TG4 Leinster Senior Championship: Round One
Meath v Westