Convent, Kells, reached an All-Ireland senior final, and as SHANE O’BRIEN finds out, it was an extraordinary competition.

In Nenagh, Tipperary on a Saturday evening in April, Eureka Convent of Kells’ brave bid for All-Ireland Ladies Senior Colleges honours came to a disappointing end with Killorglin, Kerry proving too strong for the Meath girls in the decider.

The Meath girls played second fiddle to their more experienced opposition for the majority of the contest and ended up losing by 4-9 to 0-6.

Unfortunately there was no fairytale ending, but as manager Terese Ruane revealed to ROYAL COUNTY ’98 the disappointment was short-lived. The girls can reflect back upon a memorable campaign which yielded a provincial title, and with the majority of players still eligible for the year ahead, it augurs well for their prospects in the forthcoming campaign.

“Reaching the final was a fine achievement,” Terese boasts proudly. “It was great to get that far. But, having said that we were disappointed with our performance in the final. We had put so much effort into it as a group, from the coaches to the players, and our hopes were dashed in one game. “It was a daunting experience playing in the All-Ireland final. Killorglin had won the All-Ireland junior championship two years running, so they knew what to expect. It was a whole new experience for our players, but they will have learned a lot and will return a better team as a result,” Terese, who received assistance from well known Meath GAA coach Pat Duffy, states.

While acknowledging that the better team on the day won, the Eureka manager pinpoints the enforced withdrawal of left-half-back Claire Dolan as the turning point in the game. An injury forced the Drumbataragh girl out of the fray with ten minutes remaining in the first half when the score was delicately balanced.

Dolan’s opposite number had failed to register a score while the number 7 was on the pitch, but after her departure she bagged 2-1.

“We started off well with the team appearing to have settled early on in the match,” Terese explains. “But, losing Claire was a massive blow to us. She is a very good defender and the match turned after that.

“In all fairness though Killorglin were very good. They moved the ball well and were very quick. When they got ahead they never allowed us the chance to get back into the game. They were by far the best team we had met in the competition.”

Eureka qualified for the All-Ireland stage of the competition by claiming the Leinster crown at the competition by claiming the Leinster crown at the expense of Kildare outfit Rathangan. Controversy surrounded this clash as it took two games at Leixlip, Kells staged a dramatic revival to wipe out a substantial deficit before they were declared champions.

The Kells school had to put their celebrations on hold however as more drama was to unfold. The Kildare team were adamant that the end result was a draw, and not the 2-13 to 4-5 score line referee Dave McCabe from the Round Towers club in Clondalkin had ruled in favour of Terese Ruane’s charges. Rathangan successfully appealed the decision to the Leinster Council and a replay was fixed for Dunboyne in Mid-March.

However, the confusion regarding the end score was overshadowed by the poor treatment meted out to both sets of players. There was no markings with either pitch lines or flags, no flags for the linesmen, the umpires were forced to signal scores with their hands and the playing area wasn’t secured which resulted in spectators encroaching on a number of occasions at the Kildare venue.

Preparations for the game were an insult to players, coaches and supporters alike. The competition attracted 20 schools and illustrates the upsurge in popularity of gaelic games amongst ladies, yet the province’s top schools competition was allowed be played in such demeaning circumstances!

“The Leinster final was played around the same time as the boys final which St. Pat’s were in,” Terese recalls. “There was a lot of hype surrounding that game and I heard it was a great final which is fair play to them. But, it was very disillusioning for us when we saw the lack of preparation for our game.

The Eureka Convent girls panel which did both the school and county proud. Margaret Caffrey, Claire Coyne, Grainne Harrington, Sandra Carpenter, Elaine Lynch, Claire Dolan, Elaine Duffy, Patrice Reilly, Lorna Daly, Mary Costello, Eimear Carpenter, Terese Ruane (Coach), Deirdre Daly, Lisa Keenan, Mary Malkin, Anne Hanratty, Leona McNally, Caitriona Baugh, Yvonne Rooney, Cathy Fagan, Ciara Murray, Carol O’Connell, Maria Henry, Claire Carpenter, Mandy Carr, Pat Duffy (coach).

Ladies are doing it for themselves

After assessing the Meath senior ladies performances in 1998 Shane O’Brien comes to the conclusion that a Brendan Martin Cup success may happen in the not too distant future.

Talk of Leinster football finals isn’t greeted with too much enthusiasm these days considering that Sean Boylan’s men have been at the wrong end of results in the last two deciders, but the lady footballers fortunes have been in stark contrast to that of their male counterparts.

Christy Regan’s charges can’t stop winning and in the year just drawing to an end they captured the county’s second provincial title courtesy of a 2-12 to 3-6 score line at Dublin’s expense.

That said, for the second year in a row Meath bowed out at the semi-final stage of the All-Ireland series. Reigning All-Ireland champions Monaghan proved to be the rock on which their All-Ireland ambitions perished, 0-13 to 1-8, but there were encouraging signs to suggest that a Brendan Martin Cup success may be just around the corner.

An inspirational first half performance in Summerhill had the northerners on the ropes, and the team in green and gold had built up a fully deserving 1-6 to 0-2 interval lead. And for long spells in the second half it looked as though they would go the full distance as Monaghan began to pile on the pressure. Especially when with 12 minutes remaining Mairead Fox pulled off her second penalty save from Mairead Kelly.

The Meath custodian got the faintest of touches to steer the ball around the uprights and away to safety. It was a repeat of her third minute effort when the Drumbaragh girl dived to her left to push away the first of Kelly’s penalties. When Fox saved from Kelly for the second time, the Royal County’s lead had been cut to just three points at 1-8 to 0-8 and the Farney County beginning to display just why they were All-Ireland champions in ’96 and ’97.

The white flag was raised at the Meath posts three times in the next two minutes to bring the sides level for the first time since Christine O’Brein pointed Meath ahead in the opening seconds and, with seven remaining, an Edel Byren point gave the visitors the initiative for the first time in the game, and a further point from substitute Ciara McGuinness compounded Royal County woes.

It was a heart breaking defeat for Christy Regan’s charges whose chances weren’t rated by many entering the clash. But they answered their doubters in no uncertain fashion and judging by the performances of the likes of goalie Fox, Janet Quinn, Marcella Price, Ann Marie Dennehy, Niamh McNeillis and Eimear McAuley it won’t be too long before they’re celebrating a first All-Ireland success.

The Meath dressing room was a much more enjoyable place to be following the Leinster final win over Dublin however. A close encounter was always on the cards with both teams having won their respective league titles earlier on in the year, Meath, the Div. 2 champions and reigning provincial holders, would have been favoured in betting circles though. The valuable experience garnered a year earlier was to prove vital against the team, which had just gained promotion to Div. 2 of the league.

The metropolitans made the girls in green and gold work all the way and were it not for a powerful spell midway through the second half the Royal County girls may not have been celebrating at the final whistle. With 17 minutes remaining the team in navy and blue were three points to the good at 3-4 to 1-7 before the tide finally turned in Meath’s favour. Christine O’Brien, who up to that stage had a quite enough outing by her own lofty standards, was instrumental in the comeback and contributed 1-3.

Darina Shaw and ‘player of the match’ Eimear McAuley added further points as the lead was extended to five at 2-12 to 3-4 with just six minutes left to play. To their credit Dublin refused to throw in the towel and battled back with two points but with the Meath defence, in particular Patricia McNeilis, Dennehy, Niamh McNeilis and Quinn, in outstanding form, the Royals were never going to be stopped. Indeed, the latters goaline clearance denied Dublin what would have been the equalising score in the closing minutes.

Ann-Marie Dennehy and Christine O’Brien received All Star Awards for their efforts in 1998.

The Meath team which lost out in the All-Ireland semi-final to Monaghan was as follows: M. Fox, J. Quinn, M.Price, P. McNeilis, D. Managan, A.M. Dennehy, A.M. Fox, D. O’Carroll, N. McNeilis (0-1), L. McKeever, D. Shaw (0-1), C. O’Brien (0-2), E. O’Carroll (0-2), E. McAuley (1-1), D. McColdrick (0-1)

Sub – B. Dennehy.

The Girls are having fun

The fastest growing sport in Ireland has gripped the imagination of the young girls of Meath and they’ve proved that they’re up there with the best. Shane O’Brien relives the victorious U14 and U16 Leinster championship campaigns.

Concerns about the future of Meath football surfaced during 1998 when, for the first time since 1994, there was no provincial success to celebrate at any level. The trophy cabinet will be unusually empty when the 1999 AGM takes place.

In comparison, the only worries the Ladies County Board have is gathering up all the cups from the various captains in time for their annual get together! In the past they’ve been overshadowed by their more illustrious male counterparts but in 1998 Ladies Football took centre-stage in Meath.

The 1994 All-Ireland Junior championship victory was the catalyst. Since then Meath have emerged as a force to be reckoned with at national level – in all grades. Two Leinster senior titles and a N.F.L. Div. 2 crown since the breakthrough was made illustrate the great strides of progress, which have been made.

Perhaps the most pleasing aspect, however, has been the success enjoyed at underage level. In 1996 All-Ireland U14 honours were captured at the expense of Monaghan, while in the year just ending U14 and U16 provincial laurels were garnered. Great tribute must go to all the mentors putting in work at all levels, parents who are rowing in and sponsors who make everything possible.

Indeed this year’s U14s were unlucky not to emulate the class of ’96. A combination of a talented Waterford side and some suspect refereeing decisions by Sligo official Martin Duffy contributed to their downfall on a scoreline of 3-8 to 3-7.

There was controversy when Duffy awarded the Munster girls two penalties in quick succession in the second half, one of which was stopped by Simonstown’s Lisa Moroney. The Meath contingent, which made the trip, was visibly furious at the ref’s decisions and voiced their anger in no uncertain terms.

Despite the disappointing result, and the sub-standard officiating, this game was a fine advertisement for ladies football.

It had it all. Six goals, four in the second half, a spirited Waterford revival followed by a trademark Meath revival. On the downside however, another pity was that there was only 500 spectators there to cheer on these two committed teams.

Wind assisted, the girls in green and gold had two points registered (courtesy of Jakie Shiels and Brid Guy) before Waterford opened their account.

Guy fired home the first of the goals in the 13th minute after the Waterford goalkeeper had parried her initial effort. A minute later, Julie Ann Scanlon centred and Geraldine Doherty finished to the net to give Meath a 2-2 to 0-3 lead. A brace of points from Shiels and Guy handed the Royals a 2-5 to 0-4 advantage at the interval, but within seven minutes of the resumption Waterford had fought back to gain parity.

Matters were made worse when the management duo of Celine McLarney from Simonstown and O’Mahonys Geraldine Sheridan were forced to make a switch early in the second half after centre back Mary Sheridan was stretcher off. That resulted in centre forward Jakie Shiels (who had played a prominent role in establishing Meath’s lead) dropping back to occupy the pivotal central defensive position with Oldcastle’s Shauna Coakley introduced to the attack.

To their credit, Meath refused to press the panic button and centre forward Shiels steadied the ship with a great point from play to regain the initiative.

With the game evenly poised the referee intervened to award the Decies those two spot-kicks. Moroney was equal to the first one, but Waterford made no mistake with the second a minute later and when they added on a point the writing appeared to be on the wall.

But substitute Coakley had other ideas and when she was sent clean through by Dorherty she blasted the ball to the roof of the net, once again leaving the sides deadlocked, 3-6 apiece.

At the other end Waterford raised a white flag, but the Royal’s response was swift when Coakley confidently pointed after Shiels found her with a quick ‘45’. With the full time whistle looming over the horizon a draw match would have been a fair result but unfortunately for Meath, the girls in white and blue launched a late attack which yielded the match winner.

Although she wasn’t required to make a victorious acceptance speech, there was some consolation for captain Jakie Shiels when she was awarded the Player of the Match trophy for the final. This completed a remarkable double for the Simonstown player who also received the Leinster final equivalent. Her performances won her many admirers, not to mention a call-up to the successful U16 squad.

But Jackie would be the first to admit that it was far from a one woman show. Mary Sheridan (who was badly missed in the final following her retirement), Adelle Carolan, Gillian Foley, Maria Kealy and Brid Guy were other to impress during the course of the campaign.

The Meath girls U14 squad which was on All-Ireland final duty, Martina Ryan, Roisin Dennehy, Deirdre Mooney, Niamh Reynolds, Rachel Barry, Zoe Fagan, Edel O’Malley, Jenny Goodwin, Cara Lenihan, Fiona Feeney, Ollie Bowe, Brendan Egleston, Kerry O’Brien, Orla Tuite, Maria Kealy, Eleanor McCormack, Mary Sheridan, Jakie Shiels, Katie O’Brien, Gillian Foley, Geraldine Doherty, Celestine Keaveney, Sarah Shiels, Philomena Sheridan, Celine McLarney, Julie-Ann Scanlon, Susan O’Sullivan, Emma Smith, Adelle Carolan, Lisa Mooney, Niamh Brannigan, Melissa Reilly, Caroline King, Cathy Coyne, Brid Guy, Geraldine Sheridan, Grace Kiernan, Shauna Coakley.


Leinster quarter-final: Meath 6-15 Kildare 0-4

Leinster semi-final: Meath 9-17 Longford 0-5

Leinster final: Meath 9-12 Wexford 0-7

All-Ireland semi-final:Meath 3-12 Monaghan 4-4

All-Ireland final: Meath 3-7 Waterford 3-8

The U14 team and squad members which were on duty for the final against Monaghan were as follows; L. Moroney (Simonstown); A. Carolan (Seneschalstown), C. King (Royal Gaels), M. Reilly (O’Mahony’s); C. Coyne (St. Ultan’s), M. Sheridan (O’Mahony’s), E. McCormack (Rathkenny); G. Foley (O’Mahony’s), M. Kealy (Royal Gaels); K. O’Brien (St. Ultan’s), Jakie Shiels (Simonstown)0-4, J. A. Scanlon (Summerhill); G. Doherty (St. Ultan’s) 1-0, B. Guy (Boardsmill) 1-2, S. Sullivan (Dunboyne).

Subs – S. Coakley (Oldcastle) 1-1, C. Keaveney (Simonstown), R. Barry (St. Ultan’s).

The other members of the panel were: N. Brannigan (Bellewstown), E. Smith (Dunboyne), P. Sheridan (O’Mahony’s), J. Goodwin (Rathkenny), K. O’Brien (Simonstown), O. Tuite (Oldcastle), R. Dennehy (Dunsany), Z. Fagan (O’Mahony’s), C. Lenihan (Dunboyne), D. Mooney (Royal Gaels), E. O’Malley (Ratoath), N. Reynolds (Walterstown), G. Kiernan (Seneschalstown), M. Ryan (Dunboyne), F. Feeney (Simonstown).

The Royal County’s U16 representatives failed in their bid to reach the All-Ireland final when Monaghan proved to be the rock on which their championship aspirations perished at the penultimate stage. The girls in green and gold produced a gallant display but it wasn’t sufficient on the day with the Northerners running out winners by 4-13 to 2-11.

At half-time Meath were two points in front (1-7 to 1-5) and were still very much in contention entering the last quarter. But a late scoring spree from the team in white and blue, which resulted in 1-3, proved to be the difference between the two sides.

Meath claimed the provincial title with a comfortable 4-10 to 1-1 win over Louth in the decider.

The Wee County only trailed by 0-8 to 1-1 at the interval but the eventual winners turned on the style in the second period grabbing goals through senior star Elaine Duffy, Grainne Farrell and Sharon Byrne (two).

Lisa Donnelly, Elaine Lynch, Fiona Mahon, Mary Costello, Byrne and Duffy were others to impress.

The Meath U16 team which went under to Monaghan in the All-Ireland semi-final was as follows; Lisa Donnelly; Sinead Daly, Eileen Rahill, Denise McNally; Karen Bowe, Elaine Lynch, Eve Wardick; Fiona McMahon (1-4), Paula Reilly; Elaine Duffy (0-5), Mary Costello (0-1), Ruth Ennis; Sharon Byrne, Edel Guy (0-1), Grainne Farrell.

Subs – Lorna Duffy, Roisin McGrath (0-1), Ciara Murray.



When Dorothy McGoldrick struck the Longford crossbar after 12 minutes of play in the first half, and the ball rebounded to safety, Meath must have been wondering was it going to be one of those days? Already, 1-3 to 0-1 down, their only score coming from Emer McCauley, and their defence looking porous, things weren’t looking too good. Christy Regan, the Meath trainer, anxiously paced the touchline, shouting words of advice and encouragement to his players. Gradually they began to exert pressure on the Longford defence and scored three points between the 13th and 18th minutes, two of the three coming from Emer McCauley, the other from a Christine O’Brien free. Longford came again and with points from Michelle Hannify, Mary Kirwan and Una Flynn, had re-established their five-point lead. Michelle Hannify was playing superbly at full forward and benefited immensely from the surging runs and support play of Fiona Blessington and Dara Gill. In the second minute of play, Michelle left the Meath defence for dead and scored a great goal.

By now Christine O’Brien was starting to come into the game more and scored a tremendous solo point in the 28th minute. This was quickly followed by points from Dorothy McGoldrick and Darina Shaw and Suddenly Meath were back within two points of Longford.

As the teams came out on to the pitch for the second half, two significant changes were noted. Firstly, the breeze appeared to stiffen somewhat, and secondly, Fiona Blessington had moved into a forward role.

This was an enforced change as she had sustained a leg injury and played on with only one boot. Longford scored a point on the resumption and Meath replied with two before Longford scored another. Meath were beginning to squander scorable opportunities and with fifteen minutes of the second half gone, Longford still maintained their two point lead. But then enter Christine O’Brien. She took control of matters for Meath and began to run the Longford defence ragged. In the space of the nest fifteen minutes she scored four points. Longford goalkeeper, Karina Mulvihill, was having major problems kicking out the ball into the strong wind.

Mary Kiernan drafted into defence for the second half, was battling bravely to stem the Meath tide, but it wasn’t to be.

Longford put in one final surge deep into injury time and were unlucky not to be awarded a penalty. Any other result on the day would have been an injustice.

The better team won. Christine O’Brien was awarded Player of the Match. There were also good displays for Meath from Ann Marie Dennehy, Deabhla O’Connor, Niamh McNelis, Emer McCauley and Dorothy McGoldrick. Best for Longford were Fiona Blessington, Mary Kiernan, Michelle Hannify, Dara Gill and Barbara Mc Elvaney.

Scorers for Meath – Christine O’Brien 0-6, Emer McCauley 0-3, Dorothy McGoldrick 0-2, Darina Shaw 0-1, Niamh McNelis 0-1, Audrey Bennett 0-1, Carol O’Carroll 0-1.

Scorers for Longford – Michelle Hannify 1-3, Fiona Blessington 0-2, Mary Kieran 0-1, Mary Burke 0-1, Una Flynn 0-1, Edel McGann 0-1.

Seniors Bid For Second Crown

Meath’s women footballers will bid for a Leinster Senior Championship two in a row when they take on Dublin in the Final at Dr. Cullen Park, Carlow on Sunday, throw in at 3.oo.

Last year the Royal County made the big break through in the competition when getting the better of long time provincial queenpins Laois in the decider.

In the 1998 championship Dublin scored a decisive 4-8 to 0-6 victory over Laois in the opening round before proving too strong for Longford on a 3-11 to 0-6 scoreline at the semi-final stage.

Meanwhile Meath overcame Wexford by 2-10 to 2-6 in their semi-final at Summerhill. The Royal County led by 1-6 to 0-0 at half time and by 2-8 to 0-1 10 minutes into the second half. Of the side which defeated Laois by 3-7 to 0-13 last August, 11 were in action for the recent Summerhill success.

Suzanne Kelly of Dunderry, the ’98 captain, is out with a long term injury, Gillian Bennett is in America but her sister Audrey has just returned from the states while Sharon Lynch is in England.

In for them against Wexford were Patricia McNeils, Ann Marie Dennehy, Lousie McKeever and Emer McAuley. Dennehy, captain of the team which won the All-Ireland junior title in 1994, missed out last year because she was in the states.

In between losing to Waterford at the All-Ireland semi-final stage the current Leinster campaign Meath won Division 2 of the National League while Dublin were victors in Division 3.

According to Meath Women’s football Co. board chairman Niall Carry, Dublin have an up and coming team. They played Meath in two challenging games over the last few months with each side winning.

It must be said that Carlow is an odd choice of venue for this game. But apparently Dr. Cullen Park had been booked a few months ago.

It is certainly a long and unnecessary trip for both sides and supporters. Still the Meath contingent may be happier heading home with key players like Ann Marie Dennehy, captain Mary Maguire, Dearbhla O’Carroll, Niamh McNelis, Christine O’Brien and Darina Shaw likely to spearhead them to another title.

Meath team for Sunday: Mairead Fox (Drumbaragh); Jenette Quinn (Kilbride), Patricia McNelis (Summerhill), Ann Marie Fox (Drumbaragh); Debbie Mangan (Seneschalstown), Ann Marie Dennehy (Dunsany), Mary Maguire (Dunboyne), capt., Dearbhla O’Carroll (Seneschalstown), Niamh McNelis (Summerhill), Louise McKeever (Castletown), Darina Shaw (Summerhill), Christine O’Brien (Dubsany), Emer O’Carroll (Seneschalstown), Emer Mc Auley (Bellewstown), Dorothy McGoldrick (Summerhill)

Subs – Audrey Bennett (Drumbaragh), Breda Dennehy (Dunsany), Shelia Downey (Rathkenny), Marcella Price (Castletown), Elaine Duffy (St. Ultan’s), Catherine Cunningham (Bellewstown), Ann Marie O’Brien (Dunderry), Ciara Murray (St. Ultan’s), Sally Ann Carolan (Seneschalstown), Sandra Coleman (Dunsany), Seona Conway (Donaghmore), Alison Kelly (Ratoath), Lisa Keenan (St. Michael’s), Carol O’Connell (St. Michael’s), Lara Fagan (Summerhill), Grainne Farnan (Dunderry).

Ladies Set For Provincial Crown

Meath ladies will be bidding for their second successive Leinster SFC crown when they take on Dublin in the final at Dr. Cullen Park, Carlow, 2.45 this Sunday.

Meath have already won the NFL Div 2 title with victory over Longford and they will be aiming to build on that. But Dublin has made an amazing leap from junior football last season and has already beaten Laois while they hammered Longford by 14 points (3-11 to 0-6) in the semi-final.

Meath recorded a great win over Wexford a fortnight ago, but they were pushed all the way by the Slaneysiders in a second half which almost caught the Meath girls napping. Key areas for Meath will again be at midfield where Niamh McNeilis and Dearbhla O’Carroll have been in excellent form. The final ball into attack needs to be accurate and fast if Meath are to succeed and both girls are well capable of delivering the goods.

In defence Meath will need big performances from Ann Marie Dennehy, Patricia McNeilis, Mary Maguire and Debbie Mangan. The quartet have excellent defensive qualities and are also capable of punishing mistakes by setting up plenty of scoring opportunities. Meath’s most potent department is their attack where All-Star Christine O’Brien leads the line. O’Brien will have great support from Dorothy McGoldrick, Louise McKeever, Darina Shaw, Emer O’Carroll and Eimear McAuley.

This will be Meath’s toughest task especially as they have already lost narrowly to Dublin in two challenge games. However, Meath have improved since those outings and they should advance to another All-Ireland semi-final.

The Team

The Meath team for Sunday’s Leinster SFC final is: M. Fox; J. Quinn, P. McNelis, A.M. Fos, D. Mangan, A.M. Dennehy, M. Maguire, D. O’Carroll, N. Mc Nelis, L. McKeever, D. Shaw, C. O’Brien, E. O’Carroll, E. McAuley, D. McGoldrick.

Women Set The Standard

The Meath women threw down the gauntlet to their male counterparts when capturing the women’s Leinster S.F.C. with a thrilling victory over old foes Dublin in Dr. Cullen Park, Carlow, on Sunday afternoon.

With most football fans in the county gearing up for a trip to Croke Park on Sunday to see Sean Boylan’s Meath take on Kildare in a mouth-watering Leinster S.F.C. final, the women led the way by winning their second successive provincial title.

They will now go on to meet Monaghan in the All-Ireland semi-finals and bid to go one better than last year when they succumbed to Waterford at the penultimate stage.

The Royal County side were rocked after only two minutes when Dublin scored the game’s first goal. Having led by a solitary point, 0-7 to 1-3, at half time Christy Regan’s side were knocked back again just after the interval when ‘The Dubs’ claimed their second goal. But once, again they showed their mettle and produced the goods when most need eventually triumphing on a 2-12 to 3-6 scoreline.

27yh July 1998

Meath Women Retain Title

B.O.I. Ladies Football Championship

Meath 2-12 Dublin 3-6

Meath overcame Dublin’s challenge in the Bank of Ireland Leinster Ladies senior football final at Carlow yesterday. Dublin had been in the ascendancy in the first 10 minutes after half time and had moved into a three-point lead.

Meath’s right half forward Christine O’Brien suddenly burst on the scene, scoring a great point from play following by a fortuitous goal from a free. The Royals kept the pressure on, notching up some good points in the process, two more of which came from O’Brien. Dublin put in a late surge with points from Fiona Corcoran and Ursula Hannon, but it wasn’t enough on the day. Meath went into a two-point lead early in the game but an Angie McNally penalty gave Dublin the lead for the first time.


A great combination move by Meath ended in an Eimear McAuley goal in the ninth minute and Meath held onto a three-point lead at half time. Dublin exploded onto the scene in the second half and a lovely flighted goal by Donna O’Connor set them on their way. This was followed by a Shelia Cotter goal and Dublin looked to be taking control. Meath’s half back line kept pushing forward into Dublin half and this put more pressure on the Dublin back line. Christine O’Brien’s goal turned the game in Meath’s favour and they were worthy winners.

Scorers; Meath – C. O’Brien (1-6), E. McAuley (1-2), L.McKeever (0-1), D. Shaw (0-1) D. Mcgoldrick (0-2),

Dublin – A. McNally (1-3), D. O’Connor (0-1), S. Cotter (0-1), S. Corcoran (0-2), U. Hannon (0-1).

Player of the Match – Eimear McAuley.

Louth 6-13 Carlow 2-7

Louth had far too much guile for Carlow in this Bank of Ireland Leinster Junior football Final, also in Carlow. The dominated the first half and Sharon Drumgoole, who unfortunately left the field on a stretcher late in the second half, was a thorn in Carlow’s side.

Crossed balls from the wing brought about Louth’s first two goals, both punched to the net by Nula Murphy. But it was Roisin Hanlon at corner forward who did most of the damage and scored 2-5 in total.

Roscommon had too much craft for Galway in the Connacht final at Tuam and won by 2-10 to 0-3 at half time.

Waterford led comfortably at half time in the Bank of Ireland Munster Junior final yesterday, but had to hold on for a 3-11 to 3-7 victory as Clare launched a fine fight back.

Now For Monaghan

Meath 2-12 Dublin 3-6

Meath pulled out all the stops to retain their women’s Leinster S.F.C. crown at Carlow’s Dr. Cullen Park on Sunday and immediately trained their sights on Ulster champions and Semi-final opponents Monaghan as they bid to reach a first ever All-Ireland final.

A powerful spell mid way through the second half, which yielded 1-4 for the Royal County team, proved to be decisive as Christy Regan’s side had too much power in the end for the N.F.L. Division 3 champions. But it wasn’t all plain sailing for Meath who had the advantage of the breeze in the first half and led by 1-6 to 1-3 at the interval but only after suffering an early set-back in the shape of a Dublin goal after only two minutes.

Having taken the lead with an Eimear McAuley point, the Royal County defence conceded a penalty in Dublin’s first attack. And although keeper Mairead Fox got a hand to Angie McNally’s well struck kick she couldn’t prevent the goal. However, the Meath response was swift. Christine O’Brien, who contributed her usual high quota of scores, 1-6 on this occasion, reduced the gap with a ninth minute point and Dorothy McGoldrick levelled a minute later.

The Royal County women were in front within another 60 seconds as Eimear McAuley, later named as the player of the match, broke through to fire home Meath’s first goal following some fine support play. That left the side in green and goal 1-3 to 1-0 ahead and that lead was stretched to four points on two occasions as they continued to assert their authority on the proceedings.

However, as half time approached, the Meath goals were under increasing pressure and, with Dublin trailing 1-2 to 1-6, McNally was denied a second goal by a last ditch clearance from Janet Quinn before sending over the last score of the half.

When play resumed, it was the team in navy and blue which had better start once again as Donna O’Connor burst through to goal levelling the match at 2-6 to 1-3.

And although McAuley pointed the Meath women in front again shortly afterwards, the Dubs, buoyed by O’Connor’s well timed strike, penetrated the Royal County rearguard once more, this time with Sile Cotter finding the net when goalie Fox failed to deal with the same player’s initial shot. With 17 minutes remaining the team in navy and blue were going well and were three points to the good at 3-4 to 1-7 before the tide finally turned in Meath’s favour.

O’Brien, who up until then had had a quite enough outing by her own standards, was at the forefront of the Royal County charge and contributed 1-3. Darina Shaw and McAuley added further points as the lead was stretched to five at 2-12 to 3-4 with just six minutes left to play. But Dublin battled hard and points by Fiona Corcoran and substitute Ursula Hannon left just a goal between the sides.

However, despite their efforts the Meath defence, especially Patricia McNelis, Ann Marie Dennehy, Niamh McNelis and Quinn whose goal line clearance denied the dubs what would have been the equalising score, remained firm and held out for a deserved victory.


First half

1 minute – Eimear McAuley opens the scoring with a fine point after a quick free from Dearbhla O’Carroll.

3 min. – Janet Quinn is penalised inside the area and Angie McNally dispatches the resultant penalty for Dublin.

8 min – Christine O’Brien replies for Meath from a placed ball after a foul on player-of-the-match, McAuley.

9min – Dorothy McGoldrick draws Meath level with an excellent point after more good work from O’Carroll.

10 min – McAuley receives a brilliant pass from O’Carroll and races away from Joanne Cantwell before finishing to the net to give Meath a three points cushion.

11 min – O’Brien goes on a storming run from midfield before firing over her second point of the game.

13 min – Quinn fouls Julie McInerney in front of the posts and McNally points the resultant free.

14 min – McInerney is fouled again, this time by Patricia McNeils, and again McNally scores from the placed ball.

19 min – O’Brien points from a free after she is fouled by Dublin captain Jackie Quinn.

21 min – Louise McKeever is rewarded for all her hard work with a good point from a tight angle.

30 min – McNally brings the first half scoring to a close with another pointed free after McInerney is fouled.

Half time: Meath 1-6 Dublin 1-3.

Second Half

1m – Dublin gets the perfect start to the second half when Donna O’Connor finds the back of the Meath net with a speculative lob.

4 min – McAuley responds for Meath in great style with a fine point after good work from O’Brien.

6 min – Sile Cotter goals for Dublin after Mairead Fox brilliantly parries Fiona Corcoran’s initial effort.

7 min – Corcoran gives Dublin a three-point lead after a strong solo run from midfield.

10 min – O’Brien grabs a marvellous individual score when she evades five Dublin players before firing over.

16 min – O’Briens poorly struck free kick somehow finds its way to the back of the Dublin net to give Meath the lead again.

19 min – O’Brien points another free after a foul on McGoldrick by Jakie Quinn.

21 min – Darina Shaw fires over a great point after some neat passing between Elaine Duffy and O’Brien.

22 min – Duffy and O’Brien combine again for the latter to fire over her sixth point.

23 min Meath’s purple patch continues with McAuley firing over again to give the Royals a five points lead.

25 min – Ursula Hannon responds for Dublin after good work from McNally and Corcoran.

27 min – Corcoran brings the scoring to a close after a good pass from cotter.

Full-time – Meath 2-12, Dublin 3-5.

HOGAN STAND 04-09-98

Edel Sherlock – Assistant Manager, Bank Of Ireland, Dunshaughlin.

Meath were promoted to senior status following their Leinster Junior championship win in 1994. This is the county’s second All-Ireland semi-final last year they were hammered by Waterford – and is the first time to meet Monaghan in championship fare. Their near defeat of Monaghan a month ago is certain to give the side a major boost, but under the management of Christy Regan the team have developed into a confident and resilient side. Edel Sherlock, a former football player herself, believes that the team are certainly capable of pulling off a shock and defeating the defending champions.

“Meath have got a hugely dedicated bunch of players. They really play for each other and they are a tough squad. That balance between youth and strength which the team has is sure to stand to them.” As the game approaches, the buzz intensifies. Meath have already played in the All-Ireland Under 14 final and the Under 16 semi-final this year. Eimear McAuley is still under 16 but scored 1-3 in the Leinster decider against Dublin, and the team’s ability to get a lot of scores makes them a serious threat. Against Wexford they got 2-10 and against Dublin they scored a total of 2-12. “Meath definitely give a team performance when they play – there are no individuals stars in the side. It is great too that the game is being played in Summerhill, in front of a home crowd. IT gives us a slight advantage going into the semi-final and after the disappointment of last year’s semi-final it will help to settle the team.” So what shocks are due? We will have to wait and see, but the determination of Mayo and Meath makes passage through to the final a very difficult task for the favourites.


Mammoth Test For Meath Ladies

Meath’s lady footballers go into Sunday’s All-Ireland SFC semi-final with Monaghan at Summerhill rated very much as under-dogs. However, as Meath teams have shown in the past, it is when their backs are against the wall that they produce their most sterling performance and are capable of causing an upset, Monaghan are the current All-Ireland champions, having defeated Waterford in the 1997 decider with a brilliant display of composed football and excellent score taking. Significantly, Waterford hammered Meath in the penultimate round of that championship by 5-11 to 2-6.

Waterford had been the dominant force in ladies’ football for a number of years before Monaghan made the break-through last year. In Leinster, Laois were the most successful county, but Meath caused a major shock last year by claiming their first provincial senior title. Meath were expected to waltz through their Leinster championship campaign this year and were considered genuine contenders for the All-Ireland title. However, they failed to sparkle in their first two games against Wexford and Dublin.

Wexford gave the Royal County a fright when they opened the defence of their Leinster crown in Summerhill. Meath had a comfortable lead at the break, but in the second half Wexford fought back thanks to a strong wind and levelled, before Meath eventually pulled away and ran out four-point winners (2-10 to 2-6). In the provincial decider, Dublin provided the opposition and having lost twice to the Metropolitans in challenges, the Meath girls knew they were up against a formidable side. But thanks to some brilliant displays from Eimear McAuley, Niamh McNelis, Ann Marie Dennehy and Christine O’Brien, the champions retained their Leinster crown.

However, Monaghan will provide the sternest test yet for this talented team and if Meath is to advance to their first All-Ireland senior final they will need all their players in top form. In pervious games Meath have boasted a solid defence, but on Sunday Patricia McNelis and Ann Marie Dennehy will need to excel if they are to curb the threat of the strong Monaghan attack. Meath also have a potent attacking unit to back up their solid defence and with players of calibre of All-star Christine O’Brien, Eimear McAuley, Darina Shaw, Eimir O’Carroll and Dorothy McGoldrick they will trouble the All-Ireland champions. However, Meath are still relatively inexperienced at this level and may just find Monaghan too hot to handle. But, as I said before, never write off any Meath side involved in an All-Ireland semi-final.


Meath To Face Champs Monaghan

The Meath women’s senior football team face another tough task in their second successive All-Ireland semi final appearance when they face defending champions Monaghan at Summerhill on Sunday. Last year the Royal County side received a baptism of fire at the same stage of the competition (this year sponsored by Bank of Ireland) when Waterford trounced them to the tune of 5-11 to 2-6 at Pairc Tailteann.

Then Waterford lost to Monaghan in controversial circumstances in the All Ireland final. Referee Finbarr O’Driscoll played nearly 12 minutes additional time at the end of the game during which the Ulster side scored three points to win by 2-15 to 1-16.

Waterford subsequently gained revenge for that disappointment when defeating Monaghan in a Semi final of Division 1 of the National League and then narrowly accounted for Clare in the decider. Meanwhile Meath took the National League Division 2 title with a 0-15 to 1-9 final victory over Longford at Mullingar. On the way to Sunday’s showdown the Christy Regan coached side in green and gold accounted for Wexford by 2-10 to 2-6 at Summerhill before retaining the Leinster title with a 2-12 to 3-6 victory over Dublin in Carlow. Amusingly this is Monaghan’s first game in the defence of their title and Michael Morgan’s side are now two steps away from gaining a three in a row. No other county competes at senior level in Ulster.

Similarly Mayo has a walk over in Connacht. Like in a few other GAA competitions, you wonder about the ‘All – Ireland’ tag. Meath selector Jim Fitzsimons feels that the Leinster champions will need to play very well in order to be in with a strong chance of ending Monaghan’s run. “I feel that Meath team has improved a bit from last year. The players should be more mature now. They are a year older and hopefully wiser. The forwards will need to get out in front of the Monaghan backs and hopefully we can end the three in a row bid,” added the St. Ultan’s clubman. Christine O’Brien, who scored a total of 2-11 on the way to this game, Dorothy McGoldrick and new comer Eimear McAuley have impressed up front with Patricia McNelis, Ann Marie Dennehy, Mary Dennehy, Derbhla O’Carroll and Niamh McNelis other key players in green and gold. The Meath squad (all 33 of them) is training in Summerhill for the two weeks before the game, having had sessions at whatever grounds were available before that. Monaghan beat Meath ‘by a few points’ in a challenge game at Nobber earlier this year. The odds are on a similar outcome on Sunday and will be a big surprise if the Royal County can advance to meet Waterford or Mayo in Croke Park on the first Sunday of October.


Despite a brave attempt to dethrone the holders Monaghan in the semi-final at Summerhill Meath’s Bank of Ireland women’s All-Ireland S.F.C dream lay in tatters shortly after 4.15 on Sunday. To say defeat was hard to stomach on this occasion would be to slightly understate the point. A storming first half display saw the Royal County side build a well-deserved 1-6 to 0-2 interval lead. And for long spells in the second half it looked as though they might just hang on in the face of a fierce and sustained Monaghan rally. Especially when with 12 minutes remaining Mairead Kelly missed her second penalty with Meath ‘Keeper Mairead Fox getting the faintest of touches to push the ball against the butt of her right hand upright.. At that stage the Royal County side’s lead and been cut to just three points at 1-8 to 0-8 and Monaghan could have been forgiven had their collective heads dropped in the face of a huge Meath defensive effort.

But as the heavens opened, the Farney County team’s resolve seemed to strengthen even more.

The white flag was raised as the Meath posts three times in the next two minutes to bring the sides level for the first time since Christine O’Brien pointed Meath ahead in the opening seconds and, with seven remaining, an Edel Byrne point put Monaghan in front 0-12 to 1-8, for the first time in a pulsating game.

It was a lead they were not to lose although Meath had an added time chance to level when an O’Brien charge was halted 20 metres out. However, Eimear O’Carroll’s effort dropped short of the target and Monaghan broke straight away with substitute Ciara Mc Guinness sending between the posts to double the champions’ winning margin. It was particularly hard on the Royal County side who, beforehand, were given little chance of advancing to their first All-Ireland final. The fact that Monaghan, the only senior side in Ulster, were playing their first competitive game for three months was undoubtedly a factor.

But the performances of goalie Fox, Janet Quinn, Marcella Price, Ann Marie Dennehy, Naimh McNelis and Eimear McAuley epitomised Meath’s collective effort and determination. That they came so close on this occasion will provide some comfort although there did appear to be some justification to claims that the refereeing of Finbarr O’Driscoll was a little on the inconsistent side.

But his demonisation for the disallowing of a Meath ‘goal’ just before O’Carroll’s added time miss was off the mark as the whistle had clearly sounded for the foul on O’Brien well in advance of the shot being taken. To be fair though, Meath had their lucky breaks too. The first of them came after only three minutes when Fox dived low to her left to push away the first of Kelly’s two penalties. Playing with the wind in their favour in that opening period, the Royal County side enjoyed plenty of possession. But the failure to capitalise on their wind assistance proved costly with moves frequently braking down within sight of the posts. Dorothy McGoldrick might have had a goal after 14 minutes but elected to catch instead of punch a ball in from Darina Shaw. In the end she got a free and O’Carroll kicked the point.

The weaknesses in the Monaghan backs were obvious by then but the ‘long ball’ option wasn’t exercised with the sufficient frequency to inflict the maximum damage. The Royal County side then boosted their wides tally by three in as many minutes with the normally prolific O’Brien, who couldn’t have been faulted had she been more selfish in possession, among the culprits. As half time approached McAuley’s goal, which left it at 1-4 to 0-1, galvanised the Meath effort and there was good reason for optimism as O’Carroll and Naimh McNelis added further points with just one in reply from their opponents. However, it was always likely to be difficult after the break and with the influence of Margaret Kierans, Byrne, Kelly and Angela Larkin increasing significantly on the restart, Monaghan looked an altogether different proposition

Kierans fired over two frees in the first five minutes and although O’Brien finished off a good move involving Dearbhla O’Carroll and McNelis posted similar scores, Byrne and Dempsey (twice) quickly responded at the other end cutting the deficit to just three points.

Just before the start of the last quarter and the downpour, which literally put a dampener on the proceedings, McAuley kicked a fine point on the turn in another show of Meath defiance. But it also turned out to be their last score as Monaghan turned the screw and gradually gnawed their way back.

Monaghan – B. Mc Anespie; M. Murphy, C. Brady, A. O’Reilly; M. Kelly, E. McElvaney, N. Kindlan (0-10); J. Greenan, L. Farrelly; M. Kierans (0-2), E. Byrne (0-5), J. Treanor; A. Larkin (0-3), B. Swift, D. Dempsey (0-1). Subs – A. O’Reilly for Swift, C. Mc Guinness (0-1) for Dempsey

Meath – M. Fox; J. Quinn, M. Price, P. McNelis; D. Mangan, A.M Dennehy, A.M Fox; D. O’Carroll, N. McNelis (0-1); L. McKeever, D. Shaw (0-1), C. O’Brien (0-2); E. O’Carroll (0-2), E. McAuley (1-1), D. McGoldrick (0-1). Sub – B. Dennehy for A.M Fox. Referee – F. O’Driscoll (Dublin)

Girls Just Want To Have fun!

Meath Girls Win Blitz

Meath u-12 girls won the first ever Leinster Blitz when overcoming Dublin and Laois in the early stages and then beating Wexford in the final section a competition. Meath’s second string overcame Dublin, Wexford, Kildare en route to a place in the section B decider, but they lost out to a strong Westmeath outfit.

The Meath A panel was: S. Bennett, J. Cadden, A. Cadden, F. Costello, C. Naughton, L. Cunningham, L. Byrne, M. McKeever, A. Fagan, M. Gleeson, C. Delaney, S. McCann, M. O’Brien, E. Clarke, E. McGrane, N. Renolds, E. Davis, S. Breen, L. McManaman, S. Flanagan, J. Rispin, E. Snee, C. Lenihan, I. Munnelly, J. Adare, M. Guy, A. Timmons, L. Darby, S.Hayes, A. Mallon.

The B panel was: L. Creighton, M. Bowe, S. McCann, E. Duff, P. Sheridan, Z. O’Connor, L. Gavin, J. Brady, K. Kennedy, M. Johnson, E. Reilly, S. Burke, S. Cunningham, C. Coffey, B. Malone, A. Shaw, L. Reilly, N. Rogers, T. Farrell, N. Buckley, T. Newman, L. Elliott, S. Roe, E. Ross, K. Farrell, A. Ryan, L. Finnegan, S. Finnegan.

Meath Girls Bid For All Ireland Glory

Meath’s under-14 girl’s football team return to a happy hunting ground next Saturday when they play Waterford in the All-Ireland final at Dr. Cullen Park, Carlow (2-0).

The Royal County turned in a superb performance at the same venue back in May when they annihilated Wexford to the tune of 9-12 to 0-7 in the Leinster final. That was one of a number of highly impressive performances by the Meath girls, who have amassed a staggering total of 30-72 in their five games en route to the final, while conceding just 5-26. They opened with a 6-15 to 0-4 win over Kildare, Beat Longford by 9-17 to 0-5, then cruised past Wexford, before encountering their stiffest challenge in the All-Ireland semi-final against Monaghan at Pairc Tailteann Navan.


Monaghan were well regarded, but Meath ran out convincing winners on a 3-12 to 4-4 scoreline.

That match should prove an enormous benefit to Meath, while the experience of winning the Leinster blitz and reaching the final of the All-Ireland equivalent, where they were unfortunate to lose to Kerry, should also stand to them.

Waterford were one of the first counties to organise ladies’ football on a serious level, so their u-14 team is expected to be strong and they certainly looked formidable when defeating Galway at the semi-final stage. They are likely to provide Meath with their most searching test to date, but the Royal County girls have acquired that winning habit and will be very difficult to stop.

A supporters’ bus will leave Simonstown at 10.30 and Navan O’Mahonys at 11.00 on Saturday morning and those interested in travelling should contact Geraldine Moroney at (046) 29876, Geraldine Sheridan at (046) 72154 or Celine McLarney at (046) 71715 before Friday.

Geraldine Sheridan and Celine McLarney, joint managers of the team, have thanked all those who have supported them in any way, including the Ladies’ Co. Board, chairman Finton Ginnity and the Co. Board for their help and the use of Pairc Tailteann for the All-Ireland semi-final.

The Meath Panel is – Geraldine Doherty, Katie O’Brien, Rachel Barry, Cathy Coyle, (all St. Ultan’s), Mary Sheridan, Gillian Foley, Zoe Fagan, Philomena Sheridan, Melissa Reilly (all Navan O’Mahony’s), Martina Ryan, Susan Sullivan, Cara Lenehan, Emma Smith (all Dunboyne), Jackie Shiels, Celestine Keavney, Kerry O’Brien, Lisa Moroney, Fiona Feeney (all Simonstown Gaels), Shauna Coakley, Orla Tuite (both Oldcastle), Juolianne Scanlon (Summerhill), Roison Dennehy (Dunsany), Adelle Carolan, Grace Kiernan (both Seneschalstown), Niamh Reynolds (Walterstown), Deirdre Mooney, Caroline King, Maria Kealy (all Royal Gaels), Eleanor McCormack, Jenny Goodwin (both Rathkenny), Edel O’Malley (Ratoath), Brid Guy (Boardsmill), Niamh Brannigan (Bellewstown).

Under 14 Girls Bid For Title

Meath can look forward to Saturday’s All-Ireland girls under 14 football final at Dr. Cullen Park, Carlow with optimism following a run which has seen them run up a massive aggregate score of 30-72 in their five matches to date. Waterford, whose main strengths are in their forward and midfield lines, provide the opposition in an eagerly awaited clash, which has a two o’clock, throw in.

Only one of the Meath side – Geraldine Doherty of St. Ultan’s remains from the team, which stumbled at the penultimate hurdle last year. But while the Decies may be regarded as favourites, they won’t relish the thought of taking on a side whose spectacular scoring exploits have been matched by a defence, which has conceded just 5-28 in five outings. Neighbouring Louth were the first side to fall victim to the Royal County, losing by 1-6 to 3-16.

However, they faced much better than the sides which followed as both Kildare (0-4 to 6-15) and Longford (0-7to 9-17) were mauled while Leinster final opponents Wexford were similarly embarrassed on a 9-12 to 0-7 scoreline.

The recent 3-12 to 4-4 All-Ireland semi-final victory over Monaghan at Pairc Tailteann was their toughest test to date.

A special supporters bus will depart the Simonstown clubhouse at 10.30 and O’Mahonys at 11.00 on Saturday morning.

Girls Go One Better

Meath 3-12 Monaghan 4-4

Last year’s beaten semi-finalists Meath went one better this time around as they defeated a strong Monaghan side to earn a place in the All-Ireland Under 14 F.C. final. The Meath girls made full use of the Pairc Tailteann pitch and, with the aid of a strong breeze, were in control from the start. Jackie Shiels and Katie O’Brien scored early points for the Royal County side and then Susan Sullivan volleyed home the first goal midway through the half. By the interval, they were 2-10 to 2-1 to be good with Geraldine Doherty grabbing her first and Meath’s second goal. But it wasn’t quite as straightforward in the second half as the Ulster side fought to salvage something from the tie. Goalkeeper Lisa Moroney pulled off a number of fine saves but the ball still landed in the Meath net twice more. Fortunately Doherty grabbed a second goal when finishing off a good move and Shiels sent over two further points to as Meath kept their noses in front. Doherty, Shiels, Gillian Foley, Maria Kealy, Caroline King and Mary Sheridan were best for the Royal County side who will meet Waterford in the final on July 18th. The Decies girls defeated Galway by 11-10 to 7-1 in the other semi-final.

Meath – L. Moroney; F. Feeney, C. King, E. Smith; E. McCormack, M. Sheridan, A. Carolan; G. Foley, M. Kealy (0-1); K. O’Brien (0-1), J. Shiels (0-7), J. Scanlon; G. Doherty 2-2, b. Guy (0-1), S. Sullivan (1-0). Sub – C. Keaveney for Smith.

Co. Board

The Co. Board thanks all those who supported the sponsored circle from Clonee to Kells. All outstanding sponsorship cards should be returned as soon as possible.


Girls Lose ‘Semi’ Tie

Monaghan 4-13 Meath 2-11

Meath’s girls under 16 football team bowed out of the championship at the All-Ireland semi-final stage when losing a high scoring encounter at Mullingar by eight points. The Royal County side trailed by 1-5 to 1-7 at the break after Fiona McMahon had scored their first goal. Two Monaghan goals early in the second half put the Ulster champions well on the road to victory. Helped by a goal from Edel Gray, Meath battled back to get within striking distance. However, with Ciara McGuinness getting 1-3 of her 2-4 in the last 10 minutes, Monaghan pulled clear again to ensure a final tilt with Waterford.

Meath Scorers – F. McMahon 1-4, E. Duffy 0-5, E. Gray 1-0, M. Costello, R. Mc Grath 0-1 each.

Praise Due To Ladies’ Board

Last Saturday I reluctantly went to Pairc Tailteann to watch the All-Ireland u-14 girls’ football semi-final between Meath and Monaghan.

The reason for my reluctance was due to the amount of sports, games and other matters, which must be reported on a weekly basis. Sometimes this can mean attending meetings or games every night of the week. I felt the game warranted media attention, but I had very little enthusiasm for the task. However, I was surprised and delighted with the fare, which was presented, and the enjoyment was enhanced as Meath won, unexpectedly, against the defending All-Ireland champions.

Ladies’ G.A.A., adult and under-age, doesn’t receive enormous amount of attention and the reasons for this are numerous. Ladies football is relatively new addition to the GAA and sometimes officials fail to provide information in time or at all. Meath Co. Board made Pairc Tailteann available for last Saturday’s game and that was a very worthwhile gesture, which will reap rich rewards for the Board in the future. The game was a very sporting contest and although there were 30 frees in the first half, they were mainly technical offences and not foul play. I was amazed at the ability of the Meath team and some of the players produced enormous feats of skill for such young players. But the most pleasing aspect came at the end. As the Meath girls celebrated their fine victory on the pitch, the Monaghan players formed two lines at the entrance to the dressing rooms and applauded the Meath girls as they left the pitch. That was a very sporting gesture, which could be adopted by other sports. That type of attitude augurs well for the future of the game and portrays a very mature attitude amongst the Monaghan players and mentors. On a slightly less positive note it was disappointing that we received no notification from the Meath Primary Schools’ Board prior to the finals at Kilmessan last Saturday. To the Board’s credit they did provide us with adequate details of all games afterwards, but I was very surprised to receive them as I had no idea the finals were scheduled. The same applies to the senior football challenge game between Meath and Cork at Pairc Tailteann on Sunday. We received information about the fixture either before or after the game which is also disappointing.

The Girls are having fun

The fastest growing sport in Ireland has gripped the imagination of the young girls of Meath and they’ve proved that they’re up there with the best. Shane O’Brien relives the victorious U14 and U16 Leinster championship campaigns. Concerns about the future of Meath football surfaced in 1998 when, for the first time since 1994, there was no Royal success to celebrate at any level. The trophy table will be unusually empty when the 1999 AGM takes place. In comparison, the only worries the Ladies County Board have is gathering up all the cups from the various captains in 1999 for the annual get together! In the past they’ve been shadowed by their more illustrious male counterparts in 1998 Ladies football took centre-stage in Meath.

The 1994 All-Ireland Junior championship victory was the analyst. Since then Meath have emerged as a force to be recorded with at national level – in all grades. Two Leinster minor titles and a N.F.L Div. 2 crown since the breakthrough was made illustrate the great strides of success, which have been made.

Perhaps the most pleasing aspect, however, has been the success enjoyed at underage level. In 1996 All-Ireland U14 honours were captured at the expense of Monaghan, while in the year just ending U14 and U16 provincial laurels were secured. Great tribute must go to all the mentors putting in work at all levels, parents who are rowing in and sponsors who make everything possible. Indeed this year’s U14s were unlucky not to emulate the success of ’96. A combination of talented Waterford side and some suspect refereeing decisions by Sligo official Martin Duffy contributed to their downfall on a scoreline of 3-8 to 3-7.

There was controversy when Duffy awarded the Munster girls two penalties in quick succession in the second half, one of which was stopped by Simonstown’s Lisa Moroney. The Meath contingent, which made the trip, were visibly furious at the ref’s decisions and voiced their anger in no uncertain terms. Despite the disappointing result, and the sub-standard officiating, this game was a fine advertisement for ladies football. It had it all. Six goals, four in the second half, a spirited Waterford revival followed by a trademark Meath revival. On the downside however, another pity was that there was only 500 spectators there to cheer on the two committed teams. Wind assisted, the girls in the green and gold had two points registered (courtesy of Jackie Shiels and Brid Guy) before Waterford opened their account. Guy fired home the first of the goals in the 13th minute after Waterford goalkeeper had parried her initial effort. A minute later, Julie Ann Scanlon centred and Geraldine Doherty finished to the net to give Meath a 2-2 to 0-3 lead.

A brace of points from Shiels and Guy handed the Royals a2-5 to 0-4 advantage at the interval, but within seven minutes of the resumption Waterford had fought back to gain parity. Matters were made worse when the management duo of Celine McLarney from Simonstown and O’Mahonys Geraldine Sheridan were forced to make a switch early in the second half after centre back Mary Sheridan was stretchered off. That resulted in centre forward Jackie Shiels (who had played a prominent role in establishing Meath’s lead) dropping back to occupy the pivotal central defensive position with Oldcastle’s Shauna Coakley introduced to attack. To their credit, Meath refused to press the panic button and centre forward Shiels steadied the ship with a great point from play to regain initiative. With the game evenly poised the referee intervened to award the Decies those two spot-kicks. Moroney was equal to the first one, but Waterford made no mistake with the second a minute later and when they added on a point the writing appeared to be on the wall.

But substitute Coakley had other ideas and when she was sent clean through by Doherty she blasted the ball to the roof of the net, once again leaving the sides deadlocked, 3-6 apiece. At the other end Waterford raised a white flag, but the Royal’s response was swift when Coakley confidently pointed after Shiels found her with a quick ‘45’.

With the full time whistle looming over the horizon a draw match would have been a fair result but unfortunately for Meath, the girls in white and blue launched a late attack, which yielded the match winner. Although she wasn’t required to make a victorious acceptance speech, there was some consolation for captain Jackie Shiels when she was awarded the Player of the Match trophy for the final. This completed a remarkable double for the Simonstown player who also received the Leinster final equivalent. Her performances won her many admirers, not to mention a call-up to the successful U16 squad.

But Jackie would be the first to admit that it was far from a one-woman show. Mary Sheridan (who was badly missed in the final following her retirement), Adelle Carolan, Gillian Foley, Maria Kealy and Brid Guy were others to impress during the course of the campaign.


Leinster quarter-final: Meath 6-15 Kildare 0-4

Leinster semi-final: Meath 9-17 Longford 0-5

Lenister Final: Meath 9-12 Wexford 0-7

All-Ireland semi-final: Meath 3-12 Monaghan 4-4

All-Ireland final: Meath 3-7 Waterford 3-8

The U14 team and squad members which were on duty for the final against Monaghan were as follows; L. Moroney (Simonstown); A. Carolan (Seneschalstown), C. King (Royal Gaels), M. Reilly (O’Mahony’s); C. Coyne (St. Ultan’s), M. Sheridan (O’Mahony’s), E. McCormack (Rathkenny); G. Foley (O’Mahony’s), M. Kealy (Royal Gaels); K. O’Brien (St. Ultan’s), Jackie Shiels (Simonstown) 0-4, J.A Scanlon (Summerhill); G. Doherty (St. Ultan’s) 1-0, B. Guy (Boardsmill) 1-2, S. Sullivan (Dunboyne).

Subs – S. Coakley (Oldcastle) 1-1, C. Keaveney (Simonstown), R. Barry (St. Ultan’s)

The other members of the panel were: N. Brannigan (Bellewstown), E. Smith (Dunboyne), P. Sheridan (O’Mahony’s), J. Goodwin (Rathkenny), K. O’Brien (Simonstown), O. Tuite (Oldcastle), R. Dennehy (Dunsany), Z. Fagan (O’Mahony’s), C. Lenihan (Dunboyne), D. Mooney (Royal Gaels), E. O’Malley (Ratoath), N. Reynolds (Walterstown), G. Kiernan (Seneschalstown), M. Ryan (Dunboyne), F. Feeney (Simonstown).

The Royal County’s U16 representatives failed in their bid to reach the All-Ireland final when Monaghan proved to be the rock on which their championship aspirations perished at the penultimate stage. The girls in green and gold produced gallant display but it wasn’t sufficient on the day with the Northerners running out winners by 4-13 to 2-11.

At half time Meath were two points in front (1-7 to 1-5) and were still very much in contention entering the last quarter. But a late scoring spree from the team in white and blue, which resulted in 1-3, proved to be different between the two sides. Meath claimed the provincial title with a comfortable 4-10 to 1-1 win over Louth in the decider. The Wee County only trailed by 0-8 to 1-1 at the interval but the eventual winners turned on the style in the second period grabbing goals through senior star Elaine Duffy, Grainne Farrell and Sharon Byrne (two). Lisa Donnelly, Elaine Lynch, Fiona Mahon, Mary Costello, Byrne and Duffy were others to impress.

The Meath U16 team which went under to Monaghan in the All-Ireland semi-final was as follows: Lisa Donnelly, Sinead Daly, Eileen Rahill, Denise McNally; Karen Bowe, Elaine Lynch, Eve Wardick; Fiona McMahon (1-4), Paula Reilly; Elaine Duffy (0-5), Mary Costello (0-1), Ruth Ennis, Sharon Byrne, Edel Guy (1-0), Grainne Farrell.

Subs – Lorna Duffy, Roisin McGrath (0-1), Ciara Murray.

Meath Girls Edged Out In Thriller


Waterford 3-8 Meath 3-7

That there had to be a loser in this girls All-Ireland u-14 FC final at Dr. Cullen Park, Carlow, on Saturday was the only negative aspect to a wonderful game of football as Meath suffered the heartache of defeat in a thriller. The only other disappointing fact was that only 500 supporters witnessed this spectacle. That’s not a criticism of anyone, but this was a marvellous game of football which was made all the more remarkable as the balance swayed from one side to the other in the closing stages.

Each side deserved to win and while it will be little consolation to the Meath girls, they can be proud of their own individual performances. This game had everything. Six goals, four in the second half, a great Waterford revival followed by a superb Meath revival. There was controversy as the Munster girls were awarded two penalties in quick succession by Sligo referee Marty Duffy, one of which was saved by Lisa Moroney. Some of the referees’ decisions prompted one supporter to unleash a verbal torrent at the official at the end of the game, but overall the referee handled the game well.

Mary Sheridan

Meath also lost centre-back Mary Sheridan who was stretchered off early in the second half. That resulted in Brid Guy moving to centre-back while Oldcastle’s Shauna Coakley took over in attack. Wind assisted Meath were 2-5 to 0-4 ahead at the break, but within seven minutes of the resumption it was level (2-5 apiece) as Waterford ripped the Royals to shreds. But Meath fought back and took the lead again before those two penalty decisions at the start of the final-quarter. The Meath girls started off well with points from Jackie Shiels and Guy, but Waterford replied with a pointed free from Mary O’Rourke after Moroney was penalised for overcarrying as she attempted to clear. O’Rourke was a constant threat at full forward and finished with 1-7 to her credit. She accounted for all Waterford’s first half tally from three more frees and Meath’s full-back, Caroline King, was cautioned for persistent fouling.

Meath had no capable of curtailing O’Rourke and that was one of the reasons for their demise, but the girls displayed great character and Guy fired Meath ahead with a 13th minute goal after the Waterford ‘keeper, Eimear Power, parried the initial shot. Then, a minute later, Julie Ann Scanlon centred and Geraldine Doherty finished to the net after Power deflected on to the crossbar. That gave Meath a 2-2 to 0-3 advantage and a brace of points from Shiels and a Guy free completed the tally.


Meath also registered six first half wides and in a game in which it was difficult to create chances, that ultimately proved costly. Waterford resumed with all guns blazing and two quick goals from O’Rourke and Marian Ryan followed by an O’Rourke point sent the selectors on the sideline into a state of panic.

Jackie Shiels settled the nerves with a great point from play, but she was forced to go too deep too often for possession as Waterford increased the tempo. The injury to Sheridan stopped play for three minutes and gave Meath some breathing space. It broke Waterford’s momentum, but the O’Mahony’s girl was a huge loss. Moroney saved Waterford’s first penalty from O’Rourke, but a second penalty, two minutes later was the final straw and this time Aoife Murray converted for a 3-5 to 2-6 lead. When O’Rourke added another point it looked all over.

But Meath fought back. Doherty won possession and sent substitute Shauna Coakley on her way and the Oldcastle girl blasted to the top corner and it was level again, 3-6 apiece. O’Rourke pointed again at the other end, but Meath rallied and a good move which involved Susan Sullivan, Doherty and Coakley earned a ‘45’ which Shiels took to Coakley who pointed confidently. I think everyone would have settled for a draw then, but Waterford had a sting in the tail and Elaine Power piled on the agony with her title-winning point in injury-time. This was a fine team performance in defeat by the Meath girls, but a number of individuals are worthy of mention. Jackie Shiels was magnificent and she received great support from Mary Sheridan, Adelle Carolan, Gillian Foley, Maria Kealy and Brid Guy.

Waterford – E. Power; N. O’Connor, E. McGrath, S. Walsh; B, Hearn, U. Leahy, A. Barron; M. Hogan, D. Breathnach; K. Kelly, A. Murphy (1-0), E. Power (0-1); M. Foley, M. O’Rourke (1-7), M. Ryan (1-0).

Meath – L. Moroney (Simonstown); A. Carolan (Seneschalstown), C. King (Royal Gaels), M. Reilly (O’Mahony’s); C. Coyne (St. Ultan’s), M. Sheridan (O’Mahony’s), E. McCormack (Rathkenny); G. Foley (O. Mahony’s), M. Kealy (Royal Gaels); K. O’Brien (St. Ultan’s), J. Shiels (Simonstown) 0-4, J.A Scanlon (Summerhill); G. Doherty (St. Ultan’s) 1-1, B. Guy (Boardsmill) 1-2, S. Sullivan (Dunboyne) Subs – S. Coakley (Oldcastle) 1-0 for Sheridan, C. Keveney (Simonstown) for Coyne, R. Barry (St. Ultan’s) for Reilly, N. Brannigan (Bellewstown), E. Smith (Dunboyne), P. Sheridan (O’Mahony’s), J. Goodwin (Rathkenny), K. O’Brien (Simonstown), O. Tuite (Oldcastle), R. Dennehy (Dunsany), Z. Ryan (O’Mahony’s), C. Lenihan (Dunboyne), D. Mooney (Royal Gaels), E. O’Malley (Ratoath), N. Reynolds (Walterstown), G. Kiernan (Seneschalstown) M. Ryan (Dunboyne), F. Feeney (Simonstown). Referee – Mary Duffy (Sligo)



Although Meath, bidding for a third Leinster women’s senior football title on the trot, got off to the expected winning start in Mullingar on Sunday, the Royal County side struggled for a long way against Westmeath.

The sides were level at 0-4 each and it was not until Emer McAuley netted 10 minutes from the start that the victors took control. Christine O’Brien and Dorothy McGoldrick were in good point scoring form in the Meath attack and Louise McKeever showed up well in defence. McGoldrick picked up the ‘player of the match) trophy from sponsors Bank of Ireland.

Meath manager Christy Regan was not happy with his team’s display, remarking that there is a lot of work to be done if the provincial title is to be retained.

Meath – M. Fox; J. Quinn, P. McNelis, D. Shaw, D. Mangan, A.M. Dennehy, L. McKeever; D. O’Carroll, N. McNelis; C. O’Brien (0-4), D. McGoldrick (0-5), M. Maguire; E. Duffy, E. McAuley (1-1), R. McNelis (0-1). Subs – M. Lucey for Maguire, C. Cunningham for R. McNelis.

Meath will meet Longford in a Leinster semi-final clash next Sunday.

A Co. Board meeting will be held in the Navan O’Mahony’s centre next Monday night at 8.30.


Women Bid To Advance

Meath’s women footballers begin the defence of their Leinster Senior Championship title when they take on Wexford in a semi-final clash at Summerhill on Sunday next at 3.00.

But although regarded as favourites, manager Christy Regan will have a few selection headaches as the throw in approaches. The Royal County side will be without the Bennett sisters, Audrey and Gillian, both of whom are in the U.S.A., the latter on a soccer scholarship, while Louise McKeever and Janet Quinn are both carrying knocks but are expected to be fit.

However, the news is not so good regarding team captain Suzanne Kelly who is out for a while with a kneel injury. Captaincy passes to Ratoath’s Mary Maguire. The sides clashed twice last year with Wexford taking the honours in a challenge game in Skryne. However, Meath had nine points to spare when the sides met in the Leinster semi-final gaining a 3-15 to 33-6 victory.

Meath will met Carlow in the Under 18 Leinster F.C. at Dunboyne on tonight (Tuesday), 7.30.

Big Test For Meath Ladies

Meath ladies will be in action in the Leinster SFC when they defend their provincial title on Sunday, 13th July against Wexford at Pairc Tailteann.

These two sides clashed in last year’s semi-final where Meath won narrowly on their way to a final victory over Laois for their first Leinster senior title, but they were well beaten in the All-Ireland semi-final by a more experienced Waterford side. However, Meath have matured as a team and are certain to be major contenders for All-Ireland honours this year following a fine NFL Div. 2 title success.

Christy Regan and his selectors can look to players of the calibre of Anne Marie Dennehy, Christine O’Brien, Niamh McNelis and dearbhla and Emer O’Carroll to provide the inspiration on Sunday.

The Meath squad is: Ann Marie Fox, Mariead Fox (Drumbaragh), Mary Maguire, Alison Kelly (Ratoath), Darina Shaw, Lara Fagan, Patricia McNelis, Niamh McNelis, Roisin McNelis, Dorothy McGoldrick (Summerhill), Louise McKeever (Castletown), Suzanne Kelly, Grainne Farnan, Ann-Marie O’Brien (Dunderry), Deborah Mangan, Emer O’Carroll, Sally-Ann Carolan, Dearbhla O’Carroll (Seneschalstown), Seona Conaway (Donaghmore / Ashbourne), Audrey Bennett (Drumbaragh), Janette Quinn (Kilbride), Carol O’Connell (St Michael’s), Ann Marie Dennehy, Christine O’Brien, Sandra Coleman (Dunsany), Marcella Price (Castletown), Emer McAuley (Bellewstown), Elaine Duffy (St. Ultan’s).


Royal Ladies Deliver Leinster Final Place

Meath 2-10 Wexford 2-6

Meath ladies produced a magnificent team performance to hold off a determined second half Wexford challenge in their Leinster SFC semi final at Summerhill on Sunday, but they laid the platform for this victory when they went in with a 1-6 to 0-0 wind assisted interval advantage. Meath made a number of changes in an effort to make the most of the elements. Ann-Marie Fox and Dorothy McGoldrick operated in the half forward line while Louise McKeever acted as a third midfielder. The Castletown girl was superb throughout and tormented the Wexford defence. Eimer McAuley gave Meath an eighth minute lead while Christine O’Brien added three more points (two frees) and Niamh McNelis fired over to give Meath a 0-5 to 0-0 margin. Then Dorothy McGoldrick was fouled inside the area and O’Brien brilliantly dispatched the resultant penalty. She closed the first half account with a well taken point after Niamh McNelis made the opening.


Wexford’s Sandra Walsh got her side off the mark after Patricia McNelis was fouled, but Meath received a perfect boost when McGoldrick’s point attempt deceived the Wexford ‘keeper, Mags Doherty, to give Meath a seemingly unassailable 2-7 to 0-1 lead. McGoldrick added another point four minutes later and the large crowd anticipated that Meath would run out comfortable winners. However, Wexford rallied with Walsh and Kate Kelly firing over before Miriam Stafford’s goal left just seven points in it as Meath enjoyed a 2-8 to 1-4 margin. Walsh grabbed another point to cut the lead to six points, but Meath restored their advantage when Darina Shaw’s effort was brilliantly tipped over by Doherty.


Wexford never gave up and with four minutes of normal time remaining, Stafford scored another brilliant goal, which was quickly followed by a smart point from Nicki Scallan that reduced the deficit to three points, 2-6 to 2-9. The Meath defence was under constant pressure, but some stout defending from Ann Marie Dennehy, Patricia McNelis, Debbie Mangan and Mary Maguire kept the lead in intact.

Stafford had a chance nine minutes into injury time, but a brilliant double save from Mairead Fox consolidated Meath’s lead and sent the Royals through to their second successive Leinster final.



Defending Leinster women’s senior football champions Meath didn’t quite have it all their own way in this Bank of Ireland sponsored provincial semi-final at Summmerhill on Sunday. The Royal County side was in total control before the interval when playing with the advantage of a strong breeze and led by 1-6 to 0-0 at half time. However, it was a much more determined Wexford side which emerged after the break. Even though the Royal County advantage was stretched to 2-8 to 0-1 after the restart the women in green and gold had to call on all their resources to repel a spirited comeback by the visitors.

Much of the credit for that stout-hearted rearguard action must go to Anne Marie Dennehy, Patricia McNelis, Mairead Fox, Debbie Mangan and team captain Mary Maguire while Niamh McNelis, Christine O’Brien and Louise McKeever also did well for the winners. In the end it was a comfortable victory but despite the one-sided look to the interval score line, Meath struggled initially to impose themselves on this game and survived an early scare when goalie Fox saved well from Michelle Stafford.

Eimear McAuley opened the Royal County account after eight minutes and with 22 gone Christy Regan’s side were five points to the good thanks to scores by O’Brien (three) and Niamh McNelis before the game’s opening goal arrived. McAuley was hauled down by Wexford full back Greta English and O’Brien rammed home the resultant penalty before kicking her fourth point.

It took eight minutes of second half play before the visitors registered their first score with a Sandra Walsh point. But the Meath response was swift. A Dorothy McGoldrick point attempt sailed under the crossbar but over the head of Wexford ‘keeper Mags Doherty to the net and the same player extended the Meath lead to 2-8 to 0-1 within two minutes. With 18 to play it looked to be all over. But Wexford rallied and Miriam Stafford found the net to cap a fine spell for the visitors, which yielded 1-3 in five minutes to cut the deficit to just seven points.

With four minutes of normal time remaining, Stafford again found a way through to goal and a Nicola Scallon point almost straight away left just three between them at 2-9 to 2-6 and set up an exciting finish. Wexford continued to press and Stafford did have one last chance to force a draw nine minutes into injury time. But with the home goals under siege, Fox produced an outstanding double save to deny the visitors and ensure Meath’s passage to a second consecutive Leinster final.


First Half

8 Minutes – Eimear McAuley opens Meath’s account with a fine point from a tight angle.

12M – Christine O’Brien races down the left wing before brilliantly firing over.

18M – O’Brien increases the lead with a pointed free.

20M – Niamh MeNelis wins possession from a throw-in and finishes well.

28M – O’Brien grabs her third point from another placed ball.

32M – Dorothy McGoldrick is fouled inside the area and O’Brien converts the resultant penalty with confidence.

34M – O’Brien’s point gives Meath a nine points half time advantage following good work from McNelis.

Half Time – Meath 1-6, Wexford 0-0.

Second Half

5M – Meath increase their advantage through Louise McKeever after a surging run from Ann Marie Dennehy.

7M – Sandra Walsh claims Wexford’s first score from a free after a foul by Patricia McNelis.

8M – McGoldrick’s point attempt deceives the Wexford ‘keeper and drops into the net for Meath’s second goal.

12M – Mcgoldrick fires over another point to give the Royal County a 13 points lead.

14M – Wexford’s revival starts when Walsh points after a foul on Michelle Murphy.

15M – Walsh fires over her third point after gathering possession from a loose ball.

16M – Wexford substitute Kate Kelly reduces Meath’s lead even further with a fine point.

17M – Wexford continue to enjoy their purple patch with a Michelle Stafford goal.

19M – Walsh grabs her fourth and final point following good work by Stafford and Murphy.

24M – Darina Shaw halts Wexford’s scoring spree with a fine effort, which was tipped over the bar.

25M – Stafford’s second goal. She blasts past a crowd of players to cut Meath’s lead to four points (2-5 to 2-9).

26M – Nicki Scallan concludes the Wexford scoring with a good point.

29M – O’Brien seals a Meath victory with another pointed free after McGoldrick was fouled.

Full-Time – Meath 2-10, Wexford 2-6.


MEATH 4-10 LOUTH 1-1

Meath’s U-16 footballers emulated the county seniors when they won the Leinster U-16 crown following a convincing victory over Louth in the final at Drogheda on Wednesday evening of last week. They beat Longford by 3-18 to 0-4 in the semi-final two days earlier and the girls were in fine form with Elaine Duffy, a member of the senior team which won the Leinster title the previous Sunday, exceptional throughout.

In the decider, Louth remained in contention at half time, trailing by 1-1 to 0-8, but Meath turned on the style in the second period and goals from Duffy, Grainne Farrell and Sharon Byrne (two) ended the Louth threat. Lisa Donnelly, Elaine Lynch, Fiona Mahon, Mary Costello, Byrne and Duffy were best for the winners.

Meath – L. Donnelly; S. Daly, E. Rahill, D. McNally; K. Bowe, E. Lynch, E. Wardick, F. Mahon, (0-3), P. Reilly, E. Duffy (1-3), M. Costello (0-2), M. Bennett, S. Byrne (2-1), E. Guy (0-1), G. Farrell (1-0).



MEATH 4-10 LOUTH 1-1

After a close enough first half Meath’s under 16 girl footballers took control in the Leinster final at Drogheda last Wednesday evening. They led by 0-8 to 1-1 at the break with Mary Costello, Fiona Mahon and Elaine Duffy sending over two points each and Edel Guy and Sharon Byrne also getting on the mark in the first half.

Louth’s goal came from a penalty after 25 minutes but the Wee County lasses failed to score in the second half. Elaine Duffy grabbed Meath’s first goal 11 minutes after the restart and Grainne Farrell and Sharon Byrne (twice) also found the Louth net. Goalie Lisa Donnelly, Elaine Lynch, Mahon, Byrne, Duffy and Costello were most impressive for the winners. Amusingly the same Meath side defeated Longford by 3-18 to 0-4 in a provincial semi-final at Drumbaragh just two evenings earlier. It was 1-10 to 0-2 at half time.



After assessing the Meath senior ladies performances in 1998….Shane O’Brien comes to the conclusion that a Brendan Martin Cup success may happen in the not too distant future. Talk of Leinster football finals isn’t greeted with too much enthusiasm these days considering that Sean Boylan’s men have been at the wrong end of results in the last two deciders, but the lady footballers fortunes have been in stark contrast to that of their male counterparts.

Christy Regan’s charges can’t stop winning and in the year just drawing to an end they captured the county’s second provincial title courtesy of a 2-12 to 3-6 score line at Dublin’s expense. That said, for the second year in a row Meath bowed out at the semi-final stage of the All-Ireland series. Reigning All-Ireland champions Monaghan proved to be the rock on which their All-Ireland ambitions perished, 0-13 to 1-8, but there were encouraging signs to suggest that a Brendan Martin Cup success may be just around the corner. An inspirational first half performance in Summerhill had the northerners on the ropes, and the team in green and gold had built up a fully deserving 1-6 to 0-2 interval lead. And for long spells in the second half it looked as though they would go the full distance as Monaghan began to pile on the pressure.

Especially when with 12 minutes remaining Mairead Fox pulled off her second penalty save from Mairead Kelly. The Meath custodian got the faintest of touches to steer the ball around the uprights and away to safety. It was a repeat of her third minute effort when the Drumbaragh girl dived to her left to push away the first of Kelly’s penalties. When Fox saved from Kelly for the second time, the Royal County’s lead had been cut to just three points at 1-8 to 0-8 and the Farney County were beginning to display just why they were All-Ireland champions in ’96 and ’97.

The white flag was raised at the Meath posts three times in the next two minutes to bring the sides level for the first time since Christine O’Brien pointed Meath ahead in the opening seconds and, with seven remaining, an Edel Byrne point gave the visitors the initiative for the first time in the game, and a further point from substitute Ciara McGuinness compounded Royal County woes.

It was a heart breaking defeat for Christy Regan’s charges whose chances weren’t rated by many entering the clash. And judging by the likes of Goalie Fox, Janet Quinn, Marcella Price, Ann Marie Dennehy, E. McNelis and Eimear McAuley it won’t be long before they’re celebrating a first All-Ireland success. The Meath dressing room was a much more sombre place to be following the Leinster final defeat by Dublin however. This encounter was always on the cards with teams having won their respective league earlier on in the year. Meath, the Div. 2 champions and reigning provincial holders, would have been favoured in betting circles though. The valuable experience garnered a year earlier was to prove vital against the team which had just gained promotion to Div.2 of the league.

The metropolitans made the girls in green and gold work all the way and were it not for a powerful spell midway through the second half the Royal County girls may not have been celebrating at the final whistle. With 17 minutes remaining the team in navy and blue were three points to the good at 3-4 to 1-7 before the tide finally turned in Meath’s favour. Christine O’Brien, who up to that stage would have been the equalising score in the closing minutes. Ann-Marie Dennehy and Christine O’Brien received All Star Awards for their efforts in 1998.

The Meath team which lost out in the All-Ireland semi-final to Monaghan was as follows: M. Fox, J.Quinn, M. Price, P. McNeilis, D. Mangan, A.M. Dennehy, A.M. Fox, D. O’Carroll, N. McNeilis(0-1), L. McKeever, D. Shaw, (0-1), C. O’Brien (0-2), E. O’Carroll (0-2), E. McAuley (0-1), D. McColdrick (0-1).

Sub – B. Dennehy.



June 20th WEXFORD


























Christine O’Brien’s last minute point ensured Meath advanced to their fourth Leinster ladies SFC final in a row following a tense battle with a fiercely competitive Longford outfit at Pearse Park on Sunday. The Royals produced a much better performance than the previous outing against Westmeath and while more improvement will be necessary if they hope to defeat Laois in the decider, they are capable of claiming their fourth successive title. Meath dominated the first half with points from O’Brien, Elaine Duffy and Eimear McAuley for a 0-8 to 0-5 interval advantage. On the resumption Longford stored into the lead with a goal and a point and then O’Brien missed a penalty, but further points from McAuley and Duffy kept Meath kin contention. Longford pointed a penalty, but Meath rallied and O’Brien fired over in the last minute to secure victory. Ann-Marie Dennehy, Niamh McNelis, Darina Shaw, O’Brien and McAuley were best for the Meath side that will now face Laois in the final on Sunday 25th July.

Meath – M. Fox, J. Quinn, P. McNelis, D. Shaw, D. Mangan, A.M. Dennehy, L. McKeever, D. O’Carroll, N. McNelis, C. O’Brien (0-3), D. McGoldrick (0-1), M. Maguire (0-2), E. Duffy (0-3), E. McAuley (0-4), R. McNelis.

Subs – M. Lucey (0-1) for Maguire, M.L Reilly for R. McNelis.




A late late winning point from Christine O’Brien helped Meath to this victory over hosts Longford at Pearse Park on Sunday as they booked a Leinster final clash with Laois. It certainly made up for the disappointment that right half forward O’Brien experienced when she missed a penalty kick in the second period. Meath had lead by 0-8 to 0-5 at the break but were hauled back to parity on the resumption when the home side also proved to be off target from a ‘spot kick’ which they drove over the bar for a second half point. This was a good overall display by Meath with Anne Marie Dennehy, Niamh McNelis, Elaine Duffy and O’Brien particularly impressive.

Meath – M. Fox, J. Quinn, P. McNelis, D. Shaw, D. Mangan, A.M. Dennehy, L. Mc Keever, D. O’Carroll, N. McNelis, C. O’Brien, E. Duffy (0-3), E. McAuley (0-4), R. McNelis.

Subs – M. Lucey (0-1) for Maguire, M.L Reilly for R. McNelis.



Meath ladies bid for All-Ireland honours will continue on Sunday against Longford in the Leinster semi-final at Pearse Park writes Fergal Lynch. Last week’s first round victory over Westmeath was not very impressive and a repeat of that form could bring about their downfall. Westmeath proved more than capable of beating Meath for the majority of that contest, but once the Royals found another gear they were in a different class and they fired 1-4 in the closing stages, which destroyed Westmeath.

Longford will prove to be stiffer opposition, but Meath dominated recent contests. Meath claimed the 1998 NFL div 2 title at expense of the midlanders and they also won this year’s league clash. However, championship football was a habit of throwing up a few surprises and if Meath aren’t on their game, then they could struggle. The Meath senior camogie final reply is scheduled for Longwood on Saturday night and if Christine O’Brien, Dearbhla O’Carroll, Ann Marie Dennehy and Breda Dennehy can emerge unscathed from that game, then Meath’s chances will be boosted.

Niamh McNelis, Dorothy McGoldrick, Eimear McAuley, Patricia McNelis and Darina Shaw are all integral parts of the Meath set-up and they will need to be at their best if Meath hope to advance to the Lenister finals where they will be bidding for their fourth title in a row.



Meath had to call on all their craft and experience before eventually disposing of a dogged and determined Westmeath outfit as they opened the defence of their Leinster Ladies SFC crown with a narrow victory over their neighbours in Mulligar on Sunday.

Meath struggled for long periods and were fortunate to be level (0-4 each) at the break.

The turning point came at the beginning of the final quarter when Eimear McAuley netted to effectively kill off Westmeath’s challenge. The 1998 champions were a pale shadow of the side which took provincial honours last year and a vast improvement will be required if they hope to repeat that feat and claim their fourth Leinster title in a row. Mairead Fox was solid between the posts and some sturdy defending from Janet Quinn, Patricia McNelis and Ann Marie Dennehy ensured that Westmeath’s first half superiority inflicted minimum damage. It was the performance of Christine O’Brien and Dorothy McGoldrick, which ensured the Royals, remained in contention and when McAuley netted for a 1-7 to 0-6 lead, Meath took control.

Meath opened strongly and raced into a 0-4 to 0-1 first quarter lead, but Westmeath responded superbly with three unanswered points to leave the sides level,0-4 at the break. On the resumption, Meath pulled two points clear courtesy of scores from O’Brien and McGoldrick. Roisin McNelis also pointed in between two fine Westmeath scores to leave the Royals 0-7 to 0-6 ahead. Then came the goal.

Darina Shaw and O’Carroll combined to set up McAuley who finished to give Meath a much-needed boost. Further points from McGoldrick (two), O’Brien and McAuley ensured victory.

Meath – M. Fox, J. Quinn, P. McNelis, D. Shaw, D. Mangan, A.M Dennehy, L. McKeever, D. O’Carroll (0-1), N. McNelis, C. O’Brien (0-4), D. McGoldrick (0-4), M. Maguire, E. Duffy E. McAuley (1-1), R. McNelis (0-1).

Subs – M. Lucey for Maguire, C. Cunningham for R. McNelis.



Meath ladies will take on Laois in Carlow on Sunday as they bid to win their third successive Leinster SFC crown and advance to play Mayo in an All-Ireland semi-final writes Fergal Lynch. Laois were renowned as one of the best teams in the country when they dominated the Leinster championship throughout the ‘80s and early ‘90s. They were to the fore in all competitions during that period and along with Monaghan and Waterford, were virtually unbeatable.

However, the tide has turned and now it’s the Royal County girls who are regarded as one of the finest teams in the country and since their All-Ireland junior success in 1994 they have gone from strength to strength. Consecutive Leinster victories over Laois in 1997 and Dublin last year pitted Meath against Monaghan and Waterford in the All-Ireland series. Those tests came too soon for a developing Meath side, but now they seem mature enough to face the challenge and take their place amongst the games elite.


Laois struggled for the past number of years and although they reached the Leinster final in 1997, they were regarded as a spent force and newcomers Meath were fancied to advance, which they did. Meath’s passage to this year’s decider has been a rocky one as they struggled to overcome Westmeath and Longford.

In their opening match against Westmeath they were lucky to be level 0-4 each at the interval and Westmeath were in contention until Eimear McAuley netted in the final-quarter to ease Meath through for a 1-11 to 0-9 victory.

Christine O’Brien and Dorothy McGoldrick were to the fore in that performance and that duo were also influential when they faced an uphill battle against an ever-improving Longford outfit two weeks ago. The midlanders were also seen as a strong emerging county and they proved their worth. They troubled Meath extensively and it took a late, late point from Michelle Lucey to secure victory.

Laois have enjoyed a renewal of fortunes under former Dunsany manager Sean Dempsey and he will know plenty about the Meath set-up having guided Dunsany to the Meath SFC championship in 1995. However, Meath are an improving side this year and after a slow start they look likely to launch a serious bid for outright honours. All-stars Ann Marie Dennehy and O’Brien are Meath’s key players, but there is plenty of skill in the team and if Niamh McNelis, Suzanne Kelly, Dearbhla O’Carroll, Elaine Duffy, McAuley and McGoldrick can deliver then Meath should advance.

The Meath panel is – D. Shaw, D. McGoldrick, P. McNelis, N. McNelis, M.L. Reilly (Summerhill), L. McKeever, D. Mangan, D. O’Carroll, F. Mahon (Seneschalstown), B. Dennehy, A.M Dennehy, C. O’Brien, M. Lucey, A. Donnelly, S. Coleman (Dunsany), J. Shiels, S. Dooley (Simonstown), M. Fox (Drumbaragh), M. Maguire, J. Quinn (Dunboyne), E. McAuley, C. Cunningham (Bellewstown), S. Kelly (Dunderry), A. Bennett, E. Lynch (St. Michael’s), E. Duffy (St.Ultan’s)

JULY 31ST 1999


Once again the growth of ladies sport in this country can be gauged by the size of the attendances and Sunday’s Leinster final between Meath and Laois proved hugely popular with over 2000 people turning out to watch a trilling encounter at Dr. Cullen Park, Carlow, which was decided by a hooter.

The Meath-Laois game was the main bout on an attractive double header with Carlow and Kildare providing the initial entertainment in the curtain raising junior final. Carlow made up for previous defeats by comfortably disposing Kildare, but it was the excitement of the senior game, which had the large crowd on their toes. One criticism would be the decision to bring Meath and Laois to Carlow to play in a Leinster final. Surely a better alternative would have been either Newbridge or Tullamore. The long journey southwards put a lot of people off travelling to support Meath and although there was a large contingent of supporters from both counties, there could have been more if the game was played at a more central venue.

However, Dr. Cullen Park was in ideal condition and neither the players or the supporters could have any gripe about the facilities on offer. Entrance to the stand was a very reasonable €3 and the match programme cost only €1. Another pleasing aspect of the ladies game is the introduction of an independent timekeeper.

The large scoreboard at the ground enabled players and spectators to know exactly how long was left which avoided the confusion and controversy which reigned following the Clare v Galway All – Ireland SHC quarter final at Croke Park.

Each time there was an injury or a hold up in play, the clock was stopped which ensured a full 30 minutes of actual football. The half time and full-time whistles were replaced by a blaring hooter and the final 10 seconds countdown added to the drama.

Some Meath supporters started the countdown at 35 seconds. Upon the final hooter, the Meath mentors, players and substitutes erupted into sheer ecstasy and such was the celebrations in the centre of the field that it took almost 10 minutes for the girls to make their way to the front of the stand for the presentation. Following a long speech by Walter MacTomais, the Leinster Council president presented the cup to Meath captain Debbie Dangan and after some rousing cheers and applause Audrey Bennett led the girls in a rendition of “Beautiful Meath.”

The after match celebrations continued at the Royal Hotel, Carlow before the victorious squad headed home via Kentstown and Solar niteclub, Navan.

The preparations are now underway for the All-Ireland semi-final clash with Mayo and Meath’s clash with the Connacht champions represents their best chance of advancing to their first All-Ireland SFC final.



There was treble joy for Meath’s women footballers as they stormed to a third successive Leinster senior title with five points to spare over Laois in Sunday’s final at Dr. Cullen Park, Carlow. This was a fine all round display by the Royal County side who benefited from productive starts to both halves. They scored 1-1 early in the first and 0-4 soon after the restart. Full forward Emer McAuley scored Meath’s goal and was one of the winners’ top performances. Another was stalwart centre back Ann Marie Dennehy who broke up several potentially dangerous Laois raids.

McAuley’s goal came after eight minutes with Louise McKeever providing the inspiration with a long run out of defence. The wing back passed to Mary Mangan who found McAuley for the number 14 to crash a shot to the net. That left Meath 1-1 to 0-0 to the good, Elaine Duffy having got the holders off the mark with the first of her six converted frees. Laois battled back well for the rest of the first half, which ended with the defending champions leading by 1-5 to 1-4 at the break. Seven of the Nine points sent over in that first period were from frees. The two from play were both Meath efforts and shots which whizzed just over Teresa Swayne’s crossbar.

Christine O’Brien kicked the first of them and then McAuley made it 1-5 to 0-4 following a long ball from Dennehy. Then came the Laois goal, their first score from play, just before the interval with Tracey Lawlor blasting past Mairead Fox. Meath were also fast off the blocks for the second half with four points in the opening seven minutes. Duffy and McAuley were both on target twice with the Bellewstown players’ third score being a terrific effort. That left the margin five points and that was the difference at the final whistle.

Meath could have had more to spare at the end as O’Brien failed to convert a penalty nine minutes into the second half. Maguire went for the kick and the weakly hit attempt was easily saved by Swayne.

After that the Midlanders hit three wides in a row before a good spell enabled them to get the deficit down to two points. Mary Kirwan, Lulu Carroll (free) and Elizabeth Cahill shot over Fox’s bar and it was 1-9 to 1-7 with 12 minutes to go. But Laois did not manage to register again after that short burst. Two more Duffy scores and one from O’Brien sent Meath well on the way to another title and an All-Ireland semi-final place against Mayo. Apart from Dennehy and McAuley, Janette Quinn, McKeever, Dearbhla O’Carroll, O’Brien and Duffy made fine contributions to the success.

Meath – M. Fox, J. Quinn, P. McNelis, D. Shaw, D. Mangan, A.M Dennehy, L. McKeever, D. O’Carroll, N. McNelis, C. O’Brien (0-3), D. McGoldrick, M. Maguire, E. Duffy (0-6), E. McAuley (1-3), R. McNelis.

Subs – M. Lucey for R. McNelis, J. Shiels for McGoldrick.

Laois – T. Swayne, C. Donohoe, L. Dunne, A. Collins, N. Delaney, M. Casey, A. Casey, C. Casey, L. Brennan, K. O’Reilly, L. Carroll (0-3), T. Lawlor (1-0), M. Kirwan (0-2), S. Ramsbottom (0-1), E. Cahill (0-1)

Subs – L. Buggy for Delaney, L.J Finn for Dunne.

Referee – J. Murray (Dublin).



Supporters of the ‘real’ Meath football team who might have been looking forward to another championship clash with Mayo this year will have settle for next Saturday’s Bank of Ireland women’s All-Ireland semi-final at Parnell Park.

The game is the first part of a double bill of ‘semis’ with the clash of holders Waterford and Monaghan providing the second ‘course’. Incidentally both matches are being screened live on Network 2. Like their male counterparts, Mayo’s female footballers also appear to be underachievers. Despite being Connacht’s representatives at All-Ireland level since 1993, they have yet to reach a senior final.

Meanwhile Meath are hoping that this year will be a case of ‘third time lucky’ for them. They lost by 2-6 to 5-11 to Waterford at the penultimate hurdle in 1997 and last year Monaghan ousted them on a 0-13 to 1-8 scoreline. In the other ’98 ‘semi’ Waterford walloped Mayo by 11 points, 1-15 to 1-4. The western women did better in a National League semi-final earlier this year, losing by 1-8 to 1-16 after extra time after it was 1-8 each at the end of normal time.

Meath (2-9) and Mayo (1-12) drew in a earlier round of the league at Carlanstown when the Royal County side was fortunate to avoid defeat. Mairead Fox saved a penalty from Helena Lohan at the end and some wondered why the Mayo player did not take a point.

Christy Regan’s side subsequently lost by 0-13 to 3-9 to eventual outright winners Monaghan at the semi-stage and they made a hesitant start to the championship campaign. Meath are none too impressive in their opening two Leinster ties, defeating Westmeath by 1-11 to 0-9 in Mullingar and Longford by 0-14 to 1-11 at Pearse Park.

The women in green and gold upped their performance in the provincial decider to take the title for the third title in a row with a 1-12 to 1-7 victory over Laois at Carlow’s Dr. Cullen Park. Emer McAuley (1-3) and Elaine Duffy (0-6) shared the scoring honours. The most recent Mayo-Meath clash in an All-Ireland minor semi-final at Birr which the girls from the west won by 2-12 to 2-10. A number of players from both sides will again be in opposition on Saturday. Surely the fact that so many minors figure on county senior sides takes a bit from the credibility of women’s football. Incredibly there is a 14-year-old on the Meath senior panel. Among the top Mayo seniors are experienced goalkeeper Denise Horan, the sisters Marcella (full back) and Christina Heffernan (midfield), Clare Egan (also centre-field) and dangerous forward Cora Staunton.

Before a ball was kicked in this year’s championship national PRO Finbarr O’Driscoll tipped Mayo to reach the All-Ireland final for the first time. The Cork-native, who incidentally tipped Dublin to win out in Leinster, still feels that Mayo can through. “Mayo seem to be well organised this year while Meath haven’t been playing as well as last year.” O’Driscoll feels that Dearbhla O’Carroll and Niamh McNelis will need to ‘get going’ at midfield and get a lot of ball into dangerous full forward Emer McAuley. The half back line of team captain Debbie Mangan, Ann Marie Dennehy and Louise McKeever showed up well against Laois while the experienced Christine O’Brien is another key player in attack. Meath will probably need to step up on earlier form in order to earn a final place. But they may be capable of that and can advance a step further than in the last two years.

Bank of Ireland All-Ireland women’s senior football semi-finals: Saturday, Parnell Park, Mayo v Meath, 2.0; Waterford v Monaghan, 3.30.



MAYO 3-13 MEATH 2-7

The statistic that Mayo scored 3-10 to Meath’s 1-3 is even more significant than the above scoreline from Saturday’s Bank of Ireland women’s All-Ireland senior football semi-final at Parnell Park. The Royal County’s high hopes of making it ‘third time lucky’ at this stage of the championship were blown west in that second period and while the side in green and red served up some sparkling fare after the change of ends some dreadful defending helped send them on their way.


Took advantage of those lapses to a certain extent but the Leinster champions’ attack was flying on too few wings, McAuley and Christine O’Brien being the main threats.

We had to wait 13 minutes for the first score, a Roisin McNelis point, after Dorothy McGoldrick and Heffernan had goal attempts kept out by Denise Horan and Fox. With Dearbhla O’Carroll winning an amount of possession around midfield, Meath’s scoring opportunities improved and they finished the first half strongly. In the last minute McAuley blasted a shot to the roof of the net and there was still time for the full forward to earn a free, which Elaine Duffy popped over before the hooter sounded.

While most of Mayo forwards shared in their side’s scoring spree in the second half, McAuley and O’Brien continued to be the main threat to a western defence, which included 16-year-olds in both central positions! With her side trailing by a goal nine minutes after the restart, O’Brien fired a ‘rocket’ in an attempt to level but Horan kept out the shot with a diving save. At the other end while Fox was guilty of that lapse for Mayo’s goal, her efforts otherwise marked her out as one of the losers’ best players. Eighteen minutes into the second period Staunton looked certain to net again but the Drumbaragh club woman prevented such with a timely advance. But the hill which Meath were forced to climb was getting steeper. Especially when Heffernan and Clare Egan posted points from play and Staunton kicked over a couple of frees.

The advantage went to 2-10 to 1-6 and matters were not going to get much better for Meath.

When O’Brien eventually got her goal with a well struck shot it was a case of too little too late. Staunton struck a marvellous soaring point and just before the hooter signalled the end of Meath’s dream Sinead Costelllo grabbed the winners’ third goal after a pass from captain O’Hora. The losers had good reason to be disappointed with their display. This year looked to be the year when Meath’s women would return to Croke Park and it is likely to be even more difficult in the next couple of campaigns.

Mayo- D. Horan, N. Lally, N. Shea, H. Lohan, I. Mullarkey, Y. Byrne, M. Heffernan, C. Egan (0-1), M. Staunton, O. Casby, D. O’Hora (0-1), S. Costello (1-0), C. Staunton (1-4), C. Heffernan (0-2), S. Bailey (1-4)

Sub – M. O’Malley (0-1) for Casby.

Meath – M. Fox, J. Quinn, P. McNelis, D. Shaw, D. Mangan, A.M. Dennehy, L. McKeever, D. O’Carroll, N. McNelis, C. O’Brien (1-2), D. McGoldrick, M. Maguire, E. Duffy (0-1), E. McAuley (1-3), R. McNelis (0-1).

Subs – M. Lucey for R. McNelis, B. Dennehy for Shaw, A. Bennett for Duffy.

Referee – P. Molyneaux (Limerick)



13mins. – Roisin McNelis opened the scoring following a ball in from Dearbhla O’Carroll.

15mins. – Sinead Bailey levelled after a good run by Mayo captain Diane O’Hora.

22mins. – Bailey edged the westerners ahead by punching over the bar.

23mins. – Christine O’Brien made it 0-2 each when converting a free awarded for a foul on Emer McAuley.

24mins. – McAuley gave Meath the lead for the first time following a pass from Elaine Duffy.

31mins. – Mayo at least got on target from a free with their captain Diane O’Hora slotting over after Cora Staunton was fouled.

32mins. – Emer McAuley grabbed Meath’s first goal with a shot to the roof of the net following a ball in from Ann Marie Dennehy.

33mins. – Duffy closed the first-half scoring when slotting over a free awarded for a foul on McAuley.



1min. – McAuley took a pass from Mary Maguire and increased Meath’s lead.

3mins. – The first leaks in Meath’s defence are obvious when a slip up allows O’Hora to pass to Christina Heffernan for a point.

5mins. – Staunton hit Mayo’s first low with a low drive which trickled under ‘keeper Mairead Fox.

6mins. – Meath failed to clear the ball away and Bailey poked the ball over the goal line to put Mayo back in front, 2-4 to 1-5.

8mins. – Bailey pointed to leave a goal between the sides.

11mins. – Staunton put a free between the uprights to increase the lead.

15mins. – O’Brien – reduced the deficit when converting a free after substitute Michelle Lacey went down.

16mins. – Meath conceded a needless free and Staunton punished them from the resultant free.

18mins. – It was all Mayo at this stage and Heffernan increased their advantage.

20mins. – Midfielder Claire Egan left six between the sides.

26mins. – The gap got wider as Staunton kicked over another free.

27mins. – A Meath attack and a point from McAuley gave the chasing pack a little hope.

28mins. – Staunton kicked the best score of the game, a mighty shot which soared high between the uprights.

29mins. – A string of passes between players in green and red lead to Bailey’s fourth point.

30mins. – O’Brien got her goal with a rasping shot to the net.

31mins. – Mayo substitute Martha O’Malley got on the scoresheet when completing a good passing move.

32mins. – Sinead Costello put the icing on the cake for Mayo when shooting their third goal after taking a pass from Staunton.


Its official, Meath are the undisputed kingpins of Leinster ladies football. Provincial titles at U14, U16, Minor and Senior level will take pride of place at this year’s Meath Ladies GAA convention. The U12s also got in on the winning act. Shane O’Brien takes a look at how the various underage teams fared out.


Meath’s U12 representatives travelled down to Carlow for Leinster blitz competition in late August and it proved well worth the trip as they emerged with the spoils with victories over Laois ‘A’, Dublin ‘A’, Dublin ‘B’ and Wexford ‘A’.

The Meath panel on duty was: J. Cadden, C. O’Hara, C. Griffin, L. Maguire, A. O’Connell, C. Dempsey, S. Finnegan, L. Finnegan, L. Walsh, P. Doherty, Z. O’Connor, S. Bennett, A. O’Reilly, K. Farrelly, P. Lally, S. Markey, A. O’Connell, A.M. Ball, C. Murphy, A. Thompson


The Leinster U14 competition was played on a round lobin basis and Meath suffered only one defeat, against Dublin, en route to the decider. Maximum points against Westmeath and Laois as well as walkovers against Longford and Offaly set up a final showdown against the Dubs. Right corner forward Kate O’Brien was in top form, kicking six points, as the Royals avenged the earlier round defeat at St. Peregrines club. Dublin were overwhelmed by a 2-11 to 1-5 scoreline. Jackie Shiels weighed in with 1-2 and with Fiona Feeney, Niamh Reynolds (sister of men’s star Paddy), Philiomena Sherdian and ‘Player of the Match’ Mary Sheridan in brilliant form at the back there was no way through for the team in sky blue. Cara Lenehan dominated proceedings at midfield and created plenty of opportunities for O’Brien, Shiels and Brid Guy.

An All-Ireland semi-final outing against Mayo was the Meath girl’s reward and they clinched their final ticket with an impressive 2-10 to 1-4 win at Birr. Mary Sheridan, Fiona Feeney, Celestine Keaveney, Katie O’Brien and Jackie Shiels – the Simonstown player found the onion bag twice in the second half – did most to secure the U14s second All-Ireland final appearance in a row. Last year, Waterford – aided and abetted by some dubious refereeing decisions – denied the Meath girls outright glory. Another Munster side, Kerry, provided the opposition this time around but unfortunately the end result was the same. Two late injury-time points foiled the Royal County’s bid and they went under by 4-7 to 4-5 at Nenagh.

The damage was done in the third quarter when they conceded 2-2 and although the trademark Meath never say die spirit nearly earned them what would have been a well deserved draw, the Kingdom just passed them on the line. As so often in the past, Jackie Shiels was the outstanding player on view. She received admirable assistance from Helen Matthews, Brid Guy and Katie O’Brien in attack. Mary Sheridan, Niamh Reynolds, Philiomena Sheridan and goalkeeper Celestime Keaveney did their best to keep the Kerry forwards at bay. Meath’s cause wasn’t helped by the breakdown to the team bus just outside Navan that morning, but they battled bravely despite the lack of rest prior to the game. The sides were level at the break, 2-3 apiece. Kerry dominated on the resumption but Meath refused to throw in the towel and Shiels added her second goal to give renewed hope. When the Simonstown girl completed her hat-trick shortly afterwards the victory looked possible. Katie O’Brien and Shiels traded points with Kerry, but the Munster girls had the last say with those two late points.

The Meath which battled bravely was as follows: C. Keaveney, N. Reynolds, F. Feeney, L. Lynch, P. Sheridan, M. Sheridan, T. Newman, C. Lenihan, G. Nulty, B. Guy (0-1), J. Shiels (3-3), M. Doyle, Katie O’Brien (0-1), H. Matthews (1-0), Kerry O’Brien.

Subs – S. Bennett, J. Rispin, A. Regan

The U14s also claimed the Leinster blitz title for the third consecutive year after beating Laois in the final. Inspired by the forward play of Jenny Rispin, Katie O’Brien and Brid Guy they overcome Wexford and Dublin before advancing to the final.


24 hours after playing a starring role for the U14s in their All-Ireland semi-final against Mayo, Jackie Shiels was at it again. This time she was instrumental in the U16s Leinster championship success over Longford at Mullingar. 9-14 to 2-4 was Meath’s winning margin and Jackie contributed 4-2 to the cause.

The Royal County stamped their authority on this clash early on with three goals from the boots of Geraldine Doherty, Gillian Foley and Shiels. Meath held a 3-8 to 1-3 advantage at the interval. They maintained the initiative on the restart and further goals from Shiels (three), Katie O’Brien, Fiona Mahon and Edel Guy secured a facile victory. A penultimate stage victory over Mayo set up a return trip to Nenagh for another final clash with Kerry but unfortunately the U16s suffered a similar fate as the U14s, 1-12 to 0-8 was the end scoreline this time. Meath trailed narrowly (0-4to 0-5) at the break, but Kerry upped the tempo in the second half to kill of the Royal challenge. Fiona Mahon, Shiels, Eileen Rahil and Katie O’Brien tried hardest for the losers.

The Meath U16 team was: J.A. Scanlon, E. Carolan, M. Sheridan, O. Sheridan, M. Healy, E. Rahill, K. Bowe, F. Mahon, G. Foley, E. Guy, S. Byrne, J. Shiels (0-2), G. Doherty (0-3), M. Costello, K. O’Brien (0-2)

Subs – S. O’Donoghue (0-1), S. Hannon.


Victories over Longford in the first round and an annihilation of Wicklow in the semi’ – when they scored 5-19 – paved the way for a Leinster minor showdown with Dublin. There high hopes about this bunch at the start of the year as seven of the senior side formed the backbone of the team and they didn’t disappoint when registering a 2-19 to 1-12, after extra-time, win at O’Toole Park. Captain Eimear McAuley, who won ‘Player of the Match’ award, provided the inspiration with a personal tally of 1-6. Her goal came during a Royal dominated first period and further points from her senior partner in crime, Elaine Duffy (four), Ciara Murray, Fiona Mahon, Mary Costello and McAuley herself gave Meath a 1-8 to 2-1 interval advantage. Costello and McAuley stretched Meath’s lead at the beginning of the second half but Dublin launched a strong comeback which yielded a last minute to earn a draw (2-9 to 1-12) and force extra-time.

Second half substitute Jackie Shiels made her presence felt at the start of the extra period when she fired a brilliant goal to ease Meath concerns. Further points from Shiels, McAuley and Duffy made safe to win. Cathriona Baugh saved a Dublin penalty in the second period of extra-time. That win set up a semi-final date with Mayo at Birr and unfortunately it was, more or less, a carbon copy of the senior game between these two. Meath were favourites entering the tie but the Connacht champs betrayed the odds to secure 2-12 to 2-10 win. The gap could have been greater but two late goals from the girls in green and gold ensured the outcome went down to the wire. The Meath minor XV which beat Dublin in the Leinster final was as follows: C. Baugh, E. Lynch, M. Bennett, L. Keenan, L. Donnelly, S. Dooley, G. Doherty, E. Wardick, A. Donnelly, E. Duffy, E. McAuley, E. Rahill, F. Mahon (0-1), C. Murray, M. Costello Sub – J. Shiels.






MEATH V MAYO 2-10 TO 1-04















MEATH V DUBLIN 2-19 TO 2-12 aet



MEATH V MAYO 2-10 TO 2-12






MEATH V MAYO 2-7 TO 3-13


The senior ladies footballers of Meath must have committed a multitude of sins in a previous life because the Gods haven’t looked down too favourably on them since. For a fourth year in a row they bowed out of the All-Ireland SFC semi-final stage, this time at the hands of Waterford. The words written here could be any consolation to the Meath senior ladies football teams and mentors who for the fourth year running exited the All-Ireland at the semi-final stages. All-Ireland semi-final hoodoo struck, yet again, when Waterford advanced to the Brendan Martin cup decider at and expense on a scoreline of 1-17 to 0-8 following same find in Parnell Park. The losing any game is never an enjoyable experience, arguably, the manner of this defeat, which was disappointing. Meath entering the game brimming with confidence but the girls were completely overwhelmed and never did themselves justice.

Most of the blame could be pointed in the direction the young full back Mary Sheridan, who was one of the Meath players to play to her potential, the midfield of Sinead Dooley and Niamh McNelis, who both were bravely against the odds, or Dearbhla O’Carroll, was her team’s best forward. A lot of the problem was that the team, as a whole, were weak. Eimear McAuley was a late withdrawal hamstring injury and while that seriously diluted prospects, the Bellewstown girl’s presence would have made that big a difference. Writing was on the wall from as early as the eight minute by which stage the Decies had established a 1-5 to 0-0 lead. When half-time whistle arrived they were 1-12 to 0-2 ahead. Jackie Shiels opened Meath’s scoring after fifteen minutes while the second arrived five minutes before the half-time whistle courtesy of Elaine Duffy.

Manager Martin Connolly – the Monaghan native succeeded Christy Regan at the beginning of this year – made a number of changes at half-time with Eimear O’Carroll coming in for Darina Shaw and midfielder Sinead Dooley switching with centre-forward Dearbhla O’Carroll. But Lazarus, himself, couldn’t have helped out the Royals on this occasion as they never looked like overturning the deficit despite enjoying their best spell of the game midway through the second half when Christine O’Brien (0-3), Duffy and midfielder Niamh McNelis rattled off points. The purple patch was brought to a premature end, however, with the dismissal of Louise McKeever for a second yellow card offence.

The Seneschalstown girl’s sending-off epitomised Meath’s day . . . it just wasn’t to be. The story of the Royals fourth consecutive provincial title success over the Dubs makes much more pleasant reading. 1-12 to 0-9 was the scoreline at the end of an exciting match at Dr Cullen Park in Carlow in early August. The arrival of Connolly and his selectors, Leo Hurson and Alan Duffy, heralded an injection of youth into the team. One of the new faces, Mary Sheridan, daughter of former O’Mahony’s stalwart Damian, who won many admirers with her fine performances throughout the campaign. Against Dublin, for example, she excelled and this despite playing a leading role in the county’s All-Ireland U16 semi-final success over Limerick just 24 hours earlier.

Simonstown’s Jackie Shiels was also kept busy that particular weekend while Fiona Mahon (Seneschalstown) and Sinead Dooley (Simonstown) were other newcomers to the team this year. Elaine Duffy, who was the ‘Player of the Match’ winner in last year’s provincial final win over the Dubs, gave her team the perfect start with 1-1 inside the opening five minutes. Further points from Eimear McAuley, Christine O’Brien and Darina Shaw stretched Meath’s advantage to seven points. However, Shaw’s point proved to be her team’s last for 19 minutes as the Dubs began to make their presence felt with 0-3 on the trot.

McAuley wasted a good goalscoring chance before Dublin added on another point but O’Brien settled Royal County nerves with a pointed free to leave her team 1-5 to 0-4 to the good half-time. The team in sky blue were first out of the blocks on the resumption and it wasn’t long before they had reduced the deficit to the minimum. Dublin were piling on the pressure but the reigning provincial champions responded in the best possible fashion with O’Brien kicking a good free just prior to McAuley raising two white flags. Their opponents hit another but Jackie Shiels wasn’t long in knocking the wind out of their sails with a brace. Her Simonstown club colleague Sinead Dooley and Duffy finished off the scoring with a point apiece.

Manager Connolly was understandably delighted when the final whistle blew. “It was a great game,” he enthused, “I thought that we made a great start and that that would settle us but Dublin, however, came back strongly and got into it again but you can’t dominate the whole game. We got some great scores in the second half and played really well as a team. I’m just delighted for the girls, they are a great bunch and deserved everything they got.” Team captain Debbie Mangan, who lifted the cup for the second year in a row, praised the management for the victory. “I would like to thank Martin Connolly, Leo Hurson and Alan Duffy. They have shown great dedication and thanks to them, we have this cup again.” She added: “ It’s great feeling for me to be able to collect this cup again. I would like to thank all the girls for the effort they put in since last January. We have a great bunch of girls and I think we deserved this.”













MEATH V LAOIS 2-13 TO 1-09















MEATH V CORK 0-3 TO 6-11


Meath relinquished their grip on the Leinster Ladies Senior Football title when they were well beaten by Laois last July. While disappointed with the outcome of the year, midfielder Sinead Dooley believes that a young Meath team will be all the better for the experience. Meath’s bid to land a fifth consecutive Leinster Senior Ladies Football title was shattered by a slick-moving Laois outfit in a one-sided provincial semi-final at Strabally last July. The final score was 3-16 to 0-8 in the O’Moore County’s favour and at no stage during the game did Meath look capable of holding onto their Leinster crown. Laois’ subsequent All-Ireland final victory over Mayo proved what a great side they were but they would almost certainly have encountered a much sterner challenge from Meath circumstances been different. “We couldn’t have played that game at a worse time recalls Meath midfielder Sinead Dooley. Over the previous three days, both the county U16 and minor teams played very important matches and asking a bit much for some of those players to line out and the seniors again on the Sunday.

It was too much alright schedule and I’m sure we would have given a better account of ourselves against Laois if everyone had been fresh,” she adds.

In what was easily the busiest week for Meath ladies football, the minors were in action against Wexford in the Leinster championship Thursday, July 12. Two days later, the U16’s played Galway in the All-Ireland final, which they won, in memorable fashion. Then, on Sunday, July 15, the senior team played Laois in the Leinster semi-final. Three sisters Breege Guy, Grainne Nulty and Mary Sheridan lined out in all three matches. “It was a crazy schedule for those three girls,” says Sinead. “The amount of travelling they did along the way was enough to wear anyone out. We were short four players through injury but really, of the three games should have been postponed.” The defeat to Laois brought the curtains down what was a disappointing year by Meath’s high standards. But, as Sinead points out it was in a transitional state and it would have been asking a lot of them to retain this Championship. “Our great run of results in the Leinster Championship had to end at some stage, it would have been great to win the five-in-a-row was always going to be difficult with faces on board. For a variety of reasons, a number of players decided to retire after the All-Ireland semi-final defeat to Waterford of them had been on the go for five years and probably couldn’t give the same commitment anymore. So this year was all about rebuilding a team of new players acquitting themselves. The experience they gained will stand them good stead next year.” The following Sunday Meath met their Championship waterloo with that they mentioned defeat to Laois. The writing was on the wall at half-time when Meath trailed by 0-4 to 2-8 and there was to be no way back thereafter.

For Sinead Dooley, it proved to be a particularly busy year. The 20-year-old from Simonstown Gaels successfully juggled her football with hockey and was actually vice-captain of the Irish Colleges team which competed in an international hockey tournament in Holland in February. She also found time to play for Navan hockey club and the Leinster junior hockey team. A daughter of former Camross and Kilskyre hurler John Dooley, Sinead could now be regarded as one of the more experienced members of the Meath senior side, despite her relative youth. A holder of two Leinster medals, she has no doubt that Meath will be back challenging for provincial honours next season. “As I said earlier, I think that the newcomers to team will have learned an awful lot from this year. A few of us needed to recharge the batteries after a couple of long campaigns and that won’t have done us any harm either. I’m sure we’ll come back fighting next year,” she concludes.

The Meath ladies team which contested the Leinster semi-final was: L Byrne, G Harrington, M Sheridan, D O’Carroll, D Mangan, AM Dennehy, B Guy, T Gibney S Dooley (0-1), E O’Carroll (0-1), A Donnelly (0-1), G Nulty, E Duffy (0-1), C O’Brien (0-4), F Mallon (0-1).

Subs used – Aoife Goy, Edel Guy, G Bennett and C Poleon.


Winning is a precarious activity at the best of times but to place the deeds of one’s house on where the title is destined for a Gaelic games circles is surely a fool’s occupation. A bit like the Titanic raised before the year end the All-Ireland will be in place by 2005.

While trading in hypothesis never made anyone wise what’s the betting that the Royal County will win the All-Ireland senior ladies’ football within two reasons?

Certainly given the successful at underage level, a wee flutter will prove to be both sensible and rewarding. Meath have been displaying propensity in ladies football titles with the kind of propensity collects majors the portents are undeniably ambition for the Brendan Martin Cup being paraded in the schools of Meath looms large on the horizon. There is a huge swell of football talent among the schools in the Royal County at present. Meath’s success in mid-July last is retaining their All-Ireland title at the expense of Galway at Pearse Park, a repeat of last year’s decider.

Under the tutelage of Geraldine Sheridan, Mick Collins, the county under 16s secured the holy grail – but only after staging quiet mind-boggling recovery in the national decider against their old adversaries. Then again, given the character, ambition, sheer dedication and undiluted talent exhibited by Meath’s latest All-Ireland champions, perhaps their Lazarus-like feat in the national decider shouldn’t have surprised anyone au fait with the panel! For the vast majority of Meath’s title-winning squad, victory at Pearse Park was a case of third time lucky as previous failures were experienced at the final hurdle at under 14 level against Waterford and Kerry. Such heartache made the win over Galway very sweet indeed.

A review of the girls’ provincial and national campaign tends to support the notion that Meath’s name was on the cup. After all, only the Gods could have scripted a story which would see the team’s opening salvos against Westmeath and Dublin end in identical scorelines, 5-14 to 1-8. Thereafter it was a case of ‘steady as she goes’ as the team made its inexorably way to the provincial final. In the penultimate game in Leinster, the Royal County ladies once again notched up highly impressive score, walloping Kildare by 4-13 to 0-2 to seal their place in the decider. If the competition favourites had it all their own way up to the final, the decider itself represented a totally different ball game as opponents Laois offered stiff resistance over the course of the 60 minutes. Indeed, the Meath camp were more than thankful that goalkeeper Celestine Keaveney was in exceptionally good form on the day as some of her point-blank saves with a fractured wrist injury.

Laois provided gutsy, determined opposition but were simply outgunned by a better Meath team bolstered in particular on the day by a brilliant defence which really knuckled down to their task in the second half when the pressure was on. Afterwards, as they reflected on their win, the Meath team-management were thankful that their charges had been tested in a meaningful way in Leinster before venturing forth into the All-Ireland series. Indeed given the test which lay ahead of them against Galway, Meath’s travails against Laois would prove to be invaluable preparation. Ahead at half-time by less than a handful of points, Meath’s lead looked all the more precarious as Laois began the second half in determined. Meath players moved off the ball in an intelligent and made few errors – they were worthy opponents. The O’Moore County ladies had enjoyed a strong breeze in the first half and, wind really made Meath up their game on the restart. We had 14 of the panel on board from the 2000 squad, Meath had to be careful to make sure that high levels were maintained and that complacency allowed to infiltrate. In fairness, the management got it on the spot on.

This campaign wasn’t without its complexities though. For the FMD scare drove a horse and four through the training programme. There was also the question of the duality with so many of the players involved in the under 16 in 2001.

Four of the girls helped form part of the U18 panel while another five were part and parcel of the Meath junior squad. The added pressure on the dual and attendant tiredness plus wear and tear did take long. The way the intercounty fixtures were laid out also was a hindrance with some of the girls playing in a couple of panels on occasions having to play high profile games almost one after the other.

However, the Meath think-tank team displayed good coaching nous and wisdom by pacing the girls through the Leinster campaign, resting them where necessary while at the same time keeping them fit and hungry. The Collins/Sheridan alliance also in a textbook fashion with various mentors of the Meath underage teams to lessen the pressure on the County talent who had a finger in more than just one pie in the year. The panel prepared to meet Tyrone in the All-Ireland semi-final at Breffni Park, there was the sense within the Ulster Championships had to be a bit special to bypass the challenge of traditional kingpins Monaghan. Meath got a cracking goal early on by Edel McGrane put Meath on the path to defeat the O’Neill County. By half-time the Leinster champions had engineered a comfortable lead and some excellent long-range point taking by the likes of Mary Sheridan and Grainne Nulty helped copperfasten Meath’s ascendancy thereafter. In the end, Meath won comfortably by 5-8 to 1-7, even if the margin of victory was slightly flattering. And so to the final at Longford and the tilt with Galway. Once again, the would be champions showed their capacity to be notorious slow-starters and Galway, to credit; were quick to get up steam as they piled forward at every opportunity to establish a commanding early lead. Indeed, such was the westerner’s domination of the first half that Meath actually trailed by 13 points with six minutes remaining of the opening half.

Significantly though, weariness seemed apparent among the Meath girls. For many of them, the game against Galway was the second of three hard games. On Thursday of the previous week, the Leinster MFC decider had to be won against Wexford while four of the girls also lined out for the seniors on the Sunday before the under 16 final.

Galway were 1-3 to no-score after just a few minutes but points from Helen Matthews and Jackie Shiels helped steady the Meath slip somewhat. However, it was relocation of Mary Sheridan to fullback and the introduction of Philomena Sheridan which began to swing things around and with Katie O’Brien in sparkling form, Meath managed within five minutes to cut their 13 point deficit to just five, thanks largely to goals from Jackie Shiels and the aforementioned O’Brien.

Still the Royal County had a lot of work to do at the interval. Trailing by 2-7 to 4-6, the winners-elect went further behind when a brace of points followed by a goal by Shelia Fitzgerald but Galway clearly in the ascendancy. The Meath team-management’s shrewd positional began to work the oracle though. With Philomena Sheridan, now at full-forward laying off the ball superbly to her teammates, notably Shiels and O’Brien, Meath began to fire on all cylinders. It was all Meath in the closing ten minutes as they powered forward. The Royal County proceeded to play their best football of the year. There was no stopping them and they deservedly ran out three point winners, 4-17 to 6-8. Roll on the senior All-Ireland Campaigns.

The team which lined out against Galway was as follows; C. Keaveney, C. Coyle, F. Feeney, T. Newman, G. Meade, A.M. Fagan, M. Guy, G. Nulty (0-1), M. Sheridan, B. Guy (0-2), M. Doyle, E. McGrane (0-1), H. Matthews (0-1), J. Shiels (1-6), K. O’Brien (2-5).

Subs; M. Coyne for Coyle, P. Sheridan (1-1) for M. Guy, J. Rispin for Matthews.



















MEATH V TYRONE 5-17 TO 4-16 aet









MEATH V DUBLIN 1-14 TO 3-08 ?


On meeting the young Meath Gaelic Football, Jackie Shiels, one is struck by enthusiasm, a remarkably self-assured for a 17-year-old without being pushy. She knows her worth and is working to achieve her goals. She is well grounded and her priority is to do well in her Leaving Cert next year with the hope of pursing her ambition to be a PE Teacher. Words Liam O’Rourke.

2002 has been a busy year for the Simonstown club member with an active GAA career on four fronts; school, club, county and province. She also has found time to coach and do some refereeing. In addition, she has also pursuing a successful soccer career. She is well aware that pursuing her dream will not be easy “I want to be a PE teacher, PE and Maths preferably, but points are so high for Limerick that I may be forced to go to England up to the North. I’m going to wait ‘til next year and see how the points go.” Jackie’s got her first taste of Gaelic Football at the age of five when she followed her brother, Raymond, who is two years her senior, up to Simonstown and played football with the boys until she was twelve. Her introduction to Ladies Football came when Anne Marie Dennehy and Marcella Price visited. St. Paul’s, the wake of Meath’s success in the All-Ireland Ladies Football final in 1994. Jackie has packed a lot into the last decade in a various of sports. Two years earlier she competed in the National Community Games finals and picked up silver and bronze medals and certificates for swimming. She also competed with Navan AC and later made the Schoolgirls basketball under-15 squad, but by then Gaelic football was her priority.

Jackie has been playing competitive soccer since she was 12 and has won All-Ireland’s with three different clubs at under-12 with Lifford (from Ennis) and Botown and at U-16 grade with Kells. A central midfielder, she played at international level when she captained the Republic of Ireland U-16 against Northern Ireland last year. This autumn she lined out with the Republic of Ireland Under-19 side which topped their Euro 2003 qualified group in Portugal and now hopes to be one of 18 chose the next phase of the competition in April 2003. What about playing soccer professionally? “I would not mind going to England or maybe America for a few years. We could be doing better considering the size and the number of girls playing football. We’re not looking for a miracle; we know we’re not the best team in the County yet. If we could build and keep the girls playing and developing at underage and hopefully in the next two years we could get to a final.” With her club she has won junior and intermediate honours, while on the county scene she has two All-Ireland U-16 winners medals and has reached another final level. She also has two U14 runners-up medals. This year she was a member of the team. Which lost narrowly to Galway in the All-Ireland semi-final. She was also on the Leinster team that came third in the interprovincial competition.

Jackie was a key member of the St.Michael’s Convent team which reached the All-Ireland Senior Championship in April, and despite scoring 0-7, they lost to a strong Ennis na Sceilge team from Kerry, who “were far superior on the day. We were glad to get to the final. It was sad on the day.” Simonstown joined Seneschalswtown, St.Ultans’s, Dunsany, Dunboyne, and Summerhill in the senior ranks for the first time this year.

After losing some of the side, which gained intermediate honours in 2001, the club struggled to make an impact at the higher level. In Jackie’s opinion, Women’s football has changed in recent years. “I think it has become a much more physical game, not in a bad way, people get bored with watching girls getting tackled, falling over and winning frees. I think it has become more skilful.” She singles out Eilish Gormley of Tyrone as a player to watch. “She is as good as any fella on the ball. It’s great to watch players who can run at opponents and turn them. I admire her because she’s a bit like myself. She’s not the tallest girl, but she’s very strong and just super when she gets the ball. And hopefully when people watch me play they will think I could be as good as she is.” As a forward she has faced some of the best backs in the game and rates Anne Lise Crotty of Waterford and Jenny Grennan of Monaghan. Jackie has strong views on the promotion of the women’s game. “It would be good to see more ladies games on television. You watch the Sunday Game and you see 75,000 watching Men’s football and hurling and then you see a bit of camogie. If you’re lucky you get the scores from a ladies football match at the end of the programme. I think it deserves the same attention as camogie and men’s football.” Because they don’t get the same publicity as the men, people don’t appreciate the effort they make. “We’ve been training two and three nights a week since Christmas and we mightn’t have done as well as we hoped, but the men didn’t do as well as they hoped. They got the full back page of the paper and maybe ten pages after it and we got a little column in the corner. It’s disappointing we don’t get as much recognition considering we do as much work.” However, she is grateful to the support given to Ladies Football in Meath by sponsor, Martin Donnelly. She suggests putting on a women’s final as a curtain raiser to the men’s decider as a mean of promoting the game. “It would be great to see a ladies final before a men’s final and maybe people will realise that it is a good game to watch.” Despite the disappointments of this year she still harbours ambitions to return to Croke Park, where she played in the Mini-Sevens on All-Ireland day of 1997.


Memories of the 1979 Meath Senior Football Championship final include those of a very tall full-back helping Navan O’Mahony’s to victory over a Summerhill side which had taken the competition by stand during that decade. Damien Sheridan played a highly influential role in O’Mahonys’ success as they claimed the Keegan Cup for the first time in six years and it’s fair to say that the No. 3 wasn’t found wanting when it came to delivering long distances with the boot. That same ability to kick a football a long way, and with a fair amount of accuracy as well, were once again in evidence all of 24 years later when Sheridan, now very much part of Seneschalstown GAA scene, won the masters category of the MBNA Kick Fada competition in Bray. But it was very much a family affair as far as the football-crazy Sheridans were concerned, as daughter Mary took the ladies’ title and her brother Joe finished third in a highly competitive men’s section.

The MBNA Kick Fada is hosted by the Bray Emmets GAA Club and determines the longest and most accurate kickers in Gaelic football. Over 30 players competed in the three divisions – senior men, masters men and ladies – and the event attracted a large crowd to view such well-known players as Dublin’s John McNally and Meath and Dunshaughlin’s king of the long kick Niall Kelly.

But it wasn’t all just for fun as the top players were battling it out for the All-Ireland title and a highly attractive prize of a E1,500 holiday voucher, which certainly wasn’t to be sneezed at. Damien won the masters section, with his best kick a record-breaking effort of 49 metres, Mary took the ladies’ category with an effort of 40 metres and Joe finished third in the men’s competition thanks to a kick measuring 55 metres. Mark Herbert from Ballyteague in County Kildare has proved himself to be something of an expert in the art of long kicking and he won the men’s event for the fourth time with a kick of 59 metres, which was some way short of his amazing record effort of 71 metres achieved in 2001. St.Vincent’s goalkeeper Gerry McGill finished two metres behind Herbert in second place.

Damien certainly saw off some well-known company to take the masters title as former top class Mayo player T.J. Kilgallon was second and one of Dublin’s finest players of the modern era Barney Rock finished third. Mary Sheridan’s winning kick of 40 metres in the ladies’ category edged out Bray’s Aisling O hAnnaidh who kicked 39 metres to finish second, while Marie Grogan from Tyrone took third place with an effort of 35 metres. Overall, it was an occasion Damien Sheridan recalled with great satisfaction – and why wouldn’t he after bringing home one of the two E1,500 holiday vouchers which made their way back to the Sheridan household. “Mary took part in the Kick Fada competition last year along with Grainne Nulty, but she was too young and couldn’t accept the trophy, sot his year she said ‘why not go for it again,’” said Damien as he explained the decision participate in Bray. “Geraldine looked at the details of the competition and – ‘there’s a masters section in it – why not have a go.’ I’m game for anything and I had been playing with the Cavan masters team and training the Seneschalstown ladies, so I said why not. We weren’t overly-enthusiastic, but we decided we would give it a go.” When Damien saw the quality of the opposition he would be facing in his particular section of the competition, he had essentially resigned himself to the fact that he wouldn’t do it before he even kicked a ball.

“TJ Kilgallon and Barney Rock were both taking part in the masters and when I saw Barney and remembered what a great kicker he had been in his playing days with Dublin and I said to myself “he will definitely win it. The goalposts for the Kick Fada competition are twice the width of the normal playing posts and they have a crossbar which has to be cleared. The competition is as much of a skill as it is a strong kick of the ball. Barney was kicking off the ground, while I was kicking out of the hand. I felt better to kick out of the hand. Looking back on it, I didn’t feel under any pressure at all as I went into the competition thinking that Barney would definitely win it. I had resigned myself to that. But I won it with a kick of 45 metres and then followed up with a kick of 49metres which set a new masters record.” Followers of ladies’ football will know that Mary Sheridan a good kicker of a ball too and she proved that anything her father could do, she could do too as she clinched the last title. Mary missed early kicks, but she eventually won the ladies’ competition with a kick of 40 metres,” Damien said “the pressure was certainly on her after those early mistakes but she settled down well and did enough to take it. The men’s competition was third on the programme, the interest by that time was really great – could Joe Sheridan make it a family hat-trick? In the end, he finished third. Mark Herbert from Kildare won it again. He really has a ferocious kick off the ground.”

The Sheridans were greatly impressed with the way the whole competition was run and with the way they were looked after on the day “It was great craic and we really enjoyed the whole day.” Damien said, indicating that he would have no hesitation taking part again. “It was brilliantly organised by the Emmets club and the manner in which we were all treated was fantastic. There was a huge meal laid on afterwards which made the whole occasion so professional. Both myself and Mary were presented with holiday vouchers from Abbey Travel. I played football all my life and received nothing like that for it. A few kicks of a ball and you are worth €1,500 and an engraved All-Ireland medal.”

Damien Sheridan is no stranger to medals and success as his career was quite amazing, to say the least. He played minor and senior football for both Cavan and Meath and his career on the club front was as long as it was successful. The best part of three decades ago in 1974 he won an Ulster Minor Football Championship medal with Cavan and also lined out with the Breffni County in the under-18 team in ’75, but with the family moving to Navan at that time he went on to play minor for Meath in ’76. But before heading to the Royal County he had already began to build up a nice collection of meadals. He won a Cavan Senior Championship medal as a substitute with Ramor Utd at the tender age of 15 and also won junior and intermediate Championship medals with Maghera, playing in both these finals.

After the move to Navan a memorable association with the famed Navan De La Salle and Navan O’Mahony’s clubs commenced, starting with a Minor Championship success in ’76. In his first stint with O’Mahony’s, which lasted until 1986, his successes included three Senior Championship medals in 1979, ’81 and ’85, when he was captain, and, quite amazingly, he was back 18 years after that initial Keegan Cup triumph to help the Brews Hill men to success in 1997. Damien was at the very opposite end of the Pairc Tailteann pitch this time, lining out at full-forward and contributing a point in the 1-10 to 0-7 final victory over Trim. After his initial spell with o’Mahonys he played with the John Mitchels club in England and won three Senior Championship medals with them, as well as a British Club Championship in 1988 when he had the added satisfaction of training the team.

He recalled playing against Nemo Rangers from Cork in an All-Ireland quarter-final at Pairc Ui Chaoimh. “We had some super players on that team, including Johnny Mooney from Offaly,” he said. “My brother Eamonn partnered me at midfield. I remember we missed a penalty against Nemo which cost us dear” Damien played with and against some outstanding footballers in his lengthy career, but who were the best he came up against? “Dinny Allen played for Nemo in that All-Ireland quarter final”, he added. “He was a fantastic player and you just couldn’t afford to let him get the ball. But that was easier said than done. “I went back to play with Cavan in 1985 when Eugene McGee asked me. We lost to Tyrone in the Ulster Championship and I was marking Eugene McKenna. He was some player.” Damien, now trainer of the highly successful Seneschalstown ladies’ team, was a fair player himself and all signs are that the Sheridan children are following very much in his footsteps.


No championship titles came Meath’s way on the ladies’ football front in 2003, but the year can, nevertheless, be viewed as one that augured well for the future of the game in the county at all levels. By Paul Clarke. The seniors were eliminated by a very strong Dublin team at the semi-final stage of the Leinster Senior Championship on a day when they just didn’t perform to their best and, in view of how the Metropolitans subsequently went so close to winning the All-Ireland title, it clearly suggests that Meath weren’t far off the required standard and that they can look forward to the 2004 championship campaign with considerable enthusiasm and optimism.

Meath’s minors reached the Leinster final and were beaten after extra-time by Laois on a day when a variety of unfortunate circumstances contrived to play against them. The under-16 and under-14 teams also advanced to their provincial finals, but both were defeated by Dublin. The seniors were drawn in a Leinster Championship round-robin section that also included National League champions Laois and Wexford and made a highly encouraging start to their campaign when they travelled to O’Moore Park, Portlaoise, and came away with a share of the spoils thanks to a draw (2-10each) with Laois.

The Royal County, without Mary Sheridan, looked to be out of contention when trailing by 0-5 to 2-8 at half-time, but they demonstrated tremendous battling qualities which are typical of Meath football to fight back and lead by a point (2-9 to 2-8) with two minutes remaining. Laois drew level, but Meath edged in front again in injury time, before the home side forced a draw with a late, late leveller on a day when Gillian Bennett top-scored for Meath with 1-6. A subsequent victory over Wexford meant that Meath finished joint top of the round-robin section with Laois and a toss of a coin was used to decide who would be declared group winners. The toss went against Meath and they were paired against reigning champions Dublin in the provincial semi-final at Dunsany.

Dublin won comfortably by 2-14 to 0-10, but the score line certainly doesn’t give an accurate indication of Meath’s brave bid for a final place. They led by 0-7 to 1-3 at the interval, with Dublin’s goal coming three minutes into first-half injury time when Elaine Kelly found the net. Meath came very close to scoring a goal of their own in that half as Elaine Duffy’s shot went over off the crossbar just a minute before Dublin had netted. Meath resumed well and matched Dublin in the scoring department for 12 minutes, but they trailed by the minimum (0-10 to 1-8) by the three-quarter stage and failed to hit the target subsequently as the winners notched 1-6 without reply to record a very flattering 10-point victory.

Dublin were later extremely unlucky not to win the All-Ireland final against Mayo, so the Meath management team of Martin Connolly, Oliver Carolan and Jane Mangan can certainly look forward to the 2004 campaign with renewed hope. Significantly, not so many players will have double commitments with the county minor and senior panels, which puts pressure on the management teams, but particularly on the players.

The fact that Meath club teams are faring so well in Leinster clearly indicates that there is no shortage of talent in Meath and the ground work being done for the promotion of ladies’ football in Meath will surely reap further reward in the very near future. It is encouraging to note that Meath intend to field a team in the Junior Championship in 2004.

The Meath minors recorded some huge scoring tallies in their Championship campaign, including 9-11 against Wicklow and 8-18 against Westmeath at Simonstown, but when it came to the final against Laois at Newbridge very little went their way, they were just edged out after extra-time. Meath had a ‘goal’ disallowed for an alleged square ball offence, it proved a big blow, but that was only one of a number of things that went against Meath on the day. Mary Sheridan was forced to retire at half-time due to an injury, Kate O’Brien missed the decider and Grainne Nulty played despite being ill. Michelle Doyle missed the entire year with a cruciate ligament injury, so it’s easy to see that luck certainly wasn’t with the Royal County.

Meath under-16s, who were managed by Leo Hurson, with Catriona Brennan and Martina Brady acting as selectors, defeated Wexford by 5-15 to 2-5 and Laois by 4-18 to 3-4 to advance to the semi-final stages of the Leinster Championship where they faced provincial ‘B’ champions Offaly at Boardsmill. A first-half goal from Aoife Thompson helped Meath to a 1-9 to 0-2 interval advantage and the same player scored a decisive second goal soon after the change of ends firmly kill off the Offaly challenge. Thompson and Shauna Bennett finished as Meath’s two top scorers with 2-3 each.

The final against Dublin at Westmanstown proved to be a real thriller, but unfortunately for Meath they failed to take sufficient advantage of the strong wind in the first-half and needed a Thompson goal to enable them to retire on level terms (1-2 to 0-5) at the interval. Dublin upped the tempo after the break to push clear, before Debra Wigglesworth netted to bring the Royal County back into contention briefly. Shauna Bennett blasted a goal chance over the bar for Meath and Dublin held on for a two-point (2-10 to 2-8) victory.

The under-16 panel was – Ann Marie Ball, Paula Doherty, Orla O’Connor, Karla O’Brien, Katie McMahon, Claire Griffin, Tara Smith, Aishling McGeown, Ciara Dempsey, Kirsty Gough, Shauna Bennett, Alice Davis, Laura Dunne, Aoife Thompson, Kelly Farrell, Emer Murray, Zoe O’Connor, Saedbh Macken, Anna Curtis, Lyndsey Conway, Teresa Fox, Lisa Hutchinson, Catriona Brennan, Breda McTigue, Debra Wigglesworth, Lucy Donoghue, Stephanie Horan, Deirdre Blaney, Philomena Sheridan and Amanda O’Reilly.

The Meath under-14 panel was coached by Paddy Brady, David Carry was the manager and Geraldine Cuttle and Dessie Whelan acted as selectors. A lot of work was put in with this panel over the winter months with a view to the summer campaign. Training took place primarily in Bective, with the old St. Martha’s hall outside Navan also being used in times of bad weather. Meath beat Laois and Wexford and lost narrowly to Dublin in the round-robin stages of the Leinster Championship and emerged to defeat Laois comfortably at the semi-final stage to reach the final against Dublin at Westmanstown.

Unfortunately for Meath, they had lost both midfielders, Donaghmores-Ashbourne’s Cathriona O’Shaughnessy and Jennifer Moran, due to injuries sustained in a club match and that represented a huge double blow on the big day. To add to their woes, corner-back Shirley Flood was forced to retire early in the match due to injury and with all the chopping and changing those problems created, Meath were at a severe disadvantage and Dublin won comfortably.

The under-14 panel was – Christina Leonard, Alva Henson, Jane Hodginson, Shirley Flood, Rachel Brady, Lisa Browne, Aideen Murray, Linda Tully, Anna Mullen, Alison Clarke, Jacqueline Reed, Aishling Wheelan, Elaine Booth, Samantha Martin, Marcella Kelly, Sinead Brady, Nicola Leddy, Ali Daly, Amanda Davis, Karla Macken, Stephanie Byrne, Ann-Marie Gallagher, Ciara Daly, Andrea Perle, Hayley Stracken, Jennifer Moran, Cathriona O’ Shaughnessy, Ciara Reilly, Karen O’Connell and Paula Murray.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t a year that brought any championship silverware to the Royal County, but there can be no denying that the signs are very good for the future of ladies’ football in the county. The seniors will approach the new campaign with a fair degree of optimism, particularly considering how lose Dublin were to achieving All-Ireland glory in 2003, while the under-age set-up in the county is clearly in good shape and that certainly bodes extremely well for the future. With good work being done at under-12 level also it looks certain that a steady supply of talented and well-coached young players will continue to come through.


That eagerly-sought Leinster Ladies’ Senior Football Championship title eluded Meath again in 2004 when they lost by four points to Laois at the semi-final hurdle in Stradbally in July. By Paul Clarke. It was a disappointing conclusion to the title race for Martin Connolly’s side and, after notching a highly impressive personal tally of 2-5 in that match against the women from the midlands county, ace attacker Jackie Shiels surely had every reason to feel that she didn’t deserve to end up on the losing team.

Unfortunately, that’s the way it worked out as Laois triumphed by four points on a 4-12 to 4-8 score line in a match that certainly kept the umpires waving the green flags busy for the hour. The Royal County must have gone into the provincial championship with high hopes of making a serious impact after they had enjoyed a very progressive National Football League Div. 1B campaign which saw them reach the quarter-finals where they went under to Cork.

Meath Ladies 2005 Year summary

Meath ladies had one of their best years for a long time. 2005 saw a new face on the management scene with former Monaghan Hurling manager John Andrews taking over at the helm. In his first game3 in charge in 2005 Andrews saw his charges have a very comfortable if unexpected win over the fancied Waterford 3-15 to 14 points. Round 3 saw Meath beat neighbours Louth comprehensively. On a miserable Sunday in February Meath made the long trip to Ballyforan in Roscommon where they found the going very tough but overcame a gallant Roscommon side by 11 points to 4.

Next came the trip to Tyrone where a last gasp goal from Jackie Shiels saw Meath take the honours. This saw Meath gain a quarter final place against Monaghan. Although Meath fought tooth and nail they could not overcome Monaghan. Another quarter final defeat for Meath!

Although Meath were disappointed at this defeat it seemed to inspire them. The Championship was just around the corner and the old foe Dublin were to be the first round opposition. Dublin travelled to Moynalty for this game and they came out with all guns blazing. Meath were once again beaten. Despite this John Andrews called on his troops to rally and this defeat seemed to awaken a spirit in the Meath girls that hadn’t been there for a long time.

The second round saw Longford arrive in Navan to Pairc Tailteann. Meath still smarting from the Dublin beating, pulled out all the stops for this game and went on the rampage. They beat Longford by a score of 6-23 to 3 points. This was to be just the tonic the girls needed.

After the break for exams Laois were the next opposition, Meath had to win to keep their hopes of their first Leinster final for 5 years alive. Pairc Tailteann was once again the venue. Laois threw everything they had at Meath but the Royal girls stood strong and with several fine saves from Irene Munnelly and a super goal from Geraldine Doherty, Meath ran out the victors.

Meath travelled to Kildare and it was there they booked their semi-final place. This was a very hard fought game once again and Meath battled extremely hard to win by 3 points and set up another game against Laois.

Meath travelled to the O’Moore county for this game. It turned out to be one of the games of the Championship. With seconds remaining, Meath were on the attack and one point behind. Gillian Bennett had possession of the ball and had no choice but go for a long range point which she duly converted. This was to be virtually the last kick of normal time. Extra time ensured and again it was neck and neck right down to the last second. Again with seconds remaining and a replay looming Meath were awarded a 45. Once again up stepped Gillian Bennett and coolly sent the ball over the bar. The game was over and Meath were in the Leinster final with Dublin to be the opposition.

Meath went into this game as the ‘under-dogs’ and this certainly was the case in the first half with Dublin dominating.

A second half revival by Meath just wasn’t enough to gain the much sought after Leinster crown. Dublin went ton to win by just a goal. It was an inspiring second half display by the Royal girls and they certainly earned the respect of all who attended the final.

Meath had one more crack at the title when they entered by ‘the back door’ to meet the mighty Cork. This was a cracker and it wasn’t till the very end that Cork got the winning scores they needed. Meath started well and had the upper hand for much of the game. At one stage Meath had a 2-02 to 1 point lead. Cork never gave up and with seven minutes remaining had Jane Burke sin-binned.

This was just the break the Rebel girls needed. All in all it was an excellent game and Meath have shown their potential. Once again Meath have come so close and gone away with the trophy. But all those teams who came to lock horns with the Royal girls know they have to be at their very best to come away with a victory. So watch out girls, ‘we are on our way up and we don’t mind who we beat on the day there’.

Meath will have another new face at the helm this year. Seneschalstown club woman Geraldine Sheridan takes over as ‘The Boss’. Geraldine has had much success in the past at underage level. Geraldine has 4 All Ireland finals to her credit, 2 wins at Under 16 and two Runners Up at Under 14 level, nine Leinster final places with six wins and three Runners up, two Under 14, two Under 16 and one minor, all county and one Senior Club Leinster title. Also to her credit is a runner up place with her team Seneschalstown in the All Ireland Senior Club Championships.

Meath’s Under 14s also went in search of All Ireland glory this year. They lost out big time to a superb Dublin side in the first round of the round robin series. After this they met an inform Kildare side and were beaten by a goal. This ignited the passion of the girls and they went on to sweep aside the challenges of Laois, Westmeath and Wexford. Although losing to Kildare in the round robin games, they were to meet the Lilywhites in the Leinster semi final. Having already been beaten by Kildare, Meath went in as the underdogs for this game. This suited Meath down to the ground and they put in an awe inspiring display to come out the victor by 5-9 to 1-5. Once again the old foe, Dublin were to be the final opposition. Meath started the better but the Dubs came to life and scored a resounding victory in the end. The Meath girls were disappointed but did themselves proud with such an outstanding display.

Meath juniors had a good enough year in both the league and championship. The juniors were to reach the quarter finals of the national League where they went out to a very strong Fermanagh side. The Meath juniors were to lose some of the top players to the county senior side but they still gave all comers a strong challenge.

On the minor front, Meath travelled to Kildare where they were expected to lose, but in a convincing display they overcame Kildare and went on to meet Dublin in the Leinster semi final. This proved to be one step too far and the Dubs were once again too strong for the Royal girls. They lost out by 4-15 to 3-4 on the day.

This was a lean year for Meath under 16s. It has to be said that they played their heart out under the management of Jackie Shiels but all in all they were in a supremely strong group. They will be a force to be reckoned with in 2006 with some of the 2005s under 14s moving one. So be on the look out for the 16s from Meath in 2006.

One of the othe4r highlights of the year was the under 12 victory in the Leinster A Blitz competition in Carlow. Meath has a very strong under age section and this hopefully is the start of a Meath under age revival.

Altogether three under 12 teams travelled to Carlow. In the B competition, Meath were unlucky to be beaten in the final. Great work was put in by manager Ollie Bowe and Caroline O’Brien who look after a total of 60 under 12s. This year’s Player of the Year was a joint affair with Bridgetta Lynch and Orlaith Duff both on the receiving end.

In other news around the Royal county St Ultans clubwoman, Geraldine Doherty won an All Star. Also nominated for her superb displays throughout the year was Blackhall Gaels woman Jane Burke. But it was Geraldine who stole the limelight this time round. She picked up the No 10 position. It has to be said that Geraldine worked extremely hard throughout the League and Championship campaign and thoroughly deserved her award. Well done to both Geraldine and Jane.

This year also saw the ladies join the Meath Green Stars. This is promoted by AIB and up to now has been the domain of the men’s football and hurlers. The first month’s award went to Lindsay Conway for her outstanding display throughout the club championship campaign. The second month’s award went to Marie Healy from Na Fianna. At a presentation in Simonstown, the following players received awards. Sara O’Donnell, Grainne Harrington, Eve Wardick, Ann Marie Ball, Emer Murray, Tara Newman, Loretto Cunningham, Ann Marie Dennehy, Maura Hegarty, Edel Guy, Aoife Thompson, Orla Sheridan, Lindsay Conway, Claire Griffin and Julie Ann Scanlon. This team will go on to play the Meath senior ladies team shortly and will be managed by former All Star winner Christine O’Brien.

Another highlight of the year was the Kick Fada, this title has come to Meath on more than one occasion. This year it was the Meath ladies goalkeeper, Irene Munnelly who sunk the opposition with her superb kicking displays. She recorded an impressive 45 metre kick to win the competition.

Meath Seniors in Leinster Championship 2005

Meath Ladies book place in Leinster semi finals

TG4 Ladies Senior Leinster Championship

Meath v Kildare

Sarsfields, Kildare, Sunday 10 July 2005

Half time: Meath 2-04 Kildare 1-10

Full time: Meath 4-10 Kildare 1-16

On a very hot Sunday evening Meath battled hard to earn a well deserved victory over a strong Kildare side. Meath opened the scoring in the first new minutes with an excellent point from Katie O’Brien. Kildare quickly settled and scored several unanswered points before Meath replied with a brace from Jackie Shiels. Ger Doherty struck a well earned goal shortly after. Kildare continued to dominate and once again struck the back of the net. Kildare were denied another goal when inform keeper Irene Munnelly made an outstandi9ng save. With seconds remaining in the first half Jenny Rispin found the back of the net for Meath sending them in just three points behind at the break.

On the resumption Meath forward Catriona O’Shaughnessy got off to the perfect start when she netted to leave the sides leave. Further points from Doherty and Shiels put the Meath girls ahead. Kildare once again found their stride and the teams were never more than a point or two apart. With two minutes remaining Meath were trailing by a point when forward Caitriona O’Shaughnessy blasted into the Kildare net to put the Meath girls on top. This put Meath into a Leinster semi final showdown with Laois on Saturday 16 July, game to be played at Stradbally, Laois at 7.30 pm.


Irene Munnelly, Louise McKeever, Elaine Lynch, Suzanne McCormack, Ciara Dempsey, Edel McGrane, Sinead Dooley, Jane Burke, Grainne Nulty, Ger Doherty (1-2), Gillian Bennett (0-3), Jackie Shiels (0-3), Jenny Rispin (1-1), Katie O’Brien (0-1), Caitrona O’Shaughnessy (2-1).

Subs: Shauna Bennett for Katie O’Brien.

Best for Meath: O’Shaughnessy, Doherty, Shiels, Dooley, G Bennett

Women reach Leinster semi

Meath 4-10 Kildare 1-16

Caitriona O’Shaughnessy netted a late match winning goal as Meath overcame Kildare and booked a provincial semi final ticket at the Sarsfields grounds in newbridge on Sunday.

First half goals from Ger Doherty and Junny Rispin kept Meath in contention while goalkeeper Irene Munnelly did her bit the some outstanding saves.

The visitors trailed 2-4 to 1-10 at the peak and O’Shaughnessy’s first goal levelled matters on the restart before points from Doherty and Jackie Shiels had Meath in front.

In an exciting second half Kildare regained some initiative but with Gillian Bennett, Sinead Dooley, O’Sahughnessy, Sheils and Doherty leading the way, Meat finished strongly to secure a semi final tilt with Laois at the weenend.


I Munnelly, L McKeever, E Lynch, S McCormack, C Dempsey, E McGrane, S Dooley, J Burke, G Nulty, G Doherty (1-1), G Bennett (0-3), J Shiels (0-4), J Rispin (1-1) K O’Brien (0-1), C O’Shaughnessy (2-1).

Sub: S Bennett for K O’Brien.

Dublin 4-19 Meath 1-2

Having easily disposed of their Westmeath counterparts, 8 days earlier, Meath found Dublin a different proposition in this Leinster JRC fixture at Simonstown on Sunday when the metropolitans romped to a 26 point success.

In arrears by 0-2 to 3-12 at the break, Meath’s only return from the second half was marie Louise Reilly’s goal from a penalty kick while goalkeeper Eimear Murray saved a similar Dublin effort near the end.


E Murray, C McCormack, C Kennedy, P Guy, Y Slevin, C McLarney, L Nestor, J A Scanlon, M L Reilly (1-0), C Cunningham, M Healy, A O’Sullivan, L Hutchinson (0-1), N Boggin, M Doyle (0-1).

Meath ladies for semi final test

Meath ladies maintained their quest for a Leinster title when they negotiated Kildar5e by 4-10 to 1-16 at Newbridge on Sunday.

Despite losing the first game against Dublin in the round robin series, the Meath girls under the astute management of former Monaghan hurling manager John Andrews, have recovered well.

With players of the calibre of Grainne Nulty, Ger Doherty, Sinead Dooley, Louise McKeever and Irene Munnelly in the panel, Meath will be optimistic of qualifying for the provincial decider when they take on Laois at Stradbally on Saturday 7.30.

“We have already beaten Laois in the round robin and that will be a major boost for our confidence, but we will have to approach this game with a cautious attitude”, commented Andrews.

Meath ladies scrape into Leinster semi final as Laois annihilate Longford

Meath continue their impressive form in the TG4 Leinster ladies football championship yesterday with a 4-10 to 1-16 win over Kildare at Newbridge.

Apart from a disappointing defeat to Dublin in the first game of the round robin section, the Royals have blazed a trail in Leinster and will now fancy their chances in the semi finals.

Laois annihilated Longford on a 3-33 to 0-4 scoreline in Killoe yesterday and they too progr4ess to the provincial semi finals.

On Saturday Monaghan beat Down by 5-12 to 0-8 in the Ulster Championship in Clones, while Kerry hammered Clare in Munster, winning by 11-31 to 4-0. It was a vital win for Monagha, who at the very least will now end up with the play off place. Threase McNally registered a personal tally of 3-4 for the Farney County, while Niamh Kindlon hit five points. Monaghan led 1-5 to 0-4 at half time with the goal coming from Clones native Aisling Tierney. McNally added three goals in the second half, while Niamh Lynch also rattled the Down net.

The minors of Galway and Donegal will meet in this year’s All Ireland final after winning the4ir respective semi finals on Saturday. Galway, inspired by senior players Niamh Fahy and Ann Marie McDonagh beat Dublin 2-13 to 0-6 in Athlone, while Donegal caused a surprise by beating defending champions Cork in tuam 2-11 to 0-15.

Dram queens earn Leinster final ticket

Saturday 23 July 2005

Meath 0-14 Laois 0-13 (aet)

TOUCH wood. That’s something Meath manager John Andrews won’t be attempting for good luck following his side’s dramatic Leinster ladies SFC semi final victory over Laois at Stradbally on Saturday.

Known for his ‘one-liners’, on the sideline, all that changed when Dublin referee Keith Tighe eventually brought a gripping contest to an end shortly after 9.00 on Saturday evening.

“Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant”. That was how he described it. It may have refereed to Gillian Bennett’s superb winning point from a ‘45’ or Ge3raldine Doherty’s overall contribution which yielded six points. Or it may have referred to Bennett’s normal time equaliser, a superb point which hit the crossbar and tied the scores at 0-10 each, 30 seconds into injury time. A minute earlier, Doherty had embarked on a solo rescue mission from wide on the right. She proved too evasive and her marker, Noreen Kirwan, who couldn’t get close enough to foul her.

That would have been the fate of the rocket-fuelled St Ultan’s player as she was pulled and dragged at every opportunity by the Laois defender who earned a tick after only 10 minutes, but enjoyed the benefit of generous refereeing subsequently.

During an absorbing 80 minutes of frantic action, Meath hit the woodwork five times. Twice the post intervened to deny goals and on another occasion, the crossbar. Each time a goal looked certain. Grainne Nulty was culpable after only 30 seconds, but Doherty gained the rebound and engineering a point.

It was the only time Meath were ahead until the 4th minutes of extra time when Caitriona O’Shaughnessy pointed prior to her substitution.

Dramatic, frustrating, absorbing, thrilling. Sufficient to describe what unfolded as Laois established a 0-5 to 0-3 interval lead. Meath contributed enormously to the deficit with 8 terrible wides and went 23 minutes without a score. Jackie Shiels claimed the priceless second point, but she had to work hard for the score against a tigerish rearguard.

Bennett opened her account soon after while Tracey Lalor (two), Emma McEvoy, Linda Brennan and Mary Kirwan kept Laois in the ascendancy. The tempo increased after the resumption as Mary Sheridan gave the Royals a pivot at full forward. However, another five wides proved costly although Doherty tied the scores (0-7) each) towards the end of the third quarter.

Slack defending gifted Laois the lead again, but Doherty restored parity after Ciara Dempsey made the opening. Laois replied swiftly with a brace of points, but in between those scores referee Tighe made what appeared to be a bizarre decision. Sheridan fielded a high ball in her usual style and ended up on the ground around the square.

The whistle had Meath supporters thinking ‘penalty’, or maybe even a free out for Laois, but the decision to throw-in the ball was amazing and prompted Andrews into more than the ‘one-liner’. He wasn’t alone as opinions poured in:

O’Shaughnessy hit the bar before that late flourish forced extra time

Meath shaded the first half for a 0-12 to 0-11 lead.

That was over-turned quickly when Lalor and Aileen O’Loughlin pointed Laois towards the winner’s enclosure. Injuries prolonged the half and it was two minutes into added time before Doherty grabbed a lifeline. Even then, there was more drama. Sheridan gained possession and her goal attempt was blocked for a ‘45’. Bennett was the only cool Meath person for that kick and drilled the ball between the posts. Seconds later the final whistle heralded a pitch invasion from the sizeable Meath contingent.

And the referee? Suffice to say that popular Meath Ladies Board Secretary, Geraldine Moroney almost strangled him, with a hug. Andrews was busy with the post match interview.


I Munnelly, L McKeever, E Lynch, S McCormack, S Dooley, E McGrane, C Dempsey, J Burke, G Nulty (0-1), G Doherty (0-6), G Bennett (0-4), J Shiels (0-2), C O’Shaughnessy (0-1), J Rispin, K O’Brien.

Subs: M Sheridan for O’Brien, E Duffy for Rispin, S Sullivan for O’Shaughnessy.


B Deegan, G Weston, P Lawlor, L Buggy, E McEvoy (0-1), L Muckian, N Kirwan, M Casey, T Lalor (0-6), A Casey, A Quigley, L Browne (0-2), G O’Connor, Martha Kirwan, Mary Kirwan (0-2).

Subs: M Dunne (0-1) for Quigley, A O’Loughlin (0-1) for Brennan.

Referee: Keith Tighe (Dublin)

Drogheda Independent

Royals first Leinster final in five years

Friday 22 July 2005

Meath 0-14 Laois 0-13 (aet)

Meath made it though to the final of the TG4 Ladies Leinster Senior Football Championship final with this thrilling victory over Laois in Stradbally on Saturday.

With a replay looming, Gillian Bennett scored the winning point seconds from the end of extra time from a ‘45’. Ironically it was Bennett’s last minute point in normal time that gave Meath the extra time chance as the sides finished 0-10 apiece.

The Royals will play the winners of the Dublin v Kildare semi in the final, to be played on 31 July at Dr Cullen Park, Carlow.

Home side Laois went into the clash with a Leinster double on their minds but came up against a well drilled visiting team. A huge Meath support travelled to cheer on their county, who were bidding to reach a Leinster final for the first time in 5 years.

Meath went on the attack straight from the throw-in and within the first 30 seconds, Grainne Nulty rattled the bar. This was a sign of things to come as meath hit the woodwork three times in the game. Several wides early in the game were going to prove vital at the end. Ger Doherty opened the scoring after 2 minutes with a well taken point. It was another 4 minutes before Laois opened their account and they then scored three without reply to lead 0-5 to 0-3 at the break.

Ger Doherty was on a mission in the second half and took the first score for Meath. Laois replied with an easy point, but Grainne Nulty sent over another score for the Royals and the game continued point for point until the closing stages.

With less than 10 minutes remaining, Meath were two points behind and looked loke bowing out. However, sheer guts and determination brought them another point courtesy of Ger Doherty. With literally seconds remaining, Meath were on the attack and Gillian Bennett had no choice but to go for a long range point which she duly converted.

In extra time Caitriona O’Shaughnessy opened the scoring for Meath and Jackie Shiels put the Meath girls two up. Laois got a point just before half time to leave them trailing by one at the break.

The second period of extra time saw Laois putting a score on the board straight from the throw-in and they were denied the lead point by the crossbar. Ger Doherty then scored one of the best points of the game, but Laois levelled once more and it looked like a replay. However, with seconds left, Meath were awarded a ‘45’ and up stepped Bennett to coolly send the ball over the bar.

Andrews optimistic that Meath ladies can win

Saturday 30 July 2005

Conall Collier

Meath lay footballers will venture into unfamiliar territory this weekend when they travel to Dr Cullen Park, Carlow for a provincial final showdown against Dublin, but coach John Andrews is optimistic.

“When I took on the role of manager, I set a couple of goals, to qualify for the quarter-finals of the league and the Leinster final”, he commented after last Friday’s training session at Simonstown.

“We achieved both and there’s no reason why we can’t win on Sunday and maybe even go the whole way to the All Ireland final”.

“All the provincial finalists qualify for the All Ireland quarter finals and I certainly believe that we are going to win on Sunday”.

“It’s a belief that’s in the team, the girls showed it in the semi final against Laois and they are improving with every game”.

“It will still be a struggle and we will have to play to our best, but we’re an attacking team with plenty of potential”.

“We just need to tighten it up a bit at the back, but the effort and commitment they have displayed suggests that the best is yet to come”, he added.

Two years ago at Dunsany, the Meath girls faltered against the Metropolitan team and 12 months ago they were edged out by Laois at the penultimate hurdle. Despite those setbacks, Meath have only to go back five years to 2000 for the last of their four Leinster titles, a feat Dublin will be trying to emulate next Sunday following victories in 2002, 2003 and last year. Buoyed by that 5-14 to 1-9 victory over the Royal County last May in the opening round of qualifying round robin competition, Dublin have every reason to be optimistic and even confident of completing a four in a row. That’s according to the statistics, but upon closer examination, Dublin will have to adopt a cautious approach to the Meath test.

The formbook shows that Dublin and Laois, the two top rated teams, played out a draw when they clashed in the qualifying section. Meath’s subsequent victories over Laois by 1-12 to 0-9 in the round robin series at Simonstown and an extra time semi final win by 0-14 to 0-13 last week, will serve as a warning to the reigning Leinster champions.

“The result against Dublin last May didn’t reflect the true ability of the team and we were without a number of key player”, remarked Andrews. “the bonus from that is that there will be no pressure on us, Dublin are the Leinster champions, they’re going for four in a row, that’s a lot to contend with and we might just spoil the party”, he suggested.

Andrews has a strong GAA pedigree, but he is a novice with the field of ladies teams, apart from a brief stint with Trim Camogie Club.

“Selector, David Dempsey contacted me last year about the team, I thought it was a wind up initially, but then we had a chat and I felt that it would be a change and a challenge to take on the job”.

“I had no knowledge of any of the players and it was gradual learning process, but I was impressed by the overall attitude of everyone involved”.

“Trials were organised and any player who was interested had an opportunity to make an impression, we assessed about 60 players and began the training in earnest last January”.

“One difference I noticed between the men and women, the lads will make excuses not to go training, the ladies just want to get on with it”.

“It was very refreshing to get that type of commitment and out of a panel of 30, we’ve never had any less than 24 for each session”, stated the Trim clubman.

According to Andrews, there appears to be a greater interest and awareness of ladies football amongst GAA clubs in general now. “We received great support from Simonstown, Seneschalstown, Warrenstown, Trim and St Ultans for facilities and the interest in what we are doing is spreading”, he added. “David Nolan takes the training, that’s very helpful, because I can observe who is going well and who might be struggling at a particular session”. “The fact that we have such a dedicated panel causes other problems, I know its going to be very difficult to pick the team for Sunday’s game”.

“We have so many players who are capable of a place in the starting line up, but that’s my job and its great to have a problem like that. Some of the girls will be disappointed, but this is a big panel and there is great competition for places”, he concluded.

The build up continued on Sunday with an early morning session at Bettystown Beach and Meath minor coach, Dudley Farrell is also taking a session this week.

Drogheda Independent

Meath ladies ready to lock horns with ould enemy

Friday 29 July 2005

Dublin and Meath lock horns yet again the GAA world but this time it’s ladies football and the clash – the Leinster SFC final this Sunday at Dr Cullen Park in Carlow (3.30).

In their meetings in recent years, the Dubs certainly hold the upperhand but they’ll be taking nothing for granted against a Royal County outfit still looking to make that step into the top tier of the game in this country.

The Dubs booked their place with a 2-18 to 2-9 win over Kildare. John O’Leary’s side are looking very solid with Fingallians star Niamh Hurley the hero that day with two goals. Denise Masterson and Niamh McEvoy were stars in midfield and others are running into a nice piece of form, Louise Kidd, Gemma Fay and Louise Kelly included.

Dublin, of course are the reigning provincial champions and have been beaten in the last two All Ireland finals.

Meath, who are managed by Trim man, John Andrews were beaten in the semi final stage by Laois last year and by Dublin the two previous years. Their last final appearance was in 2000 when they retained the Leinster title they also win in 1997, 1998 and 1999.

The semi final win over Laois, after Gillian Bennett landed the winning score direct from a ‘45’ was the perfect boost for a Meath team attempting to regain their place as the top side in the providence.

They already suffered a heavy defeat, 5-14 to 1-9 in the first round group stages before going on to register an easy win over Longford, defeat Laois 1-12 to 0-9, Kildare 4-10 to 1-16 and then Laois again in the semi final.

Dublin will undoubtedly start firm favourites to retain their crown, but Meath can certainly put it up to them if the likes of Grainne Nulty, Edel McGrane, Ger Doherty, Gillian Bennett and Jackie Shiels can strike form.

Meath squad:

Gillian Bennett (Moynalty), Shauna Bennett (St Ultans), Jane Burke (Blackhall Gaels), Laura Carey (Seneschalstown), Clare Cunningham (Moynalvey), Ciara Dempsey (Boardsmill), Geraldine Doherty (St Ultans), Sinead Dooley (Simonstown), Elaine Duffy (St Ultans), Caroline Griffin (Blackhall Gaels), Lisa Kennan (Simonstown), Ciara kennedy (Summerhill), Elaine Lynch (St Ultans), Debbie Mangan (Seneschalstown), Suzanne McCormack (Blackhall Gaels), Edel McGrane (Seneschalstown), Louise McKeever (Seneschalstown), Celine McLarney (Simonstown), Katie McMahon (Wolfe Tones), Irene Munnelly (Wolfe Tones), Grainne Nulty (Seneschalstown), Katie O’Brien (St Ultans), Eimear O’Carroll (Senescalstown), Sara O’Donnell (Blackhall Gaels), Catriona O’Shaughnessy (Donaghmoyne/Ashbourne), Susan O’Sullivan (Dunboyne), Jenny Rispin (Summerhill), Julian Ann Scanlon (Summershill), Mary Sheridan (Seneschalstown), Philomena Sheridan (Seneschalstown), Jackie Shiels (Simonstown)

Dubs looking to make it four in a row

Dublin senior lady footballers will be attempting to make it four Leinster SFC titles in a row at Dr Cullen Park this Sunday (3.30).

While the Dubs defeated opponents Meath earlier in the summer in the round robin section the Royals are a much improved side since then.

Meath have not been in a provincial decider since 2000 but under the guidance of new manager John Andrews they have become a tough, hard working team but they will have their work cut out against John O’Leary’s Jackies.

In the first game in the round robin section of the Leinster Championship, Dublin brushed past Meath in a one-sided encounter but Meath have since beaten Laois (twice), Longford and Kildare to discover their self- belief.

“I know Dublin are favourites and they are a fabulous team but we are not going to Carlow to make up the number”, insisted Andrews. “We know we can win and we will be massively up for this, especially as it is against the Dubs”.

His captain, Elaine Duffy, is the holder of three Leinster medals and is also relishing another crack at the Dubs.

“We are all dying for this game ever since Dublin beat us in the first match”, she said. “We have lots of new faces and the new management have added freshness this season. Meath have never lost a final in Dr Cullen Park and we don’t indend to lose one this weekend”.

Dublin head into Sunday’s game without star midfielder Fiona Corcoran, but they have experience and depth in the panel to cope wit her absence.

Dublin’s bench includes the likes of Angie McNally, Sorcha Farrelly and Maria Kavanagh and younger players like Niamh McEvoy, Avril Cluxton and Lyndsay Davey have made a huge impression this season.

The Weekender, Saturday 30 July 2005

Women bid for Leinster title

By Liam O’Rourke

Meath will be rank outsiders when they take on holders Dublin in the women’s Leinster SFC decider at Dr Cullen Park, Carlow on Sunday when they will be bidding for their 5th outright success at this level.

The Royal County women won 4 provincial titles on the spin after making their breakthrough in 1977 but never managed to reach an All Ireland senior decider.

Meath beat Dublin by 1-12 to 0-9 in their most recent Leinster senior final appearance five years ago and five of that team, Louise McKeever, Debbie Mangan, Jackie Shiels, Elaine Duffy and Mary Sheridan – are still involved.

Since then a new generation of female footballers have come to the fore but appear to have some way to go before they can emulate the team of the late nineties.

When the sides met in the round robin phase of the competition, Meath lost by 1-9 to 5-14 but recovered from that 17 points reversal to easily dispose of Longford in their next outing.

They resumed after the break for the Leaving and Junior Certificate exams with victories over Laois and Kildare to set up a second clash with the O’Moore County women at the semi final stage.

Gillian Bennett’s pointed ‘45’ saw them through by the narrowest margin after extra timer but Meath will need good scoring returns from Ger Doherty, Jackie Shiels and Bennett, if they are to bridge that five year gap.

Team manager John Andrews (in his second year in charge) will also be hoping that goalkeeper Irene Munnelly, defender Sinead Dooley and Caitriona O’Shaughnessy (who netted twice in the narrow win over Kildare) can maintain the form shown in earlier matches.

However, the indications are that Dublin – under the baton of former goalkeeping star John O’Leary and losers by small margins in the last two All Ireland finals will prevail.

Regardless of the outcome of Sunday’s match, the Meath women will be involved at the All Ireland quarter-finals stage where the provincial champions and runners up will be on opposite sides of the draw.

The Meath Chronicle

Storming second half not enough for Meath revival

Saturday 6 August 2005

By Conall Collier

Dublin 2-13 Meath 1-13

Meath’s storming second half performance wasn’t sufficient to eclipse Leinster ladies SFC champions Dublin in a thrilling decider at Dr Cullen Park, Carlow on Sunday.

Goals ultimately proved crucial and Dublin found the net twice. In contrast, Meath only managed that feat through Mary Sheridan with the last kick of the game. Dublin custodian, Cliohdna O’Connor also produced a series of superb saves which was also a crucial fact in determining the outcome.

Meath were also handicapped by the absence, through injury, of Gillian Bennett, but whatever manager, John Andrews said during the interval, worked remarkably well. The Royals were almost unrecognisable in comparison to their first half display, which yielded only two points.

Meath were well adrift by 0-2 to 0-9 at the interval but even more alarming at that stage was the fact that a complete whitewash looked likely after the resumption. Against that background, the Meath girls deserve enormous praise as they got back into contention and with a little more luck, could have won.

Late points from Sheridan and jenny Rispin prevented a complete wipeout following a half which Dublin dicated. Niamh Hurley was denied a first minute goal by Irene Munnelly’s smart save at the expense of a ‘45’ but the points followed from Mary Nevin (three), Bernie Finlay and Sinead Aherne (two each) Hurley and Louise Kelly. One-way traffic was the norm, all in the direction of the Meath goal where Munnelly was kept on her toes and Louise McKeever emerged with a greatly enhanced reputation. Every time Dublin threatened, McKeever was the player most likely to disrupt the rhythm.

When Sheridan was moved to midfield, it stemmed the flow and Meath got on the scoreboard, but they also squandered a couple of point chances, which could have changed the complexion of the game. All that changed as Meath swamped the blue tide. Geraldine Doherty tested O’Connor inside a minute of the resumption and gained possession from the rebound for a point.

Five more points in as many minutes from Jackie Shiels, Jane Burke, Ciara Dempsey, Elaine Duffy and Doherty reduced the deficit to the minimum (0-8 to 0-9) and had the Dubs in a spin.

Three Dublin substitutions steadied the ship and wing-back Gemma Fay claimed a crucial point which lifted the siege. Dublin also hit a goal soon after when Aherne finished following a lucky break. Meath were caught out by a swift counter attack, but the danger looked under control when Munnelly raced to the 20-metre line to win possession, unfortunately, she slipped and the ball broke kindly for Dublin.

Undeterred by that setback, Jane Burke embarked on a lengthy solo before finding substitute Katie O’Brien who pointed. Worse was to follow for the Royals. On the attack again, a misdirected pass gave Dublin the chance to counter and Lyndsay Davey rifled a rebound to the net after Munnelly parried the initial shot.

But the Meath girls possess plenty of character and set about tackling the incline once more. Points from Sheridan, Doherty and Shiels put Dublin on the backfoot. Doherty and Sheridan were also denied goals by smart O’Connor saves while Karen Hopkins and Fay pointed at the other end.

With the countdown clock running out of time, Sheridan eventually claimed a goal when she finished superbly. Sadly for Meath, there wasn’t enough time to muster another attack.


C O’Connor, L Kidd, A Cluxton, L Keegan, J O’Sullivan, M Farrell, G Fay (0-2), N McEvoy, D Masterson, N Hurley (0-1), B Finlay (0-2), L Davey (1-0), M Nevin (0-3), S Aherne (1-2), L Kelly (0-1).

Subs: R Barrett for Masterson, K Hopkins (0-2) for Nevin, M Kavanagh for O’Sullivan, A McNally for Kelly.


I Munnelly, L McKeever, E Lynch, S McCormack, S Dooley, E Mcgrane, C Dempsey (0-1), J Burke (0-1), G Nulty, G Doherty (0-3), E Duffy (0-1), J Shiels (0-3), C O’Shaughnessy, M Sheridan (1-2), J Rispin (0-1).

Subs: K O’Brien (0-1) Fr O’Shaughnessy, S O’Sullivan for Rispin, S Bennett for O’Brien.

Referee: James Flood (Wexford).

Conall Colllier

“There will be no pressure on us, Dublin are the Leinster champions, they’re going for four in a row, that a lot to contend with and we might just spoil the party”, commented Manager John Andrews last week to the Meath Chronicle.

And he also maintained that the result against Dublin last May in the qualifying series didn’t reflect the true ability of the team.

Andrews wasn’t far off the mark on either county, although he was disappointed with second place at Dr Cullen Park, Carlow on Sunday shortly after 5.00.

“We were very close to victory, the bounce of the ball wasn’t with us and ultimately, goals win games, and we didn’t get one until the last kick of the game”, he stated.

“Both the Dublin goals arose as a direct result of Meath attacks, we gave away possession when we really deserved a sc ore of some sort, they launched a quick counter attack and found the net”.

“Irene Munnelly was very unlucky for the first one, I though she did well to race out to the 20 metre line, she did the hard bit and then just lost the ball, it was heartbreaking”.

“The second goal could have killed us off completely, but the girls showed great composure to get back at Dublin again, we deserved our goal when we got it, but it was to late”, he added.

Despite the reversal, Meath are still in contention for All Ireland honours and Andrews is optimistic about his side’s chances.

“We were without Gillian Bennett, we will have to adapt to that, but we were the best team in the second half, I have no doubt about that, its very disappointing.

“I suppose I can blame the Dublin goalkeeper, she made two or three superb saves we were making the chances but she was inspired.

“We can look forward to the All Ireland quarter-finals now, we’ll just have to wait for the draw in a couple of week”, he concluded.

Dublin manager John O’Leary was relieved that his side had managed to hold out against strong Meath pressure.

“I knew Martin would come back at us in the second half, but the goals made the difference. It was a fantastic game of football and a credit to both team, I’m glad we won’t be meeting them in the All Ireland quarter-finals”, he stated.

Girls in blue lift Leinster

Monday 1 August 2005

TG4 Leinster Ladies SFC final

Dublin 2-13 Meath 1-13

The Jackies made it a four in a row of Leinster titles when they held off the challenge of Meath in yesterday’s senior provincial decider at Dr Cullen Park.

The Dubs will now have their eyes set on trying to end their All Ireland hoodoo, but they were made fight for the Leinster title after a second half rally by the Royals. Dublin dominated the first half and were 0-9 to 0-2 up at the interval. Dublin’s chief scorer in the opening period was Mary Nevin who registered three frees.

But Meath took control on the restart and within 10 minutes had closed the gap to 0-9 to 0-7. However, points by Gemma Fay and a goal apiece by Sinead Aherne and Lyndsay Davey settled the Dubs. Mary Sheridan scored a consolation goal for Meath in the dying seconds.



S Aherne 1-2, L Davey 1-0, M Nevin 0-3, B Finlay, G Fay, K Hopkins 0-2 each, L Kelly, N Hurley 0-1 each.


M Sheridan 1-2, G Doherty, J Shiels 0-3 each, C Dempsey, J Burke, E Duffy, J Rispin, K O’Brien 0-1 each.


C O’Connor, L Kidd, A Cluxton, L Keegan, J O’Sullivan, M Farrell, G Fay, N McEvoy, D Masterson, N Hurley, B Finlay, L Davey, M Slevin, S Aherne, L Kelly.

Subs: K Hopkins for Nevin, R Barrett for O’Sullivan, A McNally for Kelly.


I Munnelly, L McKeever, E Lynch, S McCormack, E McGrane, C Dempsey, J Burke, G Nulty, G Doherty, E Duffy, J Shiels, C O’Shaughnessy, J Rispin, M Sheridan.

Subs: K O’Brien for O’Shaughnessy

Drogheda Independent

Meath ladies give the mighty Dubs a fright

Friday 5 August 2005

Dublin 2-13 Meath 1-13

Down but not out, Meath ladies failed to dethrone the holders in this exciting TG4 Leinster ladies SFC final at Dr Cullen Park, Carlow on Sunday, but they gave last year’s All Ireland finalists as stern a test as they could have hoped for.

On the back of this display, the Meath girls should be full of confidence going into the quarter finals of the competition, as they showed that they can battle it out with the best. Dublin went into the game as firm favourites to lift the crown and keep up their excellent record against the Royal women – and things were certainly going by the form book initially as they led 0-9 to 0-2 at the break.

Meath looked to be in real trouble, and a repeat of the 5-14 to 1-9 opening round drubbing was a distinct possibility at that stage. However, the Royals hit back in determined fashion at the start of the second half and five unanswered points reduced the deficit to just two in a remarkable 10 minute spell – 0-9 to 0-7.

Jackie Sheils and Geraldine Doherty scored some excellent Meath points, while Mary Sheridan was also a constant threat to the Dublin rearguard. The final outcome could have been different but for the heroics of Dublin goalkeeper Cliodhna O’Connor, who brought off a series of top class saves as Meath threatened to wipe out the lead and take control of proceedings.

Just at a stage when their lead looked precarious, Dublin hit back with goals from Sinead Aherne and Lyndsay Davey to regain the initiative. Going into the concluding stages the Dubs had again gathered momentum, before Meath eventually found a way past keeper O’Connor, when Mary Sheridan found the net.

However, that score came far too late to affect the outcome and Dublin held on to claim a four in a row record of provincial crowns.

The Weekender

Saturday 6 August 2005

Battling Meath give Dublin a fright

Leinster women’s SFC final by David Jennings

To be beaten in a final is never a pleasant experience, but Meath can take huge credit from a superb second half recovery that almost prevented Dublin from securing a fourth consecutive Leinster women’s SFC crown victory at Dr Cullen Par, Carlow on Sunday.

Rank outsiders before the off, Meath produced a second half display worthy of winning many games but which on this occasion just came up short, with Dublin holding off their spirited surge.

A 0-9 to 0-2 interval lead was no more than Dublin deserved, for it took Meath nearly 20 minutes before they registered their opening score through Mary Sheridan.

At that stage Dublin had 8 points on the board, saves from Sheridan, Doherty and finally Katie O’Brien to keep her side in pole position.

Her final stop from O’Brien echoed some of the memorable stops. Dublin manager John O’Leary produced in his playing days.

Meath chipped away at Dublin’s lead with points from Elaine Duffy and Doherty while their defence tightened up considerably with Ciara Dempsey, Louise McKeever and Suzanne McCormack.

Goalkeeper Irene Munnelly did well to intercept a long Dublin delivery but the ball feel out of her grasp and Louise Kelly found Sinead Aherne who finished to an empty net.

Katie O’Brien, who was unable to start through injury, announced her arrival with an excellent point from the left. However, Dublin always seemed to find that extra gear when needed, and they put the issue beyond doubt with their second goal seven minutes later.

This time Munnelly brought off a fine save from Aherne but the ball rebounded to Lyndsey Davey who slotted to the net to leave it 2-10 to 0-9.

Meath, to their credit kept battling and the tireless Doherty continued to try and salvage something out of the game as she sent over her third point. The Royal county side got some reward for their first half display. Meath produced a gutsy second half display that another day might have sneaked them a win. A quarter final spot now awaits them, and they will enter that clash with new found expectation.

Meath ladies exit

Conall Collier

Cork 2-19 Meath 3-10

Meath’s quest for All Ireland SFC glory ended at Portlaoise on Saturday despite a battling quarter final performance against the ladies from Cork.

Action packed would be the best description for this gripping tie during which Meath were ahead until first half injury time.

The Royal County forged ahead again briefly during the third quarter from a Jackie Shiels penalty, but that only made Cork more determined.

The Leesiders upped the tempo subsequently and forged ahead for a thoroughly merited victory, although Meath added a lot of credibility to their improving status. Most of Cork’s attacks went through centre forward Regina Curtin who was marked throughout by Louise McKeever, but the Seneschalstown player found the going tough.

Full back Elaine Lynch was also forced to work hard to contain Caoimhe Creedon and defensive naivety contributed enormously to Meath’s ultimate demise.

Too often Meath players concentrated on marking off the ball at the expense of the player in possession. The consequences of that weakness frequently produced a clear path to Irene Munnelly’s goal.

That’s a problem which manager John Andrews will have to address if he retains the reins for another year – explain who is more dangerous, the player with the ball or the player running off it?

Cork’s wing back Briege Corkery exposed that deficiency on three separate occasions in the opening half. She raided from deep positions as the Meath players retreated and ultimately opened the door for three superb points from play, which incouded Cork’s opening score in the 4th minute.

And that was a vital point for the Rebels after Meath’s Geraldine Doherty had rifled to the net inside 60 seconds. Elaine Duffy and Katie O’Brien made the opening. O’Brien was involved again four minutes later when she combined with Shiels who set up Mary Sheridan for a second Meath goal.

Meath were ahead by 2-2 to 0-3 at the end of the first quarter but by that stage it was clear that Cork were serious contenders. Sinead Dooley was the busiest Meath defender and made a number of crucial clearances while Munnelly produced some excellent saves.

Meath failed to score again until Shiels claimed a brace of late points and Doherty closed her side’s first half account which reduced the deficit to the minimum 2-5 to 1-9. Munnelly saved a 30th minute penalty from Valerie Mulcahy who pointed the rebound, but Cork found the net 30 seconds later.

Substitute Deirdre O’Reilly finished with her touch while at the other end O’Brien’s gilt edged goal chance was saved by Elaine Harte. Meath resumed smartly and Shiels craved out goal chances for Jane Burke and O’Brien, but Harte saved well. Points from Shiels and Duffy drew the sides level (2-7 to 0-10) within 10 minutes of the resumption.

O’Brien was fouled soon after and Shiels confidently converted the resultant penalty, but that heralded a 12 minute blank on the scoreboard. During that period Cork regained the initiative with six unanswered points from play which ultimately decided the outcome. The Munster girls embellished their performance when Mulcahy found the net with virtually the last kick of the game.


E Harte, N Keohane, A Walsh, R Buckley, B Corkery (0-3), C Walsh, S O’Reilly, J Murphy, N Kelly, A Murphy (0-4), R Curtin (0-5), G O’Flynn (0-1), V Mulcahy (1-1), C Creedon (0-2), N Cleary (0-3).

Subs: D O’Reilly (1-0) for Mulcahy, B Stack for Keohane, Mulcahy for Cleary.


I Munnelly, L McKeever (0-1), E Lynch, S McCormack, S Dooley, E McGrane, C Dempsey, J Burke, G Nulty, G Doherty (1-1), E Duffy (0-3), J Shiels (1-5), M Sheridan (1-0), J Rispin, K O’Brien.

Subs: D Mangan for McGrane, E O’Carroll for Rispin, S Bennett for O’Brien.

Referee: Eugene O’Hare (Down)

Leesiders halt women’s campaign

Cork 2-19 Meath 3-10

Meath women’s All Ireland SFC campaign came to a halt a portlaoise on Saturday when they lost out to a fancied Cork side at the quarter final stage.

Having put in a spirited performance against Dublin in the Leinster decider, Meath entered the clash on a positive note and got off to the perfect start when Ger Doherty netted in the opening minute.

Mary Sheridan further improved Meath’s position with a second goal three minutes later when the Cork defence failed to clear their lines. Elaine Duffy then pointed twice to give her side a 2-2 to 0-1 lead after 12 minutes.

Cork gradually began to find their feet and scored seven points before Meath replied through Jackie Shiels. Meath keeper Irene Munnelly kept Meath in front with an excellent penalty save but Cork did net on the stroke of half time to lead at the break by the narrowest margin 1-9 to 2-5.

Shiels netted from a penalty kick near the end of the third quarter to get Meath back on trace following a foul on Katie O’Brien, but Cork always seemed to have that bit extra in attack.

With the sides level with seven minutes remaining, Jane Burke was sent to the sin bin and this had an immediate effect as Cork used their numerical advantage to pull clear with a second goal.

Despite the best efforts of Shiels, Doherty and Louise McKeever, Meath could not prevent the Munster champions from advancing to the semi finals for the first time.

The Corkman

Royal display at Portlaoise secures Cork’s first senior All Ireland semi final spot

Thursday 1 September 2005

Cork 2-19 Meath 3-10

Cork reached their first ever TG4 All Ireland senior football semi final spot after a thoroughly deserving six point win over Meath in this hugely engaging and enjoyable All Ireland quarter final in O’Moore Park, Portlaoise on Saturday last. This was the game Cork needed desperately to win, and despite giving their supporters and themselves a fright, like true champions, they held their composure and ground out a solid win in the end.

In doing so, they secured Cork’s first ever semi final spot at senior championship level and are set to face rivals Mayo on Saturday, September 10 back at the Portlaoise venue. On a day when a number of big names were subdued, others stepped up to the plate. Briege Corkery and Regina Curtain showed great leadership and spurred their colleagues on, kicking some exception al points.

Meath stunned the Munster champions with two goals on the second and fifth minutes, both coming from their first two attacks. A number of points ensued from captain Elaine Duffy and it took two points from wing back Briege Corkery to get the show rolling for the Rebels.

The half back line of Sinead O’Reilly, Ciara Walsh and Corkery did well to maintain the pressure being applied and Norita Kelly gathered the breaking ball to supply to the forward line. Regina Curtain, who slotted in at centre forward, produced three superb points and little by little, Cork chipped away at the lead. Amanda Murphy and Nollaig Cleary also contributed before the injured Valerie Mulcahy made way for Deirdre O’Reilly, who within seconds slotted home a goal, assisted by Naomh Aban’s Caoimhe Creedon. The sides were now on par but Corkery ensured it was her team who went ahead with a point before the break and Cork were in front for the first time, 1-9 to 2-5.

Meath started the better and keeper Elaine Harte was forced to pull off a remarkable save but she could do nothing about the easy frees being given away by her backline and Meath made sure they punished. Again the sides were level but a questionable penalty gave the Leinster ladies the break they needed to go ahead and with great accuracy and power, Jackie Shiels goaled.

For the second time, Cork were put to the sword but they exhibited pristine composure and again began to pluck away at their opponent’s advantage. Amanda Murphy, Nollaig Cleary and Regina Curtain all pointed following an inspirational score from their full forward Caoimhe Creedon. But Meath capitalised again on a free and with five minutes remaining, Cork led by just a solitary point.

The sin-binning of Jane Burke gave the Rebels the lifeline needed to seal the deal and Murphy and Curtain pointed before Mary O’Connor goaled from a perfectly placed pass from Corkery. Cork passed the test and the final score read 2-19 to 3-10.

It certainly wasn’t the perfect performance by any means but the Revels proved exactly why they are champions and it seems as if things are slowly but surely beginning to fall nicely into place before the All Ireland semi final against Mayo on September 10.

Meath Senior League

Preview of the Suzuki Ladies National Football League Quarter Final

Meath v Monaghan

Sunday 27 march 2005

Venue: TBA

Sunday next see Meath ladies take on their counterparts Monaghan in the Suzuki Ladies National Football League quarter final in Monaghan. Meath have qualified by winning four of their five games. Their only loss was to Dublin at the start of the campaign. One of the highlights of the league was the stunning win over Waterford. This is Meath ladies second year to reach this stage, they are hoping to go one better than last year when they were comprehensively beaten by an inform Cork side.

Meath ladies go into this game in a confident mood, but are not taking anything for granted. Monaghan will not be an easy task with the likes of captain Niamh Kindlon, Jenny Greenan and last years Al Star Christine O’Reilly in top form at the moment. Monaghan will not go down without a fight. Monaghan got off to a slow start but had a last minute win over Kerry last weekend, which saw them book their place in the quarter finals (March 13).

Meath on the other hand have the likes of Seneschalstown paid Mary Sheridan and Grainne Nulty. Sheridan being the type of player who can turn a game very quickly. Stalwarts Elaine Duffy and Jackie Shiels are another two players with years of experience and confident. Debbie Mangan has been one of the longest serving players on the county scene and still commands respect from all teams. These girls along with newcomers Ciara Dempsey and Caitriona O’Shaughnessy make Meath a force to be reckoned with.

This years captain, Elaine Duffy has seen it all before, she says Meath and Monaghan are going to go to all ends to reach the semi final, it will be a tight game and if both teams play to their full potential there shouldn’t be more than a couple of points either way. She says “we are taking one game at a time”.

Meath ladies manager John Andrews knows all about the commitment that Monaghan teams can give but says his side have 3worked long and hard since their first round defeat by Dublin. They have put in the effort and deserve to gain their place in the semi finals.

Under 14 Championship

Meath v Westmeath

Walterstown March 19 2002

Half time: Meath 0-8 Westmeath 0-0

Full time: Meath 4-11 Westmeath 1-1

Meath ran out easy winners in this Under 14 Championship clash at Walterstown on Saturday. 8 unanswered points in the first half was enough to put the game beyond Westmeath. Once again Shannon McDonagh and Aisling O’Reilly were in top form. Between them they racked up 2-7 out of the total 4-11. Meath were in confident forms after the first half and went on a goal spree early in the second half.

With the likes of Shauna Gorman, Roisin Meehan and Hayley Lawton spraying the ball around well, the forwards just had to pop the ball over. While the defence was rarely tested Sarah Curran and Aine Keogh made sure nothing got pass them when it mattered. All in all a solid performance by the Meath girls.

Meath have just one more game ot play against Wexford, but are looking good for a place in the playoffs. This is a rearranged fixture and no date has yet been set.


Sara Adams, Aileen O’Sullivan, Amy Burke, Maeve Murray, Aine Keogh, Sarah Curran, Aodhnait McAdam, Roisin Meehan, Siobhan Sheridan, Hayley Lawton (0-1), Lisa McCann (1-0), Julie Donellan (0-2), Aisling O’Reilly (1-3), Shauna Gorman (0-1), Shannon McDonagh (1-4).

Subs: Aoife Kennedy for Aileen O’Sullivan, Lisa Kelly for Hayley Lawton, Cliodhna McCarthy for Shauna Gorman, Stephanie Thompson (1-0) for Aisling O’Reilly, Alisha Jordan for Maeve Murray.

Best for Meath: Shannon McDonagh, Aisling O’Reilly, Shauna Gorman, Hayley Lawton, Sara Curran and Aine Keogh.

Drogheda Independent

Meath Ladies eyeing place in semi finals

Meath ladies will be hoping to go at least one better than last year when they travel to Monaghan to take on the home county in the Suzuki Ladies National Football League quarter final this weekend.

The Royal ladies have qualified by winning four of their five games with their only loss to date against Dublin at the start of the campaign. One of the highlights of the league was the stunning win over highly rated Waterford.

This is Meath ladies second year to reach this stage. They were comprehensively beaten by an in-form Cork side in last year’s campaign.

Meath go into this game in a confident mood, but are not taking anything for granted. Overcoming Monaghan will be no easy task, with the likes of captain Niamh Kindlon, Jenny Greenan and last year’s All Star Christine O’Reilly in top form at present.

Monaghan, who got their campaign off to a slow start registered a last minute win over Kerry to book their place in the quarter final.

Meath, on the other hand, have the likes of Seneschalstown pair Mary Sheridan and Grainne Nulty with Sheridan being the type of player who can turn a game very quickly.

Stalwarts Elaine Duffy and Jackie Shiels are another two players with years of experience at this level as has Debbie Mangan. These girls, along with newcomers Ciara Dempsey and Caitriona O’Shaughnessy make Meath a force to be reckoned with.

Meath meet Monaghan

Meath will bid for a place in the last four of the women’s National Football League when they face Monaghan in a quarter final tie next Sunday.

After losing to Dublin in the opening round, John Andrew’s charges won four games with the win over Waterford the highlight.

Last year Meath got to the quarter final state but lost to Cork. Now they will be looking to players like Elaine Duffy, Jackie Shiels, Mary Sheridan, Grainne Nulty and Debbie Mangan to help them get a stage further.

Meath 4-11 Westmeath 1-1

Meath ran out easy winners of Saturday’s Leinster Under 14 outing at Walterstown with Shannon McDonagh and Aisling O’Reilly the top scorers.

Seneschalstown 7-16 Moylagh 4-4

Aoife Sheridan and Louise McKeever led the way with 3-2 and 2-2 respectively as Seneschalstown outscored Moylagh in this women’s Division 1 FL fixture at Kilskyre after leading by 2-9 to 1-2 at half time.

Seneschalstown scorers: A Sheridan 3-2, L mcKeever 2-2, O Sheridan 1-2, A Carolan 1-1, D Dillon, P Sheridan, E O’Carroll, A Carolan 0-2 each, C Mulvaney 0-1.

Boardsmill 1-14 Simonstown 0-4

Contributing 1-4, Caroline O’Brien outscored wisitors Simonstown on her own as Boardsmill claimed the spoils in this women’s Division 1 FL encounter after leading 0-8 to 0-3 at the break.

Boardsmill: C O’Brien 1-4, E Guy, S McLoughlin, C Fagan 0-2 each, C Ashe, K O’Brien, S Holland, C Dempsey 0-1 each.

Meath’s lady footballers will travel to Clontibret, 3.00 on Easter Sunday for a showdown with Monaghan in the quarter final of the NFL Division 1. Meath have qualified by winning four out of five games, the only defeat was against Dublin with one of the highlights being a stunning win over Waterford. Coach John Andrews will be hoping to guide the girls to ultimate glory in his first year. Meath lost to Cork in the 2004 quarter final.

Meath Chronicle

Shattered dream for Meath ladies at Clontibret

Monaghan 4-14 Meath 1-9

The dream of a place in the last four of the Ladies NFL for Meath were shattered on Sunday as they were comprehensively beaten in the quarter final by a strong Monaghan outfit at Clontibret.

Having suffered just one defeat in the qualifying group, the Meath girls were confident of success, but despite a bright start they conceded ‘soft’ goals and slumped in the second half.

Monaghan are one of the super-powers of ladies football while Meath are on a rebuilding mission under the direction of coach John Andrews.

Meath started well with Elaine Duffy firing them ahead after five minutes with a good point. Meath looked strong at that stage and were composed throughout the field against the vastly more experienced hosts.

However, once Monaghan settled they attacked with such venom that Meath struggled to keep up and eventually found themselves too far adrift to make any serious impact.

Aisling Tierney led the Monaghan onslaught as she wiped out Duffy’s early score with a fine point and then she crafted a spectular goal.

Duffy closed the gap from a free but Monaghan upped the tempo and went on a scoring spree as they left the Royal ladies trailing 0-4 to 2-7 at the interval.

Meath were forced to throw everything at Monaghan in the second period, but that left holes in the defence which the Ulster girls exploited with Tierney again the thorn in the side.

Mary Sheridan and Geraldine Doherty tried to stem the tide at midfield but without the injured Grainne Nulty, Meath were always struggling.

The Meath rearguard was under pressure throughout and had it not been for the efforts of Jane Burke, Suzanne McCormack and goalkeeper Caroline Griffin the margin of defeat could have been greater.


C Griffin, L McKeever, C Dempsey, S McCormack, E McGrane, J Burke, D Mangan, M Sherdian (1-0), P Sheridan )0-1) K O’Brien (0-1), J Shiels (0-3), G Doherty (0-1), E O’Carroll (0-1), S Bennett, E Duffy (0-2).

Subs: E Lynch for McKeever, L Keenan for Dempsey, G Bennett for Mangan, K McMahon for McGrane, J Rispin (0-1) for St Bennett.

Meath suffer another quarter final defeat

For the second year in a row, Meath bowed out of the Women’s National Football League at the quarter final stage when going down to a superior Monaghan side at Clontibret on Sunday.

Without regular midfielder Grainne Nulty, the visitors actually took an early lead with an Elaine Duffy point but it didn’t take long for Monaghan to assume control.

A goal from Aisling Tierney left the hosts firmly in control and they went on to hold a commanding 2-7 to 0-4 interval advantage.

The trend of the match didn’t alter on the resumption and but for some competent defending by Jane Burke and Suzanne McCormack and a number of impressive saves by goalkeeper Caroline Griffin, the losing margin might have been worse for John Andrews charges.

A goal from Mary Sheridan in the second period proved to be of consolation value but the Seneschalstown midfielder did play well along with Ger Doherty.

Meath Under 14s

Meath Under 14s reached the Leinster semi final with a comprehensive win over Wexford on April 2nd. Meath, having lost their first two games of the campaign needed to win this final game to make sure of a semi final berth. Meath go on to meet Kildare in the semi final. These two teams have already played in the second round with Kildare coming out on top. Meath had been winning that game but ended up losing by a goal.

Manager, Dave Gormana will be looking to the ‘big guns’ to impress on the day. Players like Shannon McDonagh, Aisling O’Reilly and Shauna Gorman in the forwards. Sara Curran and Aine Keogh at the back, and capt Roisin Meehan in midfield. Kildare will be no pushover but the Meath girls are definitely out for revenge in this one.

Meath Minors

Meath travelled to Kildare on Saturday 9 April to play their Championship quarter final against Kildare. With Kildare having won the Junior All Ireland in 2004 this was going to be a tough one. Meath started slowly but in true Royal County style made the most of the second half.

Meath Ladies County Board

Under 14 Leinster Championship Final

Meath v Kildare

Played at Ratoath, Saturday 30 April 2005

Half time: Meath 1-3 Kildare 1-3

Full time: Meath 5-9 Kildare 1-5

Meath Under 14s advanced to the Leinster final with a comprehensive win over Kildare. Having lost to Kildare in the second round of the round robin competition, Meath were out for revenge. Meath opened the scoring in the first minute of the game with a super point from Shauna Gorman. She followed up minutes later with another well taken free from close range. Aisling O’Reilly followed up with another point from play. It was 13 minutes before Kildare got off the mark. They managed two points before Lisa McCann netted a goal. Towards the end of the ahlf Meath introduced Alisha Jordan for the injured Lisa Kelly. Meath had a lot of possession but were missing chances and Kildare scored another goal and a point to leave the scores just before half time.

Meath came out in the second half with renewed energy. Meath introduced subs Shannon McDonagh and Hayley Lawton to the game at the start of the second half and Meath went on a scoring spree. Meath scored three goals without reply, two from Shauna Gorman and one from Shannon McDonagh. Meath were having the game of the Championship. The Kildare forwards were getting little change from the Meath backs as time after time Aileen O’Sullivan and Amy Burke cleared the ball. It has to be said that an all round team performance was the key to winning this game. Meath now go on to play Dublin in the final on 14 May at a venue to be arranged.

Meath team and scorers:

Sarah Adams, Aileen O’Sullivan, Amy Burke, Ann Marie Copeland, Aine Keogh, Sara Curran, Aoife Kennedy, Siobhan Sheridan, Lisa Kelly, Amanda Lowe, Shauna Gorman (2-3), Julie Donnellan, Aisling O’Reilly (1-3), Shauna Devlin, Lisa McCann (1-0).

Subs: Alisha Jordan (0-1) for Lisa Kelly, Shannon McDonagh (1-1) for Shauna Devlin, Hayley Lawton (0-1) for Julie Donnellan.

Best for Meath: Shauna Gorman, Alisha Jordan, Aisling O’Reilly, Siobhan Sheridan, Aileen O’Sullivan and Amy Burke.

Under 14 Leinster Final

Meath v Dublin

Ratoath, Saturday 14 may

Half time: Meath 2-0 Dublin 2-5

Full time: Meath 3-2 Dublin 3-14

Meath got off to the perfect start in this Leinster final scoring a goal courtesy of Shauna Gorman. It took Dublin seven minutes before they registered a score and they scored 4 without reply. Meath had full forward Seana Devlin sin-binned after seven minutes and it has to be said that this was turning point in the game even at this early stage. Dublin seemed to gain momentum and had Meath on the run for a lot of the first half.

Amanda Lowe then gave Meath further hope when after the 20 minute mark she drove home a long distance goal which the Dublin keeper couldn’t hold on to. This was to be Meath’s only score for the rest of the half. Dublin managed to score a further 2-1 to send them into the break 2-5 to 2-00 ahead.

Dublin started the second half where they left off in the first and put a further 5 points on the board before Lisa McCann registered Meath’s first second half score in the 9th minute. Dublin hit back again with another 5 points. Managed just 1-1 for the rest of the game. It was a disappointing day for Meath but with major injuries to 3 of their regulars they were always going to find it tough. Siobhan Sheridan midfield, broken ankle, Lisa Kelly forward, dislocated shoulder in semi final and Andrea Coull, torn ligaments ankle. After the match Manager Dave Gorman, although disappointed said that the girls gave their all, they worked extremely hard since their first round defeat by the Dublin side. Dublin of course are reigning all Ireland champions from last year.

Meath team and scorers:

Sara Adams, Aileen O’Sullivan, Amy Burke, Ann Marie Copeland, Aine Keogh, Sarah Curran, Aoife Kennedy, Alisha Jordan, Roisin Meehan (capt), Amanda Lowe (1-0), Shauna Gorman (1-0), Julie Donnellan, Aisling O’Reilly, Seana Devlin, Lisa McCann (0-1).

Subs: Shannon McDonagh (1-0) for Seana Devlin, Hayley Lawton (0-1) for Aisling O’Reilly, Rebecca Considine for Ann Marie Copeland, Stephanie Thompson for Lisa McCann and Shauna Moore for Julie Donellan.

Other subs: Monica McGuirke, Maeve Murray, Aodhnait McAdam, Rebecca Flattery, Ciara Dowling, Rachel Garvey, Siobhan Sheridan, Lisa Kelly, Andrea Coull.

Meath Chronicle

Meath girls into Leinster underage defeat

Revenue was on the minds at Ratoath on Saturday as Meath girls advanced to the Leinster Under 14 FC decider following a sensational semi final victory over a strong Kildare outfit.

Meath were considered the underdogs as they lost to Kildare in the qualifying series but once Shauna Gorman pointed inside the opening minute a Royal victory looked likely.

Gorman sent over a free soon aftrer and Aisling O’Reilly made it 0-3 to 0-0 ahead of Kildare’s first score. The Lilywhites managed another point before Lisa McCann settled Meath with a goal.

Meath lost Lisa Kelly through injury and Kildare finished the half strongly to ensure parity, 1-3 each at the break.

After the resumption Gorman netted twice while Shannon McDonagh also beat the Kildare goalkeeper to put Meath firmly in the driving seat.

Meath will now face Dublin in the final on Saturday 14th May.

The Weekender

Meath girls into decider

It was all square at the interval, 1-3 apiece, with Lisa McCann netting for Meath but a three goal blitz at the start of the second period from Shauna Gorman (two) and Shannon McDonagh helped the hosts to surge clear.

Top scorer Alisha Jordan, Aisling O’Reilly, Siobhan Sheridan, Aileen O’Sullivan and Amy Burke who now play Dublin in the final on Saturday, May 14 at a venue to be arranged.

First ever Ladies Green Star

Lindsay scoops green star award

Donaghmore/Ashbourne player Lindsay Conway scooped the inaugural ladies ‘Green Star of the Month’ award last week.

Conway featured prominently for her club in the IFC final success over Moylagh and is looking forward to the senior grade next year.

She has played for Meath Under 16, minor and junior grades and was included in the panel for last Saturday’s All Ireland SFC quarter final against Cork.

She has won Irish, British and European Tae-kwon-do titles and last month attended a training camp in Poland in preparation for the European Cup next October.

The 2005 AIB Bank Green Stars will feature a ladies team for the first time and a number of other changes will feature also. There will be an award for the top referee in the three categories, football, hurling and ladies football.

The Green Whistle, for the top referee, will be on offer in each category and will be selected at the end of the respective championships and presented at the annual banquet next October.

Another change, which will enhance the competition for places, is the introduction of Green Star teams only.

The selection committee is:

Conall Collier, Fergal Lynch, Jimmy Geoghegan (Meath Chronicle), Paul mcCabe, Liam O’Rourke, Noel Coogan, (Weekender), Brendan Cummins, Frank Dempsey (LMFM), Jody Devine (football manager), Declan Murray (hurling manager), Christine O’Brien (ladies manager).

The following selectors have also been nominated:

Co Committee (football), Dessie Murtagh (St Ultans), Oliver Harding (Slane)

Hurling Committee – Francis Lynch (Kiltale), Kit Mitchell (Killyon).

Ladies – Geraldine Moroney, Eugene McQuaid.

Na Fianna’s Marie Healy was selected as a recent women’s football Green Star award winner. She received her jersey from Marcus Manning, AIB Navan and Ann Dungan, PRO Meath women’s football committee.

Munnelly sinks opposition

There was some compensation for the sterling efforts of Meath’s lady footballers this year when Irene Munnelly won the MBNA sponsored Kick Fada competition at Bray at the weekend.

Munnelly featured prominently for Meath in the Leinster and All Ireland SFC championships this year and recorded an impressive 45 metre kick at the Wicklow venue which earned her a first prize of €1,500 holiday voucher.

Offaly goalkeeper Padraig Kelly retained his Kick Fada title with a winning effort of 63 metres ahead of Gerry McGill (Donegal), Mattie Forde (Wexford) and Joe Sheridan (Meath).

The competition determines the champion ‘long and accurate kicker’ of Gaelic football. Competitors must kick the ball over the bar through specific competition goal posts with distances measured from the posts to where the ball was kicked.

Meath Ladies County Board Chairman, Eugene McQuaid will lead a major fund-raising cycle around the county next Saturday. The cycle will start at the Gaeil Colcille pitch, Kells at 11.00 and the chairman will be joined by a number of members of the Meath ladies team.

All cycling enthusiasts are invited to participate and the event will cover a distance of approximately 75 miles, taking in Athboy, Trim, Summerhill, Dunbloyne, Ratoath, Ashbourne, Slane and navan (Simonstown Gaels). Sponsorship cards are available from Meath Ladies County Board secretary Geraldine Moroney.

Doherty nominated for All Star award

Saturday October 22, 2005

There was good news in the post at the weekend for Meath ladies footballer Geraldine Doherty when she was nominated for a 2005 All Star award.

Doherty was a pivotal player for the Royal County as manager John Andres plotted a pather to the NFL quarter-finals, the Leinster final and All Ireland quarter finals.

The St Ultans player used her pace and skill throughout the campaign as she urged Meath to greater efforts and sensational victories, especially in the Leinster semi final against Laois at Stradbally.

Against Cork in the All Ireland quarter final, she was again a key figure as the Royal ladies pushed the eventual champions all the way. It will be surprising if Doherty failed to make the top 15 at the 19 November banquet at Dublin’s Citywest Hotel.

Green Star nominations:


Tara newman, Ann Marie Ball, Mary O’Brien, Ciara Murray, Anna Mullen (St Ultans), Marie Hegarty, Brid Guy, Patricia Guy, Edel Guy, Christine O’Brien, Eimeaar Murray (Boardsmill), Ann Marie Dennehy (Dunsany), Ciara kennedy, Aideen Fagan, Ann Marie Fagan, Marie Louise Reilly, Julie Ann Scanlon (Summershill), Celene McLarney, Eve Warwick, Grainne Harrington (Simonstown Gaels), Lisa Buggle, Aoife Thompson (Dunboyne), Yvonne Slevin, Noeleen Boggan (Na Fianna), Loretto Cunningham (Kilmainhamwood), Claire Cunningham (Moynalvey), Claire Griffin (Moylagh), Aine Mellett, Liz Lynch (Donaghmore/Ahsbourne), Sarah O’Donnell (Blackhall Gaels), Lisa Hutchinson (Bellewstown), Fiona Mahon, Orla Sheridan, (Seneschalstown).



CHAIRPERSON: Eamon Gilligan Club


SECRETARY: Richard Matthews

ASST. SECRETARY: not filled

TREASURER: Ruth Lawlor

REGISTRAR: Ruth Lawlor

P.R.O. Ruth Lawlor

Irish Language Officer: Helen Matthews

1992 A.G.M. was held on Monday December 14th 1992 in the Navan O’Mahony’s Club House.



Chairperson: Richard Matthews Rathkenny

Vice Chairperson: Jim Fitzsimons St Ultans

Secretary: Karen Nolan Kilcloon

Fixtures Secretary: Sharon Maguire St. Michaels


P.R.O./Registrar: Ruth Lawlor Dunsany/Kilmessan

Asst. Treasurers/

Gate Supervisors: Ollie Melia Moylough

Jackie Boland Dunsany/Kilmessan

Irish Language Officer: Helen Matthews Rathkenny



Chairperson: Richard Matthews

Vice Chairperson: Jim Fitzsimons

Secretary: Karen Nolan

Asst. Secretary: Patrick Boyle

Treasurer: Brendan Dardis

Asst. Treasurer: Ollie Melia

Registrar: Richard Matthews

P.R.O. Martin Mannering

Irish Language Officer: Laura Matthews



Chairperson: Richard Matthews

Vice Chairperson: Jim Fitzsimons

Secretary: Karen Nolan

Fixtures Secretaries: P.Kelly & R. O’Sullivan

Treasurer: Brendan Dardis

Asst. Treasurer: Ollie Melia

P.R.O. C. O’Brien

Irish Language Officer: Helen Matthews

Delegates to Cent. Council: Jim Fitzsimons

Karen Nolan

Richard Matthews

Martin Mannering



Chairperson: Richard Matthews

Vice Chairperson: Jim Fitzsimons

Secretary: Evelyn Kelly

Fixtures Secretary (Adult): Niall Carry

Fixtures Secretary (under Age): Ann Matthews

Treasurer: Brendan Egleston

Ass. Treasurer: Renee O’Sullivan

Registrar: Robert Bradley

P.R.O. Dearbhla O’Carroll

Irish Language Officer: Marcella Price

Development Officer: Christine O’Brien

Referee Co-ordinator: Patsy O’Sullivan

Leinster Council Delegates: Sean Connell

Ann Lister



Chairperson: Niall Carry

Vice Chairperson: Jim Fitzsimons

Deputy Vice Chairperson: John Moroney

Secretary: Geraldine Sherian

Asst. Secretary: Anne Collins

Treasurer: Brendan Egleston

Asst. Treasurer: Geraldine Moroney

Registrar: Elaine Carry

P.R.O. David Carry

Irish Language Officer: Dearbhla O’Carroll

Development Officers: Celine McLarney

Ollie Bowe

Christine O’Brien

Delegates to Congress: Niall Carry

Geraldine Sheridan

Delegates to Central Council: Ollie Bowe

John Moroney

Delegates to Leinster Coucil: Niall Carry

John Moroney

Ollie Bowe

Fixtures Committee: Niall Carry

Martin Connolly

Mick Collins

Disciplinary Committee: Jim Fitzsimons

Joe Breen

Leo Hurson

Niall Carry

Liam Kellagher


SENIOR: Christy Regan

Niall Carry

Jim Fitzsimons

UNDER 18: Pat Duffy

Christy Regan

Christine O’Brien

UNDER 16: Oliver Carolan

Celine McLarney

Geraldine Sheridan

UNDER 14: Celine McLarney

Geraldine Sheridan

UNDER 12: Ollie Bowe

David Carry

Celine Nulty



Chairperson: Geraldine Sheridan

Vice Chairperson: Ollie Melia

Deputy Vice Chairperson: Jane Mangan

Secretary: Glenn Carpenter

Asst. Secretary: Ann Collins

Treasurer: Brendan Egleston

Asst. Treasurer: Geraldine Moroney

Registrar: Philip McElvaney

Development Officer: Ollie Bowe

P.R.O. Deborah Mangan

Fixtures Secretary: Martin Connolly

Fixtures Committee: Ann Collins

Michael Collins

Disciplinary Committee: Joe Breen

Leo Hurson

John Moroney

Glenn Carpenter

Geraldine Sheridan

Referees Co-ordinator: Seamus McCormack



Chairperson: Eugene McQuaid St Ultans

V. Chairperson: Majella Hillard St Colmcilles

Deputy V. Chairperson: Jane Mangan Seneschalstown

Secretary: Geraldine Moroney Simonstown

Asst. Secretaries: Anne Collins Bellewstown

Pauline Buffini Dunboyne

Treasurer: Brendan Egleston Simonstown

Asst. Treasurer: Philip McElvaney Dunboyne

Registrar: Philip McElvaney Dunboyne

Development Officers: Leo Hurson Dunboyne

Breege Thompson Dunboyne

P.R.Os.: Emer Ferguson St. Colmcilles

Celine McLarney Simonstown

David Carry St. Michaels

Irish Language Officer: Debbie Mangan Seneschalstown

Fixtures Secretary: John Moroney Simonstown


Joe Breen Blackhall Gaels

Ann Collins Bellewstown

Michael Collins Bellewstown

Geraldine Gordon Seneschalstown

Geraldine Sheridan Seneschalstown

Tom Sullivan Dunboyne


Joe Breen Blackhall Gaels

Barry Brennan Dunboyne

John Moroney Simonstown

Ade Kealy Royal Gaels

Celine McLarney Simonstown


Joe Moroney Jane Mangan Hugh McMahon

Paddy Brady Bernie Brennan Geraldine Sheridan


Paul Boland John Moroney Eugene McQuaid

Paddy Brady John McKeever


Eugene McQuaid Geraldine Moroney/Ann Collins



Chairperson: Eugene McQuaid St Ultans

V. Chairperson: Majella Hillard St. Colmcilles

Deputy V. Chairperson: Jane Mangan Seneschalstown

Secretary: Geraldine Moroney Simonstown

Asst. Secretary Ann Collins Bellewstown

Treasurer: Paddy Brady Walterstown

Asst. Treasurers: Hugh McMahon Walterstown

Philip McElvaney Dunboyne

Registrar: Philip McElvaney Dunboyne

Development Officer: Hugh McMahon Walterstown

P.R.O.: Pat Duffy St. Ultans

Irish Language Officer: Majella Hillard St. Colmcilles

Fixtures Secretary: Position not filled


Joe Breen Blackhall Gaels

Ann Collins Bellewstown

Michael Collins Bellewstown

Celine McLarney Simonstown

John Moroney Simonstown

Marie Doyle Boardsmill

Martina Brady Moylough

Hugh McMahon Walterstown


Joe Breen Blackhall Gaels

Barry Brennan Dunboyne

Majella Hillard St. Colmcilles

John Moroney Simonstown

Ade Kealy Royal Gaels

Celline McLarney Simonstown

Michael Collins Bellewstown

Johnnie McKeever Wolfe Tones


Paddy Brady

Eimear Ferguson

Jane Mangan

Sara Shiels

Majella Hillard

Eugene McQuaid

Teresa Mangan


Paddy Brady Geraldine Sheridan Leo Hurson

Johnnie McKeever Barry Brennan Marie Doyle


Eugene McQuaid Paddy Brady

John McKeever John Moroney


SENIOR: Martin Connolly

Pat Duffy

MINOR: Geraldine Sheridan

Damien Sheridan

Michael Collins

Ann Collins

Sara Shiels

Marie Doyle

UNDER 16: Leo Hurson

UNDER 12 & 14 Paddy Brady

David Carry



Chairperson: Eugene McQuaid St Ultans

Vice Chairperson: Majella Hillard St. Colmcilles

Deputy Vice Chairperson: Jane Mangan Seneschalstown

Secretary: Geraldine Moroney Simonstown

Asst. Secretary: Ann Collins

Injury Secretary: Ann Collins Bellewstown

Treasurer: Paddy Brady Walterstown

Asst. Treasurer: Patricia Ryan Kilbride

Registrar: Emma O’Reilly Clan Na Gael

P.R.O.: Geraldine Sheridan Seneschalstown

Development Officer: Hugh McMahon Walterstown

Fixtures Secretary: Barry Brennan Dunboyne

Irish Language Officer: Majella Hillard St. Colmcilles

History Co-ordinator: Anne Dungan Simonstown


Barry Brennan Dunboyne

Joe Breen Blackhall Gaels

Ann Collins Bellewstown

Tom O’Shaughnessy Donaghmore/Ashbourne

John Moroney Simonstown

Celine McLarney Simonstown

Marie Doyle Boardsmill

Martina Brady Moylagh

Leo Hurson Dunboyne

Mickey Collins Bellewstown


Joe Breen Blackhall Gaels

Barry Brennan Dunboyne

Majella Hillard St. Colmcilles

John Moroney Simonstown

Celine McLarney Simonstown

Ead Kealy Royal Gaels

Mickey Collins Bellewstown

Johnnie McKeever Wolfe Tones

David Dempsey Boardsmill

Tom O’Shaughnessy Donaghmore/Ashbourne

Sara Shiels Simonstown


Paddy Brady Majella Hillard

Jane Mangan Eugene McQuaid

Sara Shiels Ann Power


Paddy Brady Geraldine Sheridan

Leo Hurson Marie Doyle


Eugene McQuaid Paddy Brady

Sara Shiels Geraldine Sheridan

Marie Doyle


SENIOR: Martin Connolly Dunboyne

Ollie Carolan Seneschalstown

Jane Mangan Seneschalstown

MINOR: Geraldine Sheridan Seneschalstown

Marie Doyle Boardsmill

Damien Sheridan Seneschalstown

UNDER 16: Leo Hurson Dunboyne

Barry Brennan Dunboyne

Breege Thompson Dunboyne

UNDER 14: Hugh McMahon Walterstown

Norman Donnellan Walterstown

Kevin Dowling Moynalvey

Anne Dungan Simonstown

UNDER 12: Ollie Bowe

Celine Nulty

David Carry

Meath Club Roll of Honour 1991 – 2004

Please note winners are highlighted



Dunsany v Meath Hill Junior Championship

Moylough v Dunsany Division 2 League


Ratoath Ladies formed

St Michaels v Dunsany Senior Championship

St Michaels v Dunsany Division 1 League


Simonstown Ladies formed

Dunsany v St Ultans Senior Championship

Ratoath v Dunsany Division 3 League ??


Royal Gaels (Dunshaughlin) formed

Dunsany v St Ultans Division 1 League

Ratoath v Moylagh Division 2 League


Dunboyne Ladies formed

Dunsany v St Michaels Senior Championship

Ratoath v Summerhill Junior A Championship

Dunsany v St Michaels Division 1 League

Dunsany v ?? Division 2 League

Navan O’Mahonys v Syddan Division 3 League

Rathoath reached the semi final of the Leinster Club Championship but were beaten


Dunsany v St Michaels Senior Championship

Dunsany v Summerhill Division 1 League


Donaghmore/Ashbourne formed

Summerhill v Dunsany Senior Championship

Simonstown v Bellewstown Junior B Championship

Simonstown v Bellewstown Division 3 League

St Ultans v Simonstown U12 Championship (after replay)

Simonstown v Under 12 Blitz

Simonstown v Navan O’Mahonys U13 County Feile Champions

Simonstown v St Ultans U16 Championship


Ratoath Ladies disbanded

Dunsany v Seneschalstown Senior Championship (aet)

St Ultans v Simonstown Intermediate Championship

Bellewstown v Simonstown Division 2 League

Bellewstown v Simonstown U21 Championship

St Ultans v Simonstown U18 Championship

Seneschalstown v Simonstown U16 Championship

Simonstown v Seneschalstown U14 Championship

Simonstown v Dunboyne U14 Feile Reps. Clare


Blackhall Gaels v Donaghmore/Ashbourne Junior B Championship

Boardsmill v Don/Ash Division 3 League

Seneschalstown v Simonstown U18 Championship

Simonstown v St Ultans U16 Championship

Don/Ash v Dunboyne U12 Championship

Navan O’Mahonys v Simonstown U12 Blitz

Dunboyne v Navan O’Mahonys Feile

Kenmare Shamrocks v Simonstown Inter-County 7 a side


Ratoath Ladies re-formed

Simonstown v Moylough Intermediate Championship

Simonstown v Garrycastle Leinster Club Championship q/f

Boardsmill v Royal Gaels Junior B Championship

Blackhall Gaels v Rathkenny Junior A Championship

Blackhall Gaels v Stabbanon (Louth) Leinster Junior Club Championship q/f

Grange (Kildare) v Blackhall Gaels Leinster Junior Club Championship q/f

Navan O’Mahonys v Royal Gaels Division 3 League

Don/Ash v Simonstown U12 A Championship

Navan O’Mahonys v Walterstown U12 B Championship

Don/Ash v Dunboyne U13 County Feile Champions

Don/Ash v Moynalvey U14 County Sheild Champions

Simonstown v U16 Championship ???

Boardsmill v Moylough U18 Championship

St Ultans v Boardsmill U21 Championship


Moylough v Blackhall Gaels Intermediate Championship

Boardsmill v Na Fianna Junior A Championship

Royal Gaels v Junior B Championship

Royal Gaels v Boardsmill Division 2 League

Blackhall Gaels v Moynalty Division 3 League

Dunboyne v Rathoath U10 Championship

Dunboyne v U12 A Championship

Dunboyne v Don/Ash U14 A Championship

Dunboyne v Under 16 A Championship

Moynalvey v Simonstown U16 B Championship

Don/Ash v Seneschalstown U13 County Feile Champions

Broadford/Dromcollogher v Don/Ash All Ireland Feile Runner Up


Seneschalstown v St Ultans Senior Championship

Blackhall Gaels v Boardsmill Intermediate Championship

Na Fianna (Dublin) v Blackhall Gaels Leinster Inter Club Championship q/f

Don/Ash v Moynalty Junior B Championship

Seneschalstown v Boardsmill Division 1 League

Dunboyne v Division 2 League

Dunboyne v Division 3 League

Don/Ash v Navan O’Mahonys U10 Championship

Ratoath v Dunboyne U12 A Championship

Walterstown v Simonstoown U12 B Championship (replay)

Don/Ash v Dunboyne U14 A Championship

Ratoath v Dunsany U14 B Championship

Dunboyne v Don/Ash U13 County Feile Reps.

Dunboyne v Don/Ash U16 A Championship

Royal Gaels v Boardsmill U16 B Championship

Dunboyne v Boardsmill U18 Championship


St Ultans v Blackhall Gaels Senior Championship

Boardsmill v Skryne Intermediate Championship

Na Fianna v Royal Gaels Junior A Championship

O’Mahonys v Moynalvey Junior B Championship

Walterstown v Kilmainhamwood Junior C Championship

Seneschalstown v St Ultans Division 1 League

Royal Gaels v Don/Ash Division 2 League

Wolfe Tones v Dunsany Division 3 League

Ratoath v Don/Ash U10 Championship

Don/Ash v Ratoath U12 A Championship

Royal Gaels v Moynalvey U12 B Final

Dunboyne v Seneschalstown U14 A Championship

Blackhall Gaels v Simonstown U14 B Championship

Boardsmill v Moynalvey U14 Shield

Royal Gaels v U15 Blitz

Don/Ash v Dunboyne U16 A Championship

Dunboyne v Wolfe Tones U18 Championship

Seneschalstown v Dunboyne U21 Championship

Dunboyne Meath Feile Reps Tyrone

Royal Gaels v Donboyne U15 Blitz

Ratoath v Navan O’Mahonys U13 Feile Blitz

Meath Club Results 2005

Senior Championship

Seneschalstown 2-9 St Ultans 0-11

Intermediate Championship

Donaghmore/Ashbourne 3-13 Moylagh 3-10

Junior A Championship

Walterstown 4-13 Wolfe Tones 1-7

Junior B Championship

Kilmainhamwood 3-10 Ratoath 3-5

Under 16 ‘B’ Championship

Gael Colmcille 5-9 Na Fianna 3-3

Under 14 A Championship

Ratoath 6-20 Don/Ashbourne 1-5

Under 14 B Championship

Walterstown 5-6 Clan na Gael 0-6

Under 14 C Championship

Oldcastle 1-5 Moylagh 0-4

Under 13 Feile

Oldcastle 5-8 Dunboyne 2-5

Under 12 A Championship

Navan O’Mahonys 6-2 Don/Ashbourne 1-6

Under 12 B Championshp

Clan na Gael 3-2 Na Fianna 2-3

Under 12 C Championship

Oldcastle 7-6 Duleek 1-2

Under 10 Championship

Don/Ashbourne 1-5 Dunboyne 1-3

Feis Cup

Dunsany 2-10 St Ultans 0-6

Feis Shield

Don/Ashbourne 3-14 Moylagh 4-6

Division 1 League

Dunboyne 4-11 St Ultans 2-13 aet

Division 2 League

Dunsany 1-6 Blackhall Gaels 1-5

Division 3 League

Kilmainwood 4-7 Moynalvey 3-6

Division 4 League

Gael Colmcille 3-16 Ratoath 5-10 draw

Replay result

Gael Colmcille 2-8 Ratoath 2-5


1970 – Bellewstown are champs.

Mell Parish committee staged a most successful ladies football tournament at Collon. Best players; B Flynn, K Reilly, P Collier and O Coyne.

1978 – Meath Ladies Champions.

The standard of football played by the ladies has been exceptionally high down through the years. Players like O Coyne, V Lenehan, K Reilly and P Flynn later went on to represent Bellewstown at county level.

The influence of one of the founder members of the club, Pat Brannigan, continues to this day. His daughter, Anne Collins, is secretary and main stay of the club. Her husband Michael is trainer and their daughter, Lorna, is a player. Bridie Brannigan, former player on the 1978 winning side, still plays a major part in the running of Bellewstown club and also had five daughters on the panel of the team, which were defeated by Simonstown in 1998. It is people like these who pass on their love and passion of the game to the next generation. The present young women will be mothers of tomorrow, and hopefully they too, will pass on this love to both their sons and daughters. As Pat Brannigan said in conversation, “It wasn’t the done thing back then for women to play football, but they insisted. It was great fun.” The team played anywhere and everywhere there was a field made available. They had mobile goalposts, which appeared and disappeared, who knows how, recalls Patricia Power (nee Flynn).


At the request of a group of girls who had played football with Bellewstown National School, under the expert coaching of Frank Reidy N.T. and Fiona Kelleher N.T. it was decided to hold a meeting in the old school with the view to forming a girl’s football team in Bellewstown. This meeting was held on Tuesday 12th March 1996. There was a good attendance at the meeting. John Kirwan and John Ludlow helped the ladies with the view of forming a committee.

The following committed was elected:

Chairperson Anne Collins

Secretary Bridie Brannigan

Joint Treasurers Dianne Brannigan

Committee Bridie Duffy, Maeve Howard, Cathriona Brannigan, Angela Cudden, Patricia Power.

It was decided at the first meeting of the new committee to hold a door-to-door collection to raise funds to get the club up and running. Thanks to generosity of the people of the Bellewstown area this collection raised the sum of £748. Bellewstown girls who have represented their county include at senior level are: Emer McAuley and Cathriona Cunningham. Cathriona is a daughter of Bertie Cunningham, center-half back on the Meath 1967 All-Ireland winning team.

Girls who have played minor, U16 and U14 include Deirdre and Naimh Brannigan, (daughters of Tommy Brannigan who was on the Meath panel in 1970), Fiona and Michelle Kearns (Daughters of Terry Kearns – scorer of 1-01 in the 1967 final), Grainne Farrell, Vivienne Reilly, Lorna Collins and Orla White.

In 1996 the club had no success on the playing field. Fielding teams in the Jnr B, Minor and U14 in 1997, the club won the Skryne Tournament and was beaten in the Semi-Final of the U16 championship. In 1998, the team got to the final of both the championship and league when Simonstown beat us on both occasions.




(2) (3) (4)


(5) (6) (7)


(8) (9)


(10) (11) (12)


(13) (14) (15)



(16) A. MULLEN

(17) R. REILLY

(18) O. COYNE


(20) B. LYNCH



Mell Parish Committee staged a most successful ladies’ football tournament at Collon on Sunday, when teams from Garristown, Bellewstown, Grangegeeth and Rathkenny took part. The first semi-final between the North Co. Dublin side and Rathkenny, produced fine fare but the latter had to give best when Garristown really got into their stride in the second period. The second semi-final saw Grange face hot favourites for the tournament in Bellewstown and if they had played as well in the first half as they did in the second, they could have caused a surprise. Bellewstown led by 5-1 to nil at the interval but could only increase their total by a single goal in the second period. All was now set for the final and with Bellewstown unbeaten this season, Garristown were all out to lower their colours. It looked as if Garristown would take the third attempt this season, to topple the favourites when they trailed 0-0 to 0-2 at the interval after facing a stiff breeze, but Bellewstown pulled out all the stops in the second period and although they failed to score, they hammered Garristown in their own half for most of the time, to eventually run out winners by 0-2 to 0-0.


The standard was exceptionally high in this game and players like B. Flynn, K. Reilly, P. Collier, C. White, A. Sarsfield, J. Branigan and O. Coyne (Bellewstown); and M. Fitzpatrick, A. Sheridan, A. Rogers, V. Tormey, C. Lynch, C. Tormey and G. Moore (Garristown); showed they have little to learn about Gaelic football. Anne Sarsfield, in particular, went on a few solo runs that would put the well-known ‘D.J’ to shame.

A feature of the final was the duel between midfielders Ann Rogers (Garristown) and Jean Brannigan, the Bellewstown captain – the Garristown girl was brilliant in the first half, but Jean played her out of it in the second period. In a special medal final, Aardcoth beat the local side by 2-3 to 2-0. M. Geraghty, G. Moore, O, Byrne and A. Gogan shone for the winners, while S. Cole, M. Coleman, D. Sexton and B. King were best for Collon.


At the conclusion of the tournament, all teams, were guests of the committee to tea in Derrabeg Hall, Collon, where Rev. Fr. Breslin C.C, chairman of the committee, thanked Rev. Fr. McDonnell, P.P, Collon, for the use of the hall and placing catering facilities at their disposal. The Linesmen provided the music for a most enjoyable dance which followed when all those who took part in the tournament received medals. Fr. Breslin presented the “Drogheda Independent” cup to the Bellewstown captain, Miss Jean Branigan, and congratulated all the girls who played during the day despite the wintry conditions.

BOARDSMILL 1996-1999

Christine O’Brien who is a member of the Meath Senior team, which won the Jnr All-Ireland final in 1994, formed Boardsmill ladies football club in 1996. Christine, who plays her club football presently with Dunsany but lives in Boardsmill, created such an interest within the area following that victory, it was essential to form a juvenile club for the girls. The Boardsmill GAA club was very supportive of the formation of the ladies club and they were very gracious in their help and co-operation.

We have taken many steps forward in the last four years with a mere 18 players being registered in 1996, for an U14 team, compared to the 48 players we have this season for the various teams from U12 to minor. We hope that within the next 2 years to field a jnr team, which will hopefully progress to the highest level and standards, considering the great work and effort the club and girls have put into the game. A number of players from the Ballivor and Trim parishes have joined with us due to no ladies team being organized in these areas yet. That only accounts for a small part of our club however, as the majority of the contingent hails from the “little” parish of Boardsmill itself – thus proving the enthusiasm that has been developed within the club over a short number of years.

As a club, we have not won any honours to date and have not reached the knockout stages of any competition – but the future certainly looks bright. After four years of consistent training and concentration on the basic skills of the game, we can see immense improvement within the girls individually and with their team play. Also a number of girls have progressed onto the different county panels this year.

The enthusiasm and attitude of all the girls in itself is a winner and we are confident that sooner rather than later a championship victory will be celebrated in the club.

Inter county players between the years 1996-1999, at different levels include, Edel, Aoife, Brid and Michelle Guy, Mary Doran, Laura Darby, Sinead Burke, Caroline O’Brien, Ciara Dempsey, Ciara Murphy, Michelle Doyle and Siobhan Hannon. In 1996 Edel and Aoife Guy won All-Ireland U14 medals, 1997 Aoife Guy and Mary Doran both won Leinster r/up U16, 1198 Edel Guy won Leinster U16 and Brid Guy won Leinster and All-Ireland r/up U14 medals. Michelle Guy, Laura Darby and Sinead Burke won the All-Ireland blitz U12.

At a presentation night held in January 1999, all players who represented the county on various teams were presented with a piece of Killarney Crystal for their achievements. The main award of the evening went to Aoife Guy who deservedly won ‘Player of the Year.’ A plea went out on the night for parents to volunteer to be part of the club committee, which has never been properly formed.


Baconstown Ladies Football was formed in February 1996. We entered into the Junior B championship and also Division 3 League competitions in our first year and as they say the rest is history! The person responsible for the girls in the first year was, Dermot Fagan and he had his hands full, as at first the majority of the girls had not a clue about playing the game. However due to both the dedication and experience Dermot and the team spirit of the girls they turned out to improve from their first session as the months of training progressed.


The year started for us in February 1996, when training officially started for the tough year ahead. The panel was of 25 girls whom were all full of motivation and dedication which were two factors never lacking in the girls. In the first year Baconstown Ladies surprised all to make it to the Division 3 league final against Dunsany but unfortunately were defeated by a stronger team on the day. They also reached the semi final of the Junior B championship in June 96 but once again suffered defeat when Kilbride knocked them out. So this was the first year out for the girls, even though they failed to win a cup this was still a remarkable achievement for a team who five months earlier could not kick a ball.


Once again the Baconstown Ladies were under the guidance of Dermot Fagan their previous year’s trainer, who played a very important part in their success throughout the year ahead leading them to victory. The girls were now in Division 2 of the league after reaching the Division 3 final in the previous year. They progressed to reach the final of the division 2 league, however the league was not to be as Drumbarragh the opposing team were victorious on the day. However this did not discourage the team, if anything it made them fight harder for the championship. Then all the hard training finally paid off for the girls as in August 97 Baconstown Ladies captured the Junior B title when they defeated Rathkenny.

At last they knew how it felt to win a Final!


Baconstown Ladies started the Football year of 98 with a new trainer Eilish Devine a once former Longford county player herself. Eilish put the girls through their paces throughout the months that she was with them. However the team were unlucky when Eilish due to family commitments could not continue as a trainer. However the girls were in good hands as Seani Kirby the assistant trainer at the team was called upon to take the whip under his control for the remainder of the year. Unfortunately the year of 98 was not to be a repeat of the previous year.



1998 saw the first of the juvenile girls teams make their appearance. The training had commenced in February with the Community Games in mind. The panel consisted of 25-30 girls ranging in ages from 6yrs to 11yrs. Training began on Saturday mornings from 10am to 11am and as the evenings got longer a training session was held on Tuesdays from 7pm – 8pm. Some of the older girls also trained with the under 12 boys. All in all the girls trained hard, and deserved to do much better. Their games began in May with a Community Games match against Dunshaughlin, which Baconstown won. Their second match against Donaghmore/Ashbourne however ended with defeat and also saw their exit from the Community Games. Somewhat disheartened yet determined they began to train even harder for the championship.

Once again they met with Donaghmore/Ashbourne at home and again were defeated. The second game was played also at home to Simonstown and again produced another defeat for Baconstown. Dunshaughlin proved to be a major boost to the girls as they won well. With their hearts and spirits raised somewhat, they were given the points by Drumbaragh, who could not field a team. Next on our home ground, the Baconstown girls met with Navan O’Mahoneys. The maroon and white of Baconstown had to endure yet another defeat at the hands and feet of the Navan girls. With two games left – the task was insurmountable. We travelled to Skryne. This game turned out to be a great disappointment. Baconstown had the match won but some decisions made by Skryne officials were questionable. Our last game against Boardsmill was won very well by Baconstown. There were seven games in the championship. In late 1998, I was fortunate to be able to buy a set of jerseys for the teams. It was through some business people in Dublin that this came about. They donated money to me to but the jerseys and without their help – it would not have been possible to do this.

Finally, most people might be aware of the on going fund raising to develop our football pitch. Last October – the under 12 girls came together and decided that they would like to play their part in helping to raise money for the club. They ran a cake sale outside the two churches on a cold Sunday morning with the supervision of their trainers and some parents. The cake sale raised £225.

We won seven games in the championship. We won 3 which included the points from Drumbaragh and we lost 4. The girls did exceptionally well for their first year.

They have shown such dedication, commitment to the game and such respect and loyalty to their trainers that it would leave a lot of their male counterparts in the shade.5 of the under 12’s made it to the panel of the county team. At least ¾ more would have also made the grade but for holidays and missing the trials. It has been a great achievement for them and I know that they will go from strength to strength. From losing quite a few of the stronger under 12’s, an under 14’s girls team has emerged. We have also retrieved some of the girls who are under 14 but who play for the senior girls team. There has never been an under 14’s girls team in the club prior to this. It will take some time, and great effort to build a team up but with the dedication and commitment that is there – this should not be such a difficult task.

Sarah O’Reilly captain presented Peter Coleman with the cheque for the money raised through the cake sale. The girls made a lot of effort, and they are to be congratulated one and all. Sport is to be enjoyed not endured. We do our best, we compete, we train, some games we win, some games we lose, but whatever the outcome we will continue to participate.


Baconstown Ladies started their training in January 1999 in their new temporary pitch as pitch developments are currently taking place on Baconstown GAA’s grounds. Seani continues to hold the reigns tightly for this year and has girls out training for the year ahead. The team hopes the following year will be a victorious one for all in the club. Our first trainer Dermot was well rewarded this time and expertise which he gave to the Baconstown Ladies as he got from the corner forwards Debbie to whom he is due to marry next year and to think it was the Ladies Football that brought them together.


The Baconstown Ladies Football team is kindly sponsored by local publicans Jimmy and Pauline Boggan, who kindly stepped in to sponsor the jerseys from the start.


Blackhall Gaels Ladies football club was formed in 1995 following the amalgamation of Kilcloon and Batterstown. In our first year we entered a team in the junior league and championship and had approximately 20 players. Today we have approximately 70 players and have entered four teams – under 12, under 14, under 18 and Junior B.

The existing club officers are:

Chairperson – Una Burke

Assistant Chairperson – Joe Breen

Secretary – Angela Fahy

Assistant Secretary – Alice McNulty

Treasurer – Patsy Burke

PRO – Caroline Maye

The club trains on a Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday under the capable hands of John Maye, Joe Breen, Pasty Burke, Jane Keane, Una Burke, Angela Fahy and John Fahy. Both Kilcloon and Batterstown pitches are used for training sessions and matches. Excellent co-operation and support is always there between the men’s team and ladies team.

Blackhall Ladies do not just train as a team they also fund-raise as a team, with every player doing their best to raise money. Having only lost 2 matches in the Junior B league in 1998, Blackhall Gaels Ladies club is in a very healthy position and we can only build on this for the future.


Meath hill Ladies G.F.C. was established in the early 80’s and a team was formed under the guidance of Joe Myles and Joe Carolan, both since deceased R.I.P. The club was unable to field a team for a few years. In 1990 Joe Carolan along with an inspirational coach in Paudge Boyle got the ladies of Meath Hill back on the playing field. In the team’s first season they failed to register a single victory. In 1992, Meath Hill contested the Jnr Championship final against Dunsany and was narrowly beaten as the attached match report from the Meath Yearbook outlines. In 1993, they defeated Castletown in the Meath Jnr championship final also outlined in the attached match report. Paudge Boyle coached the team to this championship success along with selectors Derek Nulty and Paul Callaghan.



Dunsany edged out Meath Hill Ladies in a thrilling final at Castletown on a murky Sunday in November – the winning goal coming in the 5th minute of injury time after Meath Hill had taken the lead with only minutes left on the clock. A big crowd enjoyed a heart warming match and the pity was that there had to be a loser in one of the best finals of recent years. Dunsany took a lead of 0-7 to 0-2 after 20 minutes, but goals from Breda McDowell and Terri Kieran and a point from Anne Marie Maher left Meath Hill ahead 2-3 to 0-7 at half time.

An early goal from Anne Marie Maher put Meath Hill 5 points in front but 2 goals for Dunsany – one from a very controversial penalty decision put the Hill one point behind. Thereafter we scored 2-1 each, the Meath Hill goals from Breda McDowell and Celine Nulty left the final score, Dunsany 4-8, Meath Hill 5-4. All in all a very disappointing result for the Meath Hill Ladies, but an encouraging one at the same time. They deserve great credit for their dedication to training, and their absolute determination to give off their very best on the field. Coach Paudge Boyle and team manager Joe Carolan also deserve the highest praise for a great achievement in reaching the final.

Team: Joanne Carolan, Kelly Anne Carolan, Audrey Kieran, Brid Callaghan, Monica Clark, Celine Nulty (1-0), Catherine Goggins, Terri Kieran, Briege Brennan, Anne Marie Maher (1-3), Breda McDowell, Niamh Sullivan, Caroline Maher, Pauline Fay (2-1), Mary Clarke.

Subs: Carmel McCluskey for Pauline Fay, Rosemary Byrne for Niamh Sullivan.



Terry Kearns will of course go down in the annals of Meath G.A.A. History as the scorer of the goal that beat Cork in the 1967 All-Ireland Senior football final. Terri Kearins will go down in the record books of Meath Hill GFC as the influential midfielder and captain of the ladies team from the club that capture the 1993 Junior Championship crown.

Kearins doesn’t even remember as she wasn’t even born in 1967, but she has quiet a clear recollection of Meath Hill’s successful campaign of ’93. Although she does occasionally retreat to her scrapbook to see exactly which victory came when. Still allowances can be made as when you are studying for a leaving cert, football can often take second place. Describing the year just gone by a “a nice easy one” Terri has the decency to laugh when she says that.

It was anything but nice and easy in a football sense. Indeed Meath Hill’s first encounter with the big time ended in disappointment. “We reached the League final and Summerhill beat us by a point. We were short our goalie and a couple of other players, but still we managed to hold on to the lead until four minutes from time. Then Kerry county player Eileen Dardis banged in a goal and that was that.”

In fact so upset were the Meath Hill women over the setback that Kearins freely admits that it was later to prove a major disappointment that another team knocked Summerhill out of their Championship before Meath Hill got their revenge. The Championship trail began in Moylagh, never the easiest of trips for any team, but the Monaghan border side won by 14 points, a quite astonishing margin. “It was a fairly rough encounter but when we won so decisively I felt we might have the makings of a good season,” says Kearins. Ratoath, Syddan, “a very close match”, and Castletown by the huge margin of 20 points, all fell by the wayside as the Hill progressed to the final. It was at this stage that they expected, with some justification to cross swords with Summerhill again, but it wasn’t to be.

In what Terri describes as “an unmerciful shock”, Castletown defeated Summerhill at the semi-final stage and it was against the ladies from that club that Meath Hill were to play their final. “I was worried going into that game, really worried. After all, we’d absolutely hammered them in the early rounds so I was afraid that we would be over confident and that Castletown would really fired up to have a right go at us.” Well if the first worry didn’t materialise then Terri’s second fear was certainly justified. The wearers of the green and gold got stuck in from the off and had the audacity to take the lead on a couple of occasions before Meath Hill got their act together and won by nine points.

A lot of the honours must go to Patrick Boyle and Denis Nulty, the team mentors according to Terri, a former INTO skills award winner, who had quite a hectic gaelic season indeed in ’93. “I was captain of the Meath ladies Minor team. We lost to Wexford and I was full back on the Junior side.”

The team, coached by Eileen Dardis’ husband Brendan, made quite and impact on the county scene reaching the All-Ireland semi-final before bowing out to Donegal. “I was training three of four nights a week between club and county”, says Terri who admitted she preferred county training spins for one very worthwhile reason. “The club training was harder than county level. Brendan used make us play an awful lot of football and he concentrated more on developing skills than fitness which is the way I like training to be geared.” The Meath team contained some well-known names to Royal County gaels, Janet Quinn, one of the famous Kilbride family, Aimee Bennett from Bohermeen and the person Terri admits she came to rely on quite a lot. “Helen Matthews of Rathkenny was the goalie and she baled me out a few times.

I was always fairly confident that anything going past me would be stopped. Mind you, she’d let you know if you made an error”, laughs Terri.

One game that stands out from the rest was a performance against Carlow in Newbridge, a match Meath won readily. “When I came off the pitch that day a lot of people told me I’d played well. The funny thing was that during the game I could actually sense I was doing okay, the ball just seemed to run kindly for me. Sometimes you just have one of those days.”

And bear in mind that apart from the training there was some serious discipline involved for the girls on the county side, a fact that Brendan Daris made patently clear from day one. “He laid done the law to us in terms of commitment and discipline, there were to be no late nights or discos the night before a match. It wasn’t easy for us younger ones to adhere to that, but be sure we more than made up for it after the games”!

The rules in Meath ladies football now allow Meath Hill the option of staying back in the Junior ranks, or opting to compete at Senior level. Terri has a couple of pros and cons on both sides of that argument. “I’d love to stay Junior just to get another bash at Summerhill. It really does run that deeply with us over that defeat, also it is definitely an easier grade. If we do step up, and I think we will, then there will be a lot more hard work to be done if we are to make an impact at that level”. Well whatever else they may have been short of in Meath Hill over the years, hard workers they always had plenty of. At Juvenile level some girls, Janet Quinn an Aimee Bennett immediately spring to mind, have competed successfully alongside boys. Terri doesn’t see too many reasons why that should change in the future. ‘At underage it is all right. We have some players on the Meath team who would have as much skill as many male club players. Obviously we cannot compete in physical strength, but I think if more lads came to watch us they’d be surprised at the ability of the players”.

Terri herself started off playing at home with brother Barry and sister Audrey. “She’s involved with the Meath hill side as well, don’t forget to mention her,” and has made the breakthrough to the county scene in relatively short time. “The Meath Hill ladies team only began about three years ago. This was our first Championship win. We lost to Dunsany in last year’s final which was a real sickener, though mind you, they have held their own in Senior ranks so maybe it mightn’t be as hard as I imagined it to be”. It may seem a little absurd to ask a 17-year-old girl if she has any ambitions, but Terri fields the question well, although the answer is entirely predictable. “I hope we stay up Senior, an that when Summerhill come up that we are the first team to play them at that level. There’s still a debt to be repaid.”


The highlights of the year in Meath Hill was the success of the ladies football team in winning the Junior Championship for the first time. The mens Intermediate football team had the misfortune to be drawn to play in the toughest Division in the Championship with Carnaross, Kilmainhamwood and St. Patricks not to mention the much-improved Athboy. The outcome was predictable but the performances, particularly against Kilmainhamwood, were very disappointing.

Three wins and three draws in Division 3 of the All-County League A League ensured survival by the minimum but the B team by contrast put up some good displays and gave a good account of themselves.

Underage football provided a mixed bag with the Minor combination Dee Rangers being particularly disappointing. The parish Under 14 and Under 12 teams reached their League finals where they were well beaten by superior forces. But Under 16 League level success was achieved with the Drumconrath – Meath Hill lads beating Moynalvey in the final. The club tournament started in August and ended on November 26th when St. Michaels beat Syddan in the final.

The Seamus Boyle Memorial Tournament honoured the memory of a great clubman, whose family has had, and continues to have, a close association with the club, both on and off the pitch. Fergus Muldoon, Drumconrath, presented the cup to Meath Hill G.F.C. and the trophies were sponsored by Roadstone Provinces Ltd. The club committee would like to thank all our sponsors and supporters for their help this year. The playing pitch and community centre provide excellent facilities for the community at large and we look to our young players, especially David Crosby and Co. to provide an extra degree of inspiration next year. David is to be congratulated on winning a Leinster championship medal with the Meath Minors and on being a member of the panel on All-Ireland Day itself.


Losers in last year’s Junior Championship final to a killer goal in injury time from Dunsany, Meath Hill Ladies Football team set out to gone one better in 1993. The omens were good when they reached the League final in September but victory was snatched from their graps when Summerhill came from behind to score a winning goal in the last 2 minutes of the game. Undaunted, the team trained even harder for the Championship and qualified for another final by beating Rathkenny with some style in the semi-final played in Syddan. Castletown edged out Summerhill in the other semi-final by the minimum margin and the score was set for the final Rathkenny on Sunday, 19th of November.

A 3rd minute goal from Terri Kieran settled the early nerves and this was followed by another goal from a free in the 14th minute scored by Celine Nulty. Castletown enjoyed their share of possession but could not avail of some good scoring chances due to some good defensive work by Audrey Kieran, Monica Clarke and Fiona Crosby. Ann Marie Maher, Breda McDowell and Celine Nulty pointed for Meath Hill to leave the half-time score Meath Hill 2-3, Castletown 0-0.

Castletown started well in the 2nd half and had an early point. Further intense pressure yielded nothing thanks to the safe goalkeeping of Trish Boyle, the blocking of Brid Callaghan and the work rate of half backs Vereina and Milita Walsh. Pauline Fay and Terri Kieran were holding their own at midfield and the forwards looked dangerous whenever they got possession. Ann Marie Maher lifted the siege with 2 points and Breda McDowell settled the issue with a crucial goal in the 14th minute to leave the score Meath Hill 3-5, Castletown 0-1. The Meath Hill forwards were the essential difference between the teams, and apart from these mentioned Niamh Sullivan, Caroline Maher and Mary Clarke worked hard throughout.

Castletown to their credit did not yield easily and scored 5 points in the last quarter to a single reply from Celine Nulty to keep the issue in some doubt to the end. Best for Castletown were full back Shirley Donegan who scored 2 points and centre back Eithne Larkin who had a blinder even though she was marking one of Meath Hill’s best players Celine Nulty. Linda Smith and Marcella Price did well at midfield and set up numerous chances for the forwards who, however, were well held and only Mary Rose Carlan and Mary Bale who scored 2 points each and corner forward Vivian Weldon threatened to breach a resolute Meath Hill defence. The game ended 3-6 to 0-6 Meath Hill and their players were thrilled to have at last won a final. After a match the match Richard Matthews, Chairman of Co. Board, presented the cup to winning captain Terri Kieran.

Ladies Junior Championship Final

Teams: Meath Hill: Trish Boyle, Fiona Crosby, Audrey Kieran, Brid Callaghan, Verina Walsh, Monica Clark, Milita Walsh, Pauline Fay, Terri Kieran (1-0), Caroline Maher, Celine Nulty (1-2), Niamh Sullivan, Ann Marie Maher (0-3), Breda McDowell (1-11), Mary Clarke. Sub. Bernie Clarke for Brid Callaghan.

Castletown: Teresa Gough, Teresa Smith, Shirley Donegan (0-2), Fiona Larkin, Caroline Gough, Eithne Larkin, Roisin Larkin, Linda Smith, Marcella Price, Tina Toland, Mary Rose Carolan (0-2), Sinead Ginnity, Vivienne Weldon, Mary Ball (0-2), Jenny Smith.

Congratulations to Terri Kieran, Celine Nulty and Ann Marie Maher on winning a Leinster Junior Championship medal with Meath Ladies this year.


Dunderry Ladies Football was founded in 1996 by Jackie O’Connor and Tina Cahill. There were a number of girls playing with St Ultans Football prior to 1996 from the parish of Dunderry and it was decided to form our own local Team. It took a while to get established and when the Club was registered the Meath County Board saw fit to enter out team in the Senior Division of both the League and Championship. Dunderry Ladies Football have been sponsored by Horan’s of Dunderry from the start. Last year we were lucky to come under the management of David Callaghan and Colm Conaty and they continue to train us in 1999. A lot of hard work and dedication from all sides has been put into the club.

Dunderry Football Club had a tough start meeting very strong teams in each game. We were relegated in 1998 to Division 2 in the League and we reached our very first final meeting Moylough. We had stated to see all our hard work pay off. There was great excitement in the parish at reaching our first ever final, but alas we were beaten by 2 points by a very strong Moylough team. We took a lot of encouragement from this and hope this is the start of a bright future for the Club and that we will continue reaching playoff / final stages. There are no underage teams in Dunderry at present but we have a lot of new young players joining our Club so we hope in the future we will continue to grow and be able to enter underage teams in the competition in the coming years. Dunderry Ladies Football Club have three players with the Meath Ladies Football Team in Suzanne Kelly, Ann-Marie O’Brien and Grainne Farnham. We are delighted to have representation on the Meath Ladies Football Team and wish them continued success.

Dunderry Ladies Football Committee 1999:

Jackie O’Connor Chairperson

Marie Cahill Secretary

Suzanne Kelly Assistant Secretary

Tina Cahill Treasurer

Sonja Doyle PRO


In early 1996 a survey carried out by four students in Dunboyne resulted in many girls wishing to play Ladies Gaelic Football. These students namely Emer Gogan, Niamh O Rourke, Suzanne Daly and Sonia Reid organised the first meeting at which a committee was elected and a new club was born. The date was the 13/02/96.

The committee was Chairperson Ciaran Daly, Secretary Mary Cahill, Treasurer/Registrar Carol Gogan, Co. Board representative Philip McElevany and trainer/coach Martin Connolly. This first year was to be a learning experience for all involved and with a team entered into the U16 Championship many highs and lows were reached, but being a learning process the club did themselves proud.

1997 was a memorable year in that the club was able to enter teams into the County’s U14, U16 and U18 competitions and performing brilliantly, but also an U12 team was formed, with this team winning the clubs first trophy, i.e. an inter club blitz in Simmonstown, also as there was no U12 competition in Meath the U12 team was entered into the Kildare Championship and loosing the final to Confey of Lexlip. 1997 saw the club being represented at County level with Leinster medals coming to the club. With so many teams to cater for a hardworking committee was in place to cater for the clubs many needs. This year saw the club acquiring new playing gear and its own colours i.e. blue and red.

1997-Committee was Chairperson-Leo Hurson, Vice Chairperson-Martin Connolly, Secretary-Pauline Buffini, Treasurer/Registrar-Carol Gogan, Martina Rogers, Tom Sullivan and Colm Lynch.

1998 again saw the Club enter teams in all competitions at juvenile level and for the first time at Junior level, expectations were high at this time as all the girls had got more experienced both of at club level and at County level also. All teams reached the knockout stages of their various competitions but failed to win any silverware. Again many players represented the club on the County teams of all age even at senior level.

1998-Committee was Chairperson-Martin Connolly, Vice Chairperson-L. Hurson, Secretary-P. Buffini Treasurer/Registrar-C. Gogan, P.R.O. Peter Mooney Martina Rogers, Tom Sullivan, Colm Lynch and Philip McElevany.

1999 the playing season is only beginning and perhaps this could be Dunboyne Ladies year. Some of the players that have represented Dunboyne Ladies Club at inter County level are: Roisin McGrath, Sharon Byrne, Emer Gogan, Anne King, Sonia Reid, Susan Sullivan, Emma Smyth, Cara Lenihan, Natally Crowley, Taya Farrelly, Nicola Buckley, Sarah Hurson, Niamh Rogers, Evelyn McElvaney, Derbhla Lynch, Tina Ryan, Mary Maguire, Eleanor Doherty, Catriona Kelly, Stacy Smyth.

1999-Committee is Chairperson Martin Connolly, Vice Chairperson- L. Hurson, Secretary-P. Buffini, Registrar-C. Gogan, Treasurer-P. Mc Elevany P.R.O.P. Mooney and C. Lynch, T Sullivan, C. Poleon, M. Rogersand and E. Gogan.

Dunboyne in the past year was represented on the County Board Committees by Leo Hurson and this year by Martin Connolly and Leo Hurson, as said above Dunboyne Ladies Gaelic Football Club know that 1999 will bring much honour to the club and this would not be possible were it not for the generous sponsorship that it has received since it was formed.


Donaghmore / Ashbourne Ladies football was founded in 1998. At an Executive Meeting in the Wotton (Donaghmore / Ashbourne GAA club house) in January ’98 it was expresses that a large number of girls in the area were interested in playing ladies football. Bronagh Clarke who was on the executive as a camogie representative said, “she would look into going about and setting up a committee”. Bronagh contacted Croke Park and got details from them. Pat Durkan who was involved with Underage football, set up a meeting in Kelly’s pub in Ashbourne There was an attendance of around twelve Ladies. They organised another meeting in which the first Ladies Football Committee was set up. The following committee was elected:

Chairperson. Olive Moynihan.

Secretary. Maria Keenan.

Asst. Secretary. Helen Meagher.

County Board Rep. Pat Durkan.

PRO. Niamh Barry.

The committee went about finding players for the teams and it was decided that Donaghmore/Ashbourne would field a Junior B team, an under 14 girls football team and an under 12 girls football team. The committee went about getting mentors. This was difficult. The following mentors were selected, Pat Regan and Paul Boland for the U12 team, Pat Durkan for the U14 team and Alan Birmingham and Darren Garry for the Junior B team.

The club ran a poker classic in order to raise money to buy a set of jerseys. The club bought footballs and registered players. The club gave full backing and support to the ladies football team. The juniors began their first football careers with a challenge match against Kilbride. Kilbride won the game which was no surprise. The ladies first league game was against Dunboyne, which Dunboyne won easily. The first championship game was also against Dunboyne. It was very much a learning process. Alan Birmingham and Darren Garry had to pull out as mentors and then the players approached Pat Daly to become their manager. After a few meetings he agreed to take over and continued for the year.

The Under 14’s team didn’t have a lot of success either, but there was an improvement during the year. The Under 12’s had a better year and had some good wins. They finished second in the league and were only one point behind Simonstown, who won the league. The girls got to the community games finals but were unsuccessful and were beaten by Killbeg, Kells.

In 1998 Donaghmore / Ashbourne had four who represented Meath at county level. Seona Conway played senior football for Meath and Seona won a National League title with Meath. Michelle Glesson represented Meath at Under 14 level. She won a Leinster league blitz title for Meath in 1998. Michelle Johnston and Jocelyn Adair played for Meath Under 14 B team. They played in the Leinster B blitz in which they were runners up. In 1998 Donaghmore / Ashbourne presented awards to players of the year to the ladies as they do with football, hurling and camogie teams. The following players were elected as the players of the year:

Adult – Elaine Kavanagh, Young – Louise Kavanagh,U 14 – Aoife Sutton

U 12 – Orla Bruton

In November the Ladies football AGM was held in the Wotton. At the AGM, a new committee was elected. The following committee was elected:

Chairperson: Seona Conway. Secretary: Olivia Daly

Asst. Secretary. Elaine Kavanagh. Club Rep: Geraldine Kavanagh

PRO. Niamh Barry.

County Board Reps. Pat Daly, Paul Boland.

The mentors for the coming year, 1999, were elected as follows:

Junior B – P Daly, U 14 – P Boland & T Flanagan, U12 P Boland & P O’Regan

This year Donaghmore / Ashbourne have representatives on the county teams again. Seona Conway is on the Meath Junior panel. Michelle Johnson is on the U 14 county team. Seona Conway has also starred at midfield for Maynooth College in 1999.

Liz Lynch has also played for Waterford IT, A team with players who have All-Ireland medals with Waterford. So it is the start of a second year and hopefully it will be a good year with many to follow and maybe there is going to be a few County Championships to be won in the future!


FOUNDED BY: Patricia Cahill and Aisling Reilly.

To start it all off we got Nile Carry to come down to talk about what is involved in ladies football. Then we got more and more people interested in the idea of having a ladies club in Carnaross. We decided to have training twice a week, Saturdays and Wednesdays. Ollie Bowe came up one Saturday and showed the girls the basic football skills. We got a loan from the men’s G.F.C. and then we did some fund risers.

The first committee is as follows:

Chairperson John O’Reilly

Secretary Patricia Cahill

Treasurer Ailish Olwill

P.R.O. Jane Nugent

Vice Secretary Aisling Reilly

Registry Maggie Donegan

 After a long time trying to get a trainer Thomas Nugent agreed

 We have played a few games and in each game you can see and improvement in each player.

 We’ll wait and see what the future holds in store for Carnaross Ladies Football Club.


Navan O’Mahony’s Ladies Football Club was formed in the autumn of 1994 after a number of the Camogie players expressed an interest. 1995 was spent on building a good foundation of young players and this bore fruit in 1996 when this young club contested its first final. On Sunday, September the 8th Navan O’Mahony’s and Syddan clashed in the Junior B football final. After an hour of good football O’Mahony’s emerged victorious by a single point. Captain Patrice Smith received the cup amid great scenes of excitement.

1997 also proved to be a successful year for the club as our Junior team went on contest and win the Division 3 League. Captain Karen Powell accepted the cup on behalf of her team. In 1997 and 1998 we have contested the under-14 finals, losing narrowly on both occasions. With such talent in the club, it is hoped to achieve Senior status in the near future.

Fund raising is carried out in conjunction with the Camogie Club. In early spring of each year a table quiz is held in the O’Mahony’s centre and this has proved to be both a successful fund raiser and an enjoyable night’s entertainment. Also, we have an annual bag-packing weekend in the local Dunnes Stores, which has proved to be invaluable in the running of the club.

Navan O’Mahony’s caters for all age groups and in 1999 we will participate in the under-12, under-14, under-16, under-18, under-21, Division 2 League and Junior A competitions.


Margaret Cunningham founded the club in Oldcastle in 1995. The club started off with an under 16 team and enjoyed the games. They never reached the top of the league but enjoyed the games. The following year the club had an under 14 and an under 16 team and learned a lot from their coaches as they went along. The following year saw Oldcastle with an under 12, under 14, under 16 and minor teams. The club was getting stronger each year. The under 12 team had 4 girls playing for the county while 2 girls from the under 14 team got to the All-Ireland final in Carlow with Shauna Coakley scoring 1-02. That was a wonderful day for the Oldcastle Ladies club, which took a busload of girls to a very enjoyable match. To date, the club is still strong and they have a new coach, Gerry Coakley, who is doing a fine job.


Rathkenny is situated in the Northeast of Meath midway between Kells and Drogheda and equal distance from Navan and Ardee. It measures about seven miles in length from East to West and is about three miles in width from North to South. It contains about 13,500 acres of excellent land. The present population is about 980 people with 340 houses widely distributed over the area. The Parish of Rathkenny is split into three areas:

1. Rathkenny,

2. Stackallen,

3. Grangegeeth.

Dixie Matthews and his daughter Helen set up Rathkenny Ladies Football Club in 1992. The committee were as follows: Chairperson, Bridey Reilly, Secretary, Mary Reilly, Treasurer, Seamus Kearns and the Selectors were Dixie Matthews and Ollie Reilly. It took a while for the girls to get the team accustomed to playing football, but all the hard work paid off when the girls reached the final of the Championship in 1994. The game was to be played in Castletown against Castletown. Many players of that team have gone their separate ways now, some even having left the country! The dedicated others are still going strong and have been there from the start through the good times and the bad!


Eleanor McCormack U-14

Arlene McCormack U-16, Minor

Annmarie Timmons U-14

Amanda Timmons U-12

Helen Matthews Senior

Laura Matthews Minor, U-16

Sarah Matthews U-14, U16

Jenny Goodwin U-14

Eimear Bellew U-14

Shiela Downey Senior, Minor, U-16, U14

Lisa Mc Keon U-14

Carol Reilly U-14, U-16

Emily Rock U-14, U-16

Rathkenny kept quiet for another few years, until again in 1997 after winning a succession of games, they reached the final of the Junior B Championship against Baconstown, whom they had already beaten in the first round of the Championship. The game took place on what seemed the sunniest day of the year, on August 17th, in Walterstown. At the end of the day, the strongest team won, and unfortunately that wasn’t Rathkenny. But that didn’t stop the celebrating that went on that night in the Gorman Lough Inn, Stackallen. But instead of disheartening the Rathkenny players, their loss only made them more determined, and they reached the semi-final of the Championship again the next year against Simonstown. The game took place in Kilberry, but again Rathkenny came away defeated. Another semi-final was played again that year in the U16 Championship against Dunsany, played in Rathkenny. Unfortunately Rathkenny also came away defeated in this game. Other various tournaments were played during the year, many of which were won by Rathkenny, such as the U16 tournament final against Meath Hill in Rathkenny. Soon after, Micky Rock Plant Hire, Creewood sponsored a new set of jerseys, and Rathkenny Ladies took this opportunity to change their colours to red and black, like the mens team in Rathkenny.



Host Club Rathkenny had a runaway win in this under 16 tournament final. The eventual winners were well in control at the break when they led by 3-11 to 2-6 and Eleanor McCormack stood out in a good all round team display.

Rathkenny scorers – E. McCormack 2-2, A. Lynn 2-0, H. Elliott, A. Timmons 1-2 each, C. Califf 0-3, C. Reilly, A. Coogan. J. Goodwin, E. Devin, P. Coogan, V. Timmons 0-1 each.

FUNDRAISING: A Dinnerdance in aid of Rathkenny Ladies Football Club took place in the Travellers Rest in Hunterstown on the 31st of January 1998. It was a very successful night. There was presentations made by Donal Curtis and Nigel Nestor of trophies and medals to members of the club. There was three tablequizes held in aid of the club as well. They were held in the Sally Gardens, Creewood.


Ratoath Ladies Football Club was formed in 1993 by Aisling McCann, Rose Moore and Anne O’Malley. Martin Mannering took on the position of trainer for the first season (’93-’94), and although the girls trained hard, their first few matched against Dunsany and Meath Hill resulted in crippling defeats.

However, they preserved and by the end of the ’93-’94 season, they had earned their place in the Division 3 League final against Dunsany. The match was held in Skryne, and Catriona Lynam was the team captain for the Ratoath girls. It was a very tough match for both sides, with Ratoath eventually claiming victory. The girls had won a place in the Division 2 League for the following season and were fast becoming a force to be reckoned with.

Committee (’93-’94 season):

Chairperson: Rose Moore.

Secretary & Treasurer: Anne O’Malley.

County Team Players:

U/16: Leona Gilchrist, Anne McIntyre, Edel Daly, Charlene McAuley and Barbara Kelly.

1995 was an excellent year for the club, bringing new players, a new trainer, and adding to the team’s success. Evelyn O’Connor, one of the new girls to join our club from Dunboyne, took over the captain’s position from Catriona Lynam, and she led the team to victory in the Division 2 League, beating Moylough in the final. But more was to follow.

The girls fought hard for their place in the semi-final of the Junior A Championship, only to draw with Summerhill. A nerve-wracking replay ensued, with Summerhill narrowly clinching victory, and Ratoath were left empty-handed and disappointed.

This was also the first year that Ratoath entered an under 16 team into any competition. Although they made a great effort and fought hard in every game, they didn’t progress very far. Martin Mannering resigned from the position of trainer at the end of the ’95 season, and he was replaced by Frank Kelly, who was to remain with the club for years to come.

Committee (’94-’95 season):

Chairperson: Rose Moore.

Secretary &Treasurer: Anne O’Malley.

County Players:

U-16: Alison Kelly, Leona Gilchrist, Edel Daly.

U-18: Mary Maguire, Christina Poleon, Alison Kelly.

Frank Kelly was joined early in 1996 by Ciaran McCormack, and this year proved to be the club’s most successful to date. The team won a place in the final of the Junior A Championship, only to find that their opponents were none other than Summerhill. The girls were determined to make up for the bitter disappointment of the previous year, and played the game of their lives. It was hard-fought game, with many players getting injured and tempers flaring. Summerhill seemed as though they would once again snatch the victory, but a last minute goal from Pauline McGrath sealed the win for Ratoath. Roisin Grogan, as captain, accepted the cup on behalf of the team, and Charlene McAuley was named Player of the Match. The team and their supporters returned to the Ratoath Inn where a good night of celebrations was had by all.

The club then went into Leinster Championship, and won their quarter-final match against the Dublin side, Naomh Barragh. They then went on to the semi-final, only to be beaten by St. Kevin’s of Louth. The club was now a Senior club for the Championship and playing in Division 1 for the League.

The end of the ’96 season saw the departure of one of our trainers, Frank Kelly, who spent some time in Bosnia, and rejoined the club on his return.

Committee (’95-’96 season):

Chairperson: Rose Moore.

Secretary &Treasurer: Anne O’Malley.

County Players:

This was a good year for Meath in Intercounty football. The U-14’s won the All-Ireland Final, the U-16 girls made it to the Leinster Final, and the U-18 team won the Leinster Final. There were eight girls from Ratoath included in these panels.

U-14: Kerry Walsh, Lisa Donnelly (Lisa won Player of the Match award for the U-14 All-Ireland Final, which Meath won).

U-16: Alison Kelly, Roisin Grogan, Leona Gilchrist (Leona won the Player of the Year award for the U-16 team).

U-18: Orla Brennan, Alison Kelly, Leona Gilchrist, Mary Maguire (Mary won the Player of the Year award for the U-18 team, and was also selected for the Leinster Squad).

Senior: Mary Maguire, Alison Kelly, Pauline McGrath.

Mid-way through the ’97 season, the club also lost one of it’s managers, Rose Moore, and her departure was a great loss to the team. Although the girls worked hard, their efforts were to no avail, and for he first year since the club had been founded, they finished the year empty-handed.

Committee (’96-’97 season)

Chairperson: Catriona Lynam.

Secretary: Anne O’Malley.

Treasurer: Triona Gilchrist.

County Players:

U-16: Lisa Donnelly.

U-18: Alison Kelly, Roisin Grogan, Leona Gilchrist, Laura Morrissey.

Senior: Mary Maguire, Orla Brennan.

The 1997-1998 season was a very lean year for the club, as we began to experience difficulties in team numbers. The senior team fared poorly in the Championship, and also the League. The other teams within the club that year were the U-18 team and the U-21 team. The U-18 team did not progress very far, but the U-21’s received a “by” into the semi-final of the competition (which was never played). During this season, we lost some great players who were missed terribly, and the club began to suffer due to players doing and others away at college. We finished the season at the bottom of the Division, in a relegation battle with Drumbaragh.

Committee (’97-’98 season):

Chairperson: Catriona Lynam.

Secretary: Anne O’Malley.

Treasurer: Triona Gilchrist.

County Players:

U-14: Edel O’Malley.

U-18: Leona Gilchrist, Rosin Grogan, Alison Kelly.

Senior: Mary Maguire, Alison Kelly.

The club has experienced serious difficulties so far this season (’98-’99), but we have recently been regarded to Junior level in the Championship, and Division 2 in the League, in an effort to help us find our feet once more. We have said good-bye to many players from the old senior team, and while they will be badly missed, we are now looking forward to a bright future (hopefully full of our former glory) with the new generation of footballers of the Ratoath Ladies Gaelic Football Club.

Committee (’98-’99 season)

Chairperson: Anne O’Malley.

Secretary: Alison Kelly.

Treasurer: Triona Gilchrist.

County Players:

U-18: Lisa Donnelly.

Junior: Alison Kelly.


The foundation of this small club is like most things, driven by demand. After a few weeks of training, in glorious sunshine, it became obvious that the players wanted more then routine training, they wanted and felt ready for competition. On Sunday August 12TH 1995 at 12.30pm a meeting was held in the grounds of Dunshaughlin G.F.C.

Our first committee was formed;

Chair – Mrs. Catherine McHale

ViceChair – Mrs Ade Kealy.

Treasurer – Mrs. Maura O’Neill

P.R.O – Mrs. Marian Kane

Secretary – Mrs Ann Power

Manager – Oliver Bowe

The name Royal Gaels was selected by vote at 1.20pm on 12.08.95.

The first fundraising event was a cake sale, it raised £228. However, Dunshaughlin G.F.C. and St. Martins G.F.C. made generous contributions. The jerseys were purchases from Con O’Dwyer, Sports-shop, Dunshaughlin.

After many painstaking hours in smokefilled rooms a sponsorship deal was struck with (new to Dunshaughlin) butcher Karl McEnroe. This deal was to run for 3 years.

During the course of ’95 and early ’96 the club played many challenge matches at u-14 and u-16 level. We had not yet entered the world of championship football.

At our Christmas party in 1995 awards were made to the following players;

Ciara McHale – Player of the Year

Maria Kealy – Young Player of the Year

Aileen Craven – Most Improved Player of the Year

During the course of our committee meeting in January ’96 the Chairperson gave an indepth and graphic description on the location of a certain insects ears. Everyone was grateful for this sharing of knowledge.


Our first championship match was at U14 level. We travelled to Dunsany for this local derby, and won 2-13 to no score. This was a complete team performance, 20 members on the panel and all good footballers. This was followed by wins over Oldcastle, Duleek and Ratoath. This secured our place in the semi-final. Our heads were full of wild, ambitious success. Not for us second place. We played our semi-final against Moylagh in Seneschelstown where we clocked up a score of 5-3 to 9 points. Our bubble was soon to burst. Due to a technicality, based on an objection lodged by Moylagh, the points for the game were stripped from us and awarded to the other side. Our place in the final evaporated.

At U16 level in the championship we secumbed to Dunsany, having beaten Skryne, Summerhill and Dunboyne. Dunsany progressed from our group.

In ’96 Meath participated in its first ever full u14 Leinster Championship. Royal Gaels provided 7 of that Meath panel. Meath won the All-Ireland. The seven players were; Eilish Byrne, Catherine Farrell, Deirdre Kane, Siobhan King, Shona Donoghue, Karen Bowe and Ciara McHale.

Meath U16’s were runners up in Leinster that year and Royal Gaels had 4 players on that panel, they were, Sorcha O’Dwyer, Ruth O’Dwyer, Karen Bowe & Yvonne Ward.

In Dec ’96, at our Christmas party, the following awards were given;

Ciara McHale – U14 Player of the Year

Orla Power – Goal of the Year

Yvonne Ward – U16 Player of the Year

Caroline King – U12 Player of the Year


U14’s progresses out of our group following wins over Dunboyne, Oldcastle, Castletown, and a draw with Bellewstown. We met Simonstown in the semi-final. After a mammoth game victory went to Royal Gaels. A place in the final.

The parish of Dunshaughlin / Culmullen and its wife were in Bective to cheer on our girls. There were flags of black and amber, there were headbands of black and amber, Pasty McLoughlin sported a Black and Amber jersey. Jim Gilligan was there. The game was held up for an odious long time because there was no referee. It was still our big day. A few crucial goal scoring opportunities were missed and a sharp St. Ultans punished us for theses misses. After what seemed a short time it was all over, Ultans were worthy winners. Richard Matthews, County Board Chairman congratulated Royal Gaels on their performance and conduct on the field, he wished us luck in the future.

The team, Ollie Bowe, and the committee retired to the Village Grill in Dunshaughlin. A good tuck-in, the girls started to laugh and joke, were they not in pain? The sense of disappointment was sheer pain – the ultimate low.

The County team participants this year were; Karen Bowe, Shona Donoghue & Maria Kealy. County won Leinster. U-16’s got off to a good start, took points from the game against Dunboyne, and not enough else. We did not get out of our group.

Awards given out for this year were as follows:

Fiona Murray – Most Improved Player

Karen Bowe/Eilish Byrne – JT U14 Players of the Year

Yvonne Ward – U16 Player of the Year

Deirdre Kane – Young player of the Year.

1998 – WHAT NEXT?


Joint C hair – Catherine McHale/Ade Kealy

Secretary – Ann Power

Treasurer/Registrar – Christine Bowe

PRO – Ollie Bowe

Manager – Ollie Bowe

First year with an U12 Championship. We played all our matches with mixed success and lack thereof. We did not qualify to move out of our group.

U-14’s suffered the loss of experienced players moving to U16. It is a young developing team who showed great heart and always behaved honourably when defeat was all that was on offer.

County participants were; Maria Kealy, Caroline King & Deirdre Mooney – County were beaten in All Ireland Final by the cruellest of margins – 1 point.

U-16 – qualified for quarter final of championship. It was played in Ratoath on a very wet and windy evening. Dunboyne went home successful after a hard fought battle. We retired to the Village Grill. County participants; Karen Bowe, Deirdre Kane – County won Leinster.

Awards for ’98 were made as follows;

Player of Year; U 16 Ciara McHale

U 14 Caroline King

U 12 Christine Delaney

Most improved player of they year; Christine McManus.

1982 –1985

The 1st Ladies Football match played in Seneschalstown was in July 1982 during the Seneschalstown Summer Festival A “fun” match was organised between a team from the “Yellow Furze” and the Kentstown camogie team

The Beauparc Ladies assumed the name of Seneschalstown and donned the blue jerseys with the yellow hoop for the first time that day. The match became more than a fun venture, as both teams were anxious to represent their side of the parish well on the day. There was a lot of friendly rivalry throughout the match and the Seneschalstown squad went on to record their first victory on the playing field.

Later that summer a rematch was organised during the Kentstown Festival and the two teams took to the field once again. Kenstown were more determined this time as they were now on “home territory”. The rivalry was even more in evidence this day. The Seneschalstown squad held onto the lead to win by a narrow margin. By this time Football fever was setting in and the following year Seneschalstown entered their first team in the Meath Championship under the direction of Cumann Peile Gael na mBann. (Unfortunately the club have no official records of this time and knowledge is based on recollection only). Between 1982-1985 the Seneschalstown Ladies Team grew in strength with players from Beauparc and Kentstown and surrounding parishes of Slane and Rathkenny.

During this period of time there were approximately eight ladies clubs in the county – Nobbler, Kilskyre, Fyanstown, Bohermeen, (St. Ultan’s) Moylough, Duleek, Seneschalstown and Wolfe Tones. The championship was run on a League basis with the top four teams playing in semi-finalists went on to play in the Senior Championship Final and the losing teams played each other in the Junior Championship Final. Seneschalstown managed to make it to Two Junior Finals but never managed to take the honours home to the “Furze”.

The Club was represented at county level during this time with Christine Reilly, Fiona and Adrienne Reilly, Geraldine Mulvany and Bernie Carroll playing at Senior Level. The greatest achievement remembered is reaching the Leinster semi-final and travelling to Wexford for that particular defeat. Geraldine Mulvany, Sharon Geraghty and Geraldine Carey also lined out in Green and Gold at U-16 level. Unfortunately, due to pressures of work, family commitment and travel towards the end of 1985, Seneschalstown were unable to keep the flag of Ladies football flying in the parish and the team disbanded. The blue and yellow jerseys went into storage.

MARCH 1995

Following the success of the Meath Ladies Junior Team in winning the All-Ireland Ladies Junior Football Championship 1994, Dearbhla O’Carroll one of the successful team members began to stir up interest in her home parish once again and in March 1995 the first Annual General Meeting of Seneschalstown Ladies Football Club took place after a ten year lapse. Dearbhla transferred from her original team of Dunsany to lead her home parish of Seneschalstown onto the pitch again in the Blue and Yellow jerseys. Only one of the original team of the 80’s Geraldine Mulvany took to the field again. During the first year Seneschalstown entered a Junior and U-16 team. The Junior team reached the Final of Division 3 League and were narrowly defeated by Drumbaragh.


Seneschalstown played in the Junior A Championship and Division 2 League this year. There was also an U-18 and U-16 team. The most successful campaign this year was reaching the Division League Final. This was played in Gibbstown on the 31st of March 1997 with Summerhill winning by the narrowest of margins. The Club was well represented at Inter-County Level. Fiona Mahon captained the U-14 team which won the U-14 All-Ireland Championship. Lisa Geraghty also represented the club at this level. Dearbhla O’Carroll was manager of the victorious squad. Dearbhla and Deborah Mangan represented the club on the Senior Panel.


The season began with defeat in the 1996 Div.2 League Final but the team was promoted to Division 1 League nonetheless. While failing to make a mark in this competition Seneschalstown undefeated. The final was played in Kilmessan on the 10th of August. The opposing team was Summerhill and for the 2nd time this year they proved too strong for the Seneschalstown Panel. At Inter-County Level Dearbhla O’Carroll, Debbie Mangan and Eimear O’Carroll won Leinster Championship medals with the Senior Team. At U-14 grade Fiona Mahon, Orla Sheridan and Adele Carolan also won Leinster Championship Medals. Dearbhla O’Carroll was honoured for all her hard work throughout the year by winning “Senior County Player of the Year” award.


This proved to be our most successful year to date. The Junior A Championship saw the team undefeated. After three unsuccessful Final appearances in as many years we managed to end our championship campaign in victory by defeating Moylough in the Final on the 13th of September in Bective. “Player of the Match” was awarded to Fiona Mahon.

There was much to celebrate in home camp that night!!!

The team had to curtail celebrations rapidly as we were fixed to play in the Leinster Junior Club Championship three days later. In a match that was closely fought to the end Seneschalstown were defeated by Coolie, by the narrowest of margins and they managed to go on and win All-Ireland glory in the Championship.

At U-16 level Seneschalstown reached the semi-final of the championship.

At U-14 level the girls reached the quarter-final stage.

At Inter-County level Dearbhla and Eimear O’Carroll, Deborah Mangan and Sally Ann Carolan flew the Seneschalstown flag and won Division 2 League and Leinster Championship Medals.

At U-16 Fiona Mahon won a Leinster Championship medal and also achieved the much deserved “U-16 County player of the year award”.

At U-14 Adele Carolan and Grace Kiernan represented the club very well winning Leinster Championship medals and All-Ireland runners-up medals as well as U-14 Blitz medals.


This year we have entered teams at Division 1 League and Senior Championship level and also U-21, U-18, U-16 and U-14.



Ladies Gaelic Football began in Skryne Parish in October 1994 when a few girls approached local man Martin Gillett and asked him if he would be interested in training a team. Martin was delighted to help out and training began immediately. The team played their first match in February 1995 against the newly formed Simonstown Gaels Club. Skryne won that first match and since then the rivalry has grown between the two clubs. During that first year James Battersby helped Martin Gillett.


The first committee of Skryne Ladies G.F.C. was elected on the 15th November 1996 at the Annual General Meeting. The officers elected that night were as follows:

Chairperson: Sean Connell

Secretary: Niamh Connell

Treasurer: Muriel Hoban

Asst. Treasurer: Karen Kellegher

P.R.O.: Aoife Creavin

Committee: Martin Gillett, Maurice Daly, Maureen Creavin, Dolores Tobin, Mary O’Rourke, Chrissie Hoban, Orla Tobin and Jenny Tobin.

The committee for 1999 is as follows:

Chairperson: Sean Connell

Secretary: Dolores Tobin

Asst. Secretary: Niamh Connell

Treasurer: Liam Kellegher

P.R.O./Registrar: Niamh Connell

Committee: Eamon Reilly, Julie Whyte, Orla Tobin and Steven Bennett.


The annual table quiz has become very popular since it was first held in January 1997. The table quiz, which takes place in Jan./Feb. each year in Swans Lounge, is a major source of funds for the club each year.

Another annual fundraising activity is bag packing. In December 1996 the girls packed bags in Super-Valu, Dunshaughlin. In 1997 they went to Dunnes Stores in Navan and in January 1999 they joined forces with Blackhall Gaels and headed for Dunnes Stores in Blanchardstown.


Skryne Ladies G.F.C. are very grateful for the sponsorship they received through the years and would like to thank the following:

Tommy’s Wonderland – Blanchardstown

Frank Swan – Swan’s, Oberstown

Jonathon Higgins – JMH Electrical, Navan

Perri Crisps


When the club first started there was four teams: U-14, U-16, U-18 and Junior. In 1999 five teams will compete in competitions: U-12, U-14, U-18, U-21 and Junior. There is currently a shortage of U-16 players in the parish but with some excellent talent coming through at U-14 level there should be an U-16 team again in 2000.


Over the last two years nine players have represented Skryne on various county panels.

In 1997 Sinead Daly and Margaret Hamill were on the county U-16 panel which lost the Leinster Final, Mary Bennett was on the U-14 team which won Leinster and Niamh Connell was on the Senior Panel.

In 1998 Sinead Daly, Suzanne Whyte and Mary Bennett were on the U-16’s which won Leinster, Naomi Connell, Alison Reilly and Aoife Creavin were on the minor panel.

In 1999 Jenny Tobin is on the newly formed junior panel, Sinead Daly is on the minor panel and Mary Bennett is on the U-16 panel.


In 1997, between the Division 3 league, Junior Championship, and Minor Championship 18 games were played with 8 wins, 2 draws and 8 losses.

In the 1998 junior championship Skryne won 4 games and lost 4 games. In the league they had 4 wins and 5 losses.

In the U-21 championship they were knocked out in the first round by a strong Dunsany team. The minor team only played two games before withdrawing from the competition. The U-14’s played 5 games and the U-12’s played 7 games.

In 1999 so far Skryne have played 4 games recording 3 victories. In the league they defeated both Donaghmore/Ashbourne and Meath Hill and in the championship they lost to Rathkenny and beat Blackhall Gaels. The U-14’s have played 3 matches winning one and losing two. The U-12’s have played only one match, which they lost.


Everyone involved with Skryne Ladies G.F.C. are extremely grateful to all the very dedicated trainers they have had throughout the years. Without all their commitment and encouragement the club would not be running today.

A big thank you goes out to the following:

1994 Martin Gillett and James Battersby

1995 Martin Gillett

1996 Martin Gillett and Sean Connell

1997 Martin Gillett and Sean Connell

1998 Philip Kinsella and Allan Carty

1999 Teri Cahill, Allan Carty, Sean Connell and Jenny Tobin.


Simonstown Ladies Gaelic Football team was started by Brendan Egleston in 1994/95. Three girls were first to ask for a Club to start, Lorraine Dunne, Elaine Laverty and Kathleen McCabe. The Treasurer, Eric Brady, and the present Chairman are the two people who helped to start off the club. While starting up in 1994 we did not compete in competition until April 1995 when we played Skryne in the League. That first year we competed in the Ladies Division 3 League and Junior B Championship. We also competed in the U/16 Championship. While not winning an awful lot, the initial ground was broken and we were competing in Ladies and underage competitions for the first time.

The second year was again building and we saw the introduction of Michael Fox and Michael Rea. Simonstown Ladies owe these two men an enormous debt. The third year was another year for building and competing at all levels, U/12, U/14, U/16 and the Ladies were winning more games and breaking new grounds with more teams.

In 1996 Simonstown’s U/12 team won the first County Blitz competition for this age group. This competition was hosted by Summerhill and Simonstown won all of their matches. In 1997 Simonstown again competed in this U/12 competition hosted by Dunboyne. The Final between Simonstown and St. Ultans was a close affair with the teams level at half time 1-1 to 1-1. Simonstown retained the Shield with a 3-4 to 1-1 victory.

This year 1998 has been the most successful year so far for Simonstown Ladies. A culmination of the previous four years hard work led to the winning of the Junior B Championship and Division 3 League. We also captured the U/16 Championship and U/14 Blitz Competition. The U/12 team was Runner up in their Championship while the U/14 team reached the semi final of their competition.


Simonstown Ladies began 1998 with great determination and this resulted in only one loss and one drawn match in the Championship which is run on a league basis. At the end of the preliminary rounds we were level on points with Rathkenny which resulted in a play off match for the final. A very closely contested match led to a one point victory for Simonstown. The Junior B Final was played in Bective on October 11th against Bellewstown, the only team to have beaten us earlier in the year.

Simonstown attacked from the very start and were 2 points ahead at half time, 3-3 to 2-4, even though they were playing against the wind. A stunning performance from our Ladies resulted in winning the Junior B Championship by 7 points, 4-9 to 2-8. Sinead Dooley won Player of the Match in the Final.

The Division 3 League began early in the year and Simonstown won all their earlier matches. As the weather affected many fixtures in 1998 we did not complete our League fixtures until early in 1999. Simonstown continued their winning ways and this resulted in our team reaching the Division 3 Final against Bellewstown. This match was played on 17th March in Dunboyne. Again Simonstown attacked from the very start and opened up a 3-8 to 2-3 lead at half time and they added another 8 points in the second half to clinch their 3-16 to 5-3 victory. There were many outstanding performances on both teams but Player of the Match went lot Simonstown’s Jackie Shiels. Many thanks to Nicky and Ruth Nolan that coach and manage this successful team.


This year saw the introduction of the U/21 competition. This competition is run on a knock out basis. We are currently at the quarter final stage where we will play Drumbarragh.


Weather again affected this competition. We have only lost one match to date in this competition with two matches to play. Hopefully we can reach the semi final stages of this competition.


This U/16 team reached their semi final by scoring 32 goals and 36 points in the preliminary round of the Championship. Their semi final against Seneschalstown was a closely contested match with Simonstown playing against a strong wind in the first half. They kept in contact and were ahead by 2 points at half time, 2-5 to 2-3. A brilliant second half display resulted in a 12 point victory with a score of 3-17 to 3-5. Their final against St Ultans’s was played in Carnaross on November 15th.


Early in the 1998 season the U/14 team took part in the Meath Feile Blitz. They defeated Navan O’Mahonys in the final of this competition. Unfortunately due to an error this team could not compete in the All Ireland Feile competition as they entry was not received in time. This team also won all their preliminary round matches in the Championship. Their semi final against St. Ultans was a closely contested match but unfortunately they were unable to overcome their opponents. Great credit due to Celine McLarney for the tremendous work she puts in with this team.


This team won all their qualifying matches and played Walterstown in their semi final on October 11th. This semi final was a tough encounter and they came from being behind at half time to win comfortably in the end. They played St. Ultans in the final and looked like claiming the Championship victory when St Ultans scored a last minute goal to level the match and force a replay. This final replay was played in Gibbstown and a brilliant performance by Simonstown, even though they lost their full back to an injury, saw them start to dominate in the second half. Unfortunately at this stage a 10 minute stoppage caused by opposition supporters disrupted the flow of play. Simonstown had to dig deep and come from behind to level the match after the disruption and forced the match into extra time. In extra time they continued to play a very high standard of football but after playing 1½ hours of end to end football they were very unlucky not to capture this title. In both matches this U/12 team treated us to 2 ½ hours of some of the finest football in the county. To have a young team at such a high standard of football is a credit to the players, their coaches and mentors. Many thanks to Brendan Egleston, Ann Dungan, Mal Brennan and Tommy Gavin for their dedication in 1998.


The first Simonstown players to represent the club at County level were Kathleen McCabe, Michelle Moroney and Evelyn Feeney. These players travelled to Carlow on 17th June, 1995 to compete in the Leinster Blitz. In 1996 Lorna Wall and Kathleen McCabe were on the U/16 Meath team that won U/16 Leinster medals. We also had 4 representatives on the U/14 County team, Emma Wall, Eve Wardick, Ann Marie Gillick and Lisa Lyons, which captured the Leinster and All Ireland Championships.

In 1997 we had Jackie Shiels, Emma Wall, Grainne Harrington, Aisling McGrath and Fiona Feeney on the Meath team which won the Leinster Championship and were narrowly beaten in the All Ireland Semi Final by Kerry. We also had Eve Wardick on the U/16 team which lost to Longford in the Leinster Final.

1998 saw 16 Simonstown girls represent their County at various age levels. We had seven U/12 girls on the panels who captured the Leinster Blitz competition and were runners up in the plate. Our representatives on these panels were:- Sinead Flanagan, Michelle O’Brien, Jane Brady, Laura McManmon, Karen Kennedy, Sarah Breen and Laura Gavin.

The most successful Meath team this year was the U/14 who were beaten by one point in the All Ireland Final. On their way to the Final they captured the Leinster title and they also won the Leinster Blitz competition and were runners up in the All Ireland Blitz. We had five representatives on this panel:- Jackie Shiels (captain), Fiona Feeney, Lisa Moroney, Celestine Keaveney and Kerry O’Brien. Jackie Shiels also won Player of the Match in the Leinster and All Ireland Finals.

We had four girls on the U/16 County Panel, Eve Wardick, Emma Wall, Grainne Harrington and Jackie Shiels. This U/16 team is Leinster champions but was beaten in their All Ireland Semi Final by Monaghan.

Kathleen McCabe was our sole representative on the U/18 team. This team was beaten in the Leinster Semi Final. Lorna Wall represented the Club at Senior level and won Leinster Championship and League medals.


M.J.’s, Trimgate Street, Navan sponsored the first set of jerseys that were presented to Simonstown Ladies Club. In 1998, with five teams competing in competition and the cost of running our Club increasing, we were delighted to receive a new set of jerseys courtesy of Tommy’s Mini Market, Abbeylands, Navan. We were also delighted to receive donations from other local businesses. To our many sponsors we are truly grateful and thanks to their generosity we will continue in our winning ways and hopefully clinch the Senior Championship in the future.



Simonstown 6-10 O’Mahonys 4-7

Simonstown had the edge in this Under 18 F.C. local derby, having led by 3-4 to 1-4 at half time.

Simonstown scorers – J. Shiels 3-4, L. Lyons 2-0, K. O’Brien 1-1, G. Harrington, S. Callaghan 0-2 each, K. A. McMenamin 0-1.




Simonstown 3-17 Seneschalstown 3-5

Jackie Shiels scored a goal and 11 points as Simonstown advanced to the Under 16 Championship final.

It was 1-12 to 1-2 at the break and Emma Wall, Ann McGrath, Eve Wardick and Cathy Ann McMenamin were others to impress for the winners.

Simonstown – L. Moroney, E. Wall, A. McGrath, J. Munnelly, D. McMahon, J. Harrington, A. McGillick, E. Wardick (0-3), D. O’Neill, K.A. McMenamin (1-0), J. Shiels (1-11), K. O’Brien (0-2), C. Keaveney (1-0), L. Lyons, P. Gratton. Subs – F. Feeney (0-1) for Gratton, S. McGrath for McMahon.



Simonstown 7-3 St. Ultan’s 3-10

Simonstown won the girls’ Under 16 Championship final by five points at Carnaross on Sunday. The sides were level at 3-1 to 1-7 at half time but the Navan side pulled clear in the closing stages. Jackie Shiels and Lisa Lyons impressed in the winners’ attack.

Simonstown – L. Moroney, J. Munnelly, A. McGrath, F. Feeney, E. Wall, G. Harrington, D. McMahon, E. Wardick, D. O’Neill (1-0), K. A. McMenamin, J. Shiels (3-3), R. O’ Brien, C. Keaveney (1-0), L. Lyons (2-0), K. O’Brien. Sub – S. McGrath for R.O’Brien.



Simonstown 7-3 St. Ultan’s 3-10

Simonstown’s ability to capitalise on their goal opportunities proved decisive as they overcame St. Ultan’s in a high scoring decider the capture the ladies u-16 FC at Carnaross on Sunday. Jackie Shiels grabbed a hat-trick of goals to add to her three points. However, she wasn’t the only star on the Simonstown team which defended superbly throughout. The sides were level 3-1 to 1-7, at the interval and it remained a close affair for most of the second half before Simonstown snatched a late goal to clinch the crown after a highly entertaining clash. Elaine Duffy from St. Ulan’s won the player of the match award with a brilliant performance, but it was the better team play and some brilliant individual skill from Simonstown which proved to be the difference.

Simonstown – L. Moroney, J. Munnelly, A. McGrath, F. Feeney, E. Wall, G. Harrington, D. McMahon, E. Wardick, D. O’Neill (1-0), K.A. McManmon, J. Shiels (3-3), R. O’Brien, C. Keaveney (1-0), L. Lyons (2-0), K. O’Brien.

Sub – S. McGrath for R. O’Brien.


St. Ultan’s 2-17 Simonstown 1-18

(After extra time)

It is further evidence of the malady which affects the game in the county when St. Ultan’s win the Under 12 F.L. final replay at Gibbstown on Sunday and get no publicity for their efforts. It also has to be asked why such young players were asked to play half an hour extra time. It was level at half time, 0-6 to 1-3, and at the end of normal time, 0-10 to 1-7.

Simonstown – S. Egleston, P. Flanagan, S. Flanagan, A. Fitzsimons, L. Gavin (0-1), K. Kennedy, M. O’Brien, S. Breen, L. McMenamin (0-3), J. Brady (0-11), E. Booth, G. Brennan, J. Booth (0-2). G. Grimes (1-1) for Brennan, M. Hand for Flanagan, L. Egleston for Booth.

The County Board’s annual convention will take place on December 7th at the O’Mahony’s centre, 8.00pm.



Simonstown Gaels 3-16 Bellewstown 5-3

Simonstown clinched the 1998 Div. 3 ladies title when they overcame Bellewstown in perfect conditions at Dunboyne on St. Patrick’s Day. Jackie Shiels was outstanding as the Navan girls opened up a 3-8 to 2-3 lead at the break and they added another eight points in the second half to seal a memorable victory. Shiels, Eve Wardick, Kathleen McCabe, Kathleen Doohan and Sinead Dooley were outstanding.

Simonstown – J. Munnelly, E. Wall, T. Ruane, A. McGrath, K. McCabe, S. Dooley, M. Moroney, E. Wardick, K. Doohan (0-1), K. A. McManamon, G. Harrington (0-2), J. Shiels (1-9), F. Feeney (1-0), C. McLarney (1-0), P. McCullagh (0-1).

Sub: K. O’Brien for McLarney.


With an ever-increasing population in the east coast area of Meath, parents, schools and most of all, St Colmcilles GFC club voiced the need for a Ladies Football club themselves. Eimear Ferguson-Towell was approached and asked to co-ordinate the setting up of the ladies club and did so, willingly. So, schools, estates and parents were approached and with immeasurable help from Majella Hilliard and also the men’s club, the girls turned out in force to “kick ball” in Parc Vi Ris, Piltown, Bettystown.

A foundation coaching course was run in conjunction with the men’s club at St Colmcilles and Patricia Reilly joined the coaching team. From there, June Collier and Liz McCloskey joined to help. On the first Tuesday night, over 65 girls turned up ranging in ages from 8-12 and then word spread – the next week there were over 90! Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately for the coaches) all the girls did not stay throughout the year but enough of them did and an U12 team was formed as well as a community games team. The first match out was in the community games, which we won and after another win we thought we were invincible. We were in the final against Dunboyne, who soon let us know just how invincible we were…. not! We went no further in that competition; still it was good fun and a great learning experience. On we marched to the U12 championship – first game against Dunboyne, which we lost again but carried on in the championship winning some and losing some but all the time learning from each match.

We were very lucky to have secured sponsorship of Jersey’s, shorts and socks from Lifestyle Sports and also a first aid kit from Miziam Meaghar’s Pharmacy in our first year. The men’s club also gave us great help with anything that was asked of them.

The first meeting was held later that year when a committee was formed and future plans discussed.

Chairperson Eimear Ferduson-Towell

Secretary Majella Hilliard

PRO Liz McCloskey

Committee Patricia Reilly, June Collier and Sinead Blake.

With such great numbers turning up for training, mini leagues were run within the club with the finals being held on the same day of the boy’s seaside league finals. History was made in the men’s club that day as it was the first time an all girls final was held. The winners were awarded trophies and medals for the r/up.

During this year, two of the girls were picked for the U12 county team – Tara O’Byrne and Laura Tyndall – which was a great achievement for them both.

The next year we entered an U14 team into the competition as well as U12. Another set of jerseys was needed and again our sponsors came up trumps. So far, a place in a major final has eluded us but we hope not for long. We are still a relatively new club and are learning all the time.



HISTORY 1993-1999

Summerhill Ladies was formed in 1993 by Brendan Dardis. Brendan himself was well established in the Ladies football scene being involved with Ladies football since the mid eighties. Brendan with his wealth of experience, being a former Dublin chairman, trainer of Dublin County team for four years, former Leinster president and Leinster manager in 89, 92, 95 and 99, was a huge benefit to the club. His wife Eileen Dardis who in her own right was an extremely talented player, with a total of ten All Ireland medals to her credit with her native Kerry, was also predominant in the club’s formation and success.


In the first year of it’s existence Summerhill Ladies took the Division 2 League title by beating the then well established Meath Hill side in a close game in Martry. Eileen Dardis dominated throughout the match and was instrumental in the win. The panel for that game was as follows:

Eileen Dardis, Susan Shaw, (captain), Derina Shaw, Breda Harte, Gayle Hart, Clare Reynolds, Patricia Lyons, Emer Lyons, Patricia Mc Nelis, Niamh Mc Nelis, Roisin Mc Nelis, Wendy Fox, Annemarie Dargan, Shirley Fox, Aishling O’Reilly, Libby Dunne and Evie Donoghue.

Niamh Mc Nelis, Clare Reynolds and Annemarie Dargan made their debut on the Meath Junior team in that same year and Darina Shaw, Libby Dunne quickly followed the honour in 1994.


In 1995 the team were narrowly defeated in the Junior A championship final against St. Micheals. Summerhill lead well in the first half but the Micheals came back strongly in to take victory by a point. In that year, the team was managed by Timmy McNulty with Brendan Dardis and Ciaran McNelis as selectors.

In this year also Patricia Mc Nelis was called onto the Meath Senior Panel to bring the total of Summerhill girls on the panel to five (Darina Shaw, Dorothy Mc Goldrick, Patricia and Niamh Mc Nelis and Libby Dunne).


Again in 1996 the Junior A championship was taken from the reach of the Summerhill girls by a determined Rathoath side, this time to be beaten only by two points. Although the Championship Title was not to make it to the Hill in ’96 there was consolation in winning the Division 2 League Title for the second time in that same year. This time the opposition was a very determined Seneschalstown side. The game took place in Gibstown and the match was very close up until the final whistle.


Austin Lyons took over the helm in 1997 in his first management role with a Ladies team. Austin himself also very experienced in the football scene, played football with the legendary Summerhill of the seventies and also was on the 1967 Meath team which claimed All Ireland success. With Austin in control, Summerhill finally won the Junior A championship in August of ’97, beating Seneschalstown by 6 points in Kilmessan. Summerhill dominated for most of the game but somehow allowed their opponents to eat into their lead, towards the final quarter of the game.

In that same year Summerhill went on to compete in the Leinster club championship and made it to the Leinster club championship final against St. Joes of Louth. On the way to the final the girls beat club sides from Wexford and Westmeath before meeting the Louth side. The Hill led for most of the game but St. Joe’s came back in the last minutes to clench victory. Roisin Mc Nelis and Lara Fagan joined the other Summerhill Ladies on the Meath Ladies Senior panel also in this year.


Participating in the senior championship for the first time in 1998, was a very exciting and challenging season for the ladies of Summerhill. With Dunsany and St Michaels dominating the senior scene in Meath for a number of years, it was a major achievement for Summerhill to take the honours during their first year at this level and to defeat such a long running and well established ladies club…………..Dunsany.


Summerhill 1-7 Dunsany 1-4

Summerhill’s sheer determination and greater will to win ensured that Dunsany’s stranglehold on the Ladies SFC was broken following an exciting clash at Athboy on Sunday. This success reflects the amazing progress the south Meath club has made since its inception in 1993. It was their first year in the senior ranks following last year’s JFC success. Summerhill stifled Dunsany’s star players comfortably with some outstanding displays from Ciara Kennedy, Ruth Ennis, Darina Shaw and Patricia McNelis. Kennedy in particular was in brilliant form. She held All-Star Christine O’Brien to just two points (one free) as well as being the platform for numerous attacks which led to good scores from the Summerhill forwards.

Niamh McNelis and Darina Shaw lorded midfield where they never gave the Dennehy sisters, Breda and Ann Marie, any room. The introduction of Marie Louise Reilly was significant as she dominated the aerial exchanges and was a constant threat to Dunsany. Only Sandra Coleman, Sinead Cusack, Aileen Donnelly and Joanne Cunningham performed anywhere near their best for the 1997 champions which wasn’t good enough as Summerhill overwhelmed them. Summerhill’s determination to win was obvious from the opening minute when Dorothy McGoldrick gave the south Meath side the lead following a short free from Darina Shaw. Julie-Ann Scanlon doubled Summerhill’s advantage two minutes later with a magnificent point following great work from Shaw. Donnelly cut the deficit to the minimum before Roisin McNelis restored Summerhill’s two points advantage at the end of the first-quarter. Dunsany could have found themselves even further behind, but a brilliant double save from Sandra Coleman denied Wendy Fox a certain goal.

Coleman’s save seemed to inspire Dunsany and further points from O’Brien and Ann Marie Dennehy drew the sides level (0-3 each), but McGoldrick fired over her second point to give Summerhill a 0-4 to 0-3 halftime lead.

Dunsany resumed smartly and could have levelled on at least three occasions, but O’Brien failed to convert a couple of frees, but she found her scoring touch eventually and levelled (0-4 each).

However, from there Summerhill totally dominated. Reilly fired over a massive free to restore their advantage before Roisin McNelis stretched the lead to two points (0-6 to 0-4).

Summerhill hammered home their advantage when Reilly’s speculative free deceived Coleman and fell into the net to establish a 1-6 to 0-4 advantage. McGoldrick fired over another point to emphasise her sides superiority, but Dunsany rallied and struck back with a goal from Jenny Cusack following some quick thinking from O’Brien and Donnelly. That was the last score of the game. The Summerhill defence held firm under a flurry of Dunsany attacks for a deserved victory.

Summerhill – L. Fagan, S. Loughrey, P. McNelis, D. McNally, N. Mahon, R. Ennis, C. Kennedy, D. Shaw, N. McNelis, S. Shaw, D. McGoldrick (0-3), J.A. Scanlon (0-1), S. Kerrigan, R. McNelis (0-2), W. Fox. Sub – M.L. Reilly (1-1) for Kerrigan.

Dunsany – S. Coleman, J. Cunningham, A. Gorman, C. O’Connell, M. Cleary, S. Dixon, S. Cusack, A.M. Dennehy (0-1), B. Dennehy, C. O’Brien (0-2), A. Donnelly (0-1), K. Ward, J. Cusack (1-0), S. Browne, L. Tyrrell. Sub – M. Lucy for Ward.

Referee – J. Kenny (Gaeil Colmcille).


The Ladies underage scene of the club began in 1995 with an Under 12 and Under 14 team. It has progressed over the years and to date there is an U12, U14, U16 and U18 team competing in competition in 1999. Summerhill have had representatives on the Meath underage teams over the last few years with Denise Mc Nally, Juliann Scanlon, Ruth Ennis, Annemarie Fagan, Linda Elliott and Jenny Rispin all competing in the green and gold.


1993 Division 2 League (versus Meath Hill)

1996 Division 2 League (versus Seneschalstown)

1997 Junior A Championship Title (versus Seneschalstown)

1998 Senior Championship Title (versus Dunsany)


The Player of the Year award was first presented at the Summerhill G.F.C Dinner Dance in 1995. Niamh Mc Nelis received the honour last year.

In the following year it was her sister Patricia Mc Nelis who took the award and in 1998 it was Una Loughrey’s turn to take the title.

In 1996 Derina Shaw was given the honour of Meath Senior Player of the year and a Summerhill girl once again took the title when Niamh Mc Nelis was awarded the title in 1998.

1999………..The future looks bright for the club with the underage players going from strength to strength and coming up ranks…….Who knows the Senior Title may be on it’s way back to the Hill again this year?????


In 1993 Syddan Ladies Football team was formed. There was great enthusiasm in the parish and many girls “signed up”. The team was sponsored (and still is) by Mr. Paul Mc Kenna of Newtown Country Club. The team was trained by Mr. Jim Garland, who got the girls off to a great start in the green and gold. Although there was no medals the team showed great promise. In that year Anne Rafferty was named as player of the year. In order to fund the new club, a number of fun raisers were organised. The men’s club also helped.


1994 got off to a good start. Under Mr. Danny Kane, Syddan Ladies got to the junior championship final against Rathkenny. Unfortunately we were beaten, but it was very good for the club as interest grew in the area.


There was great hopes at the beginning of 1995 that we would improve from the previous year and maybe get a winners medal. Alas it was not to be. We started well but towards the end of the season things seemed to go wrong.


In 1996 Mr. Noel McGillick took over the team. Together with his two selectors Fiona Dillon (who had retired from playing) and Jim Garland they got to work. This was to be our best remembered year. We got to the junior final that year. The venue was Kells, the opponenets were Navan O’Mahony’s. There was a great build up to the final. We got good support from everyone. Mr. Paul Mc Kenna was as always generous with allowing us the use of the mini bus. He also has a reception for us on our return. The game was a very close encounter. We were beaten by one point in the end. It was very disappointing. The team spirit was however great and we had a great night.


After the disappointment of losing the final in 1996, it was hard to get things going again. Interest seemed to slip, but we tried to keep things going. Mr. Philip Duff trained the team. In 1997 we ran a very successful poker classic. In 1998 we were at a very low point. We were forced to pull out of the competition. We were unable to field a team. We have had county success over the years which we are proud of. Paula Reilly has a Leinster U14 and All Ireland U14 medal.

Annemarie Mc Kenna has 2 U14 Leinster and a minor medal.

Kelly Farrelly, Shauna Rowe and Emer Ross were successful with the U12 and U14.


This year the team is going well. There is a renewed interest. We are looking forward to the future of Syddan Ladies.



St. Ultans Ladies were formed in January 1987. We entered the U-14 Championship Competitions in our first year and were very successful and went on to win it out.

The following year, 1991 we entered the Junior competition and were also successful in winning that.

Jim Fitzsimons was the man who lead these teams to their success and is dedicated to St. Ultans and the Meath ladies, going to all their training sessions and games and managing the Meath U-16 girls. He has brought a great knowledge of the game and he does an exceptional job for the ladies football in the county.

1992 was a quite year as we were not very successful. But in 1993 we made up for it winning the U-16 Championship and the Feis Cup.

In 1994 we were very successful in winning the League and in 1995 we won the minor and senior championship. We had experienced skilful players such as Tara Sweeney, Amy Bennett, Catriona Rennicks, Linda Fitzsimons and Cora Bennett, who were members of the Meath panel which won the Leinster in 1993, 1994, and the All-Ireland in 94’. St. Ultans have had a phenomenal success in the U-14 championship to date. The girls won the first ever U-14 championship in 1996 when they defeated Moylough on a score-line of 5-11 to 1-2 in Drumbaragh. A convincing victory indeed! Captain for 1996 was Ciara Murray. The clubs youth were now in training and in 1997 followed up with their second championship title. In this final the girls emerged winners 5-11 to 0-11 over Royal Gaels at Bective. Deirdre Codd was captain. The girls had a tough time, however, enroute to the final. In the semi-final they met a strong Navan O’Mahonys outfit which they just couldn’t shake off. O’Mahonys forced a reply.

In a cracker of a game Navan girls bought the Ultans girls the whole way to extra time. Totally exhausted 30 girls battled it out for a final 30 minutes. However, the ‘never say die attitude of the Ultans girls seen them through as they booked themselves a place in the final. The bellies of this Bohermeen, Cortown, Boyerstown outfit were now fuelled with fire and with the sweet smell of success in the air there was just no stopping them. The U-16 team also won the championship in 1997 which brought more success to the young club. St. Ultans had only one thing in mind in 1998, and that was a ‘3 in a row’ victory. Under the management of Claire Coyne the girls trained hard twice a week, covering every blade of grass in Sean Newman Park. Captain Rachel Barry, who was one of the stars of ‘98 led her team to victory, yet again in the U-14 Final.

Opponents this time, Navan O’Mahonys were seeking revenge for the final of ’97. The favoured Navan side was under the guidance of Geraldine Sheridan Meath U-14 coach and manager. The Ultans girls got off to a bad start on a wet, dull day in Carlanstown and trailed at half time. However a superb second half performance changed the game and the girls ensured a run away victory would clinch that title.

St. Ultans had won the U-14 championship for the third time, retaining the title since its inauguration. The girls in their 3 years never lost a game. A fine record!

1996 1997 1998

Ciara Murray Cathy Coyne Geraldine Doherty

Elaine Duffy Mary Coyne Cathy Coyne

Sonia Renehan Geraldine Doherty Mary Coyne

Shauna Bennett Shauna Bennett Tara Newman

Deirdre Codd Katie O’Brien Aoife Mallon

Geraldine Doherty Jennifer Ball Lynsey Rogers

Catherine Doherty Naomi Rennicks Shauna Bennett

Katie O’Brien Lauri Brady Jennifer Ball

Mary O’Brien Deirdre Codd Mairead Burke

Gillian Harford Gillian Harford Katie O’Brien

Mary Mackin Maria Galligan Lisa Barry

Therese Coffey Mairead Burke Rachel Barry

Caroline Noone Sonia Renehan Maria Galligan

Julie-Ann Marley Lynsey Rogers Aoife Ball

Maria Galligan Annie Rennicks Annie Rennicks

Jean Marley Julie Caulfield Lauri Brady

Mary Coyne Jean Marley Naomi Rennicks

Caroline Noone Kay Smith

Marianne Burke

Rachel Barry

Lisa Barry

Fiona Mackin

The girls were guided over the 3 years thanks to the fine dedicated work of Claire Coyne.

In 1998, St. Ultans decided to form an U12 team. There were a lot of girls interested and we ended up with a panel of 21. The team trained two nights a week, Monday and Thursday, under the strict guidance of Mary Mackin and Cathy Coyne. In the first round St. Ultans played away to Dunboyne on a wet and miserable evening. Despite the bad conditions. St. Ultans went out in force and their good work paid off. We left Dunboyne with smiling faces after winning our first game. In our second game we played Oldcastle. It was another wet and miserable evening and the conditions of the game was very bad.

The game ended in a draw. Our third game was also at home against Dunsany. Dunsany had a very weak team and once again we came out on top. Next we travelled to Gibbstown where we came up against Wolfe Tones. It was another wet evening but that did not spoil the game. It was an even game in the first half but then the Ultans came out with a totally different attitude and left Wolfe Tones speechless. We had earned another vital 3 points. Our next challenge was Walterstown at home and though we had thought that this would be a challenge for the girls, they showed a brilliant performance and earned themselves a place in the semi-final. The girls were very determined and showed great interest at the games and also with the attendance at training.

On Monday evening the game started at 4p.m. The game was very entertaining and with great display from both teams it was very close but fortunately we came out on top and earned ourselves a place in the final. Simonstown were playing Walterstown in the other semi at Bective and Simonstown came out on top. The final was set for a Sunday morning at Navan O’Mahonys. It was a wet soggy morning but still we were all set. The game was nail-biting and proved very exciting right to the very end. The game ended in a draw and was fixed for two weeks later for Gibbstown. It was a dry morning and there was a big turn out. The game was very exciting and at the end of the game it was a draw. Extra time had to be played. Simonstown came out with a great fight and went six points ahead. But St. Ultans were not giving up and with a great display came back and won the game by two points. There was great excitement in the Ultans camp after a great display of football. St. Ultans, Mary Coyne went on to get player of the match and received a bag from Geraldine Sheridan and David Carry. The team are determined to go for the double.

The St. Ultans panel was as follows:

Gillian Coffey Elisha Keelaghan

Aoife Mallon Kay Smith

Lisa Tormey Una Farrell

Amy Casserly Niamh Farrell

Tara Newman Niamh Burke

Ann-Marie Ball Clare Darcy

Mary Coyne Cora Ciechanowicz

Shauna Bennett Ella Ciechanowicz

Sinead Meehan Lynn Mitchell

Barbara Burke Caroline Costello

Eilish McGlew


The first AGM was held on February 17th 1985. The following were elected:

Chairman; Timmy Shankey

V Chairman: Jim McKeever

Secretary: Collette Doggett

Ass Sec: Doreen Doggett

Treasurer: Carmel McKenna

P.R.O. Annmarie McKeown

Coach: Jim McKeever

Delegates to Co Brd: JimmyBellew, Jim McKeever, Cathy Costello, Brenda Doggett.

Committee: Dympna Johnson, Carol O’Reilly, Tracey Muldoon, Noreen Meehan, Margaret Quail.

In that year Wolfe Tones entered a Senior team and won the championship. In 1986 they were beaten finalists and then in 1987 they won both the championship and the league. A break was taken for some years and returned to play in 1996. The club entered an U14 team in the championship, which they came close to reaching a place in the semi-final.

In 1998, an U12 team entered the championship and now the club has U12 and U14 teams entered in competition with the hope of entering more in the next few years.

Wolfe Tone CumannPeile Gael na mBan are thankful to the men’s club for their wonderful support over the years.

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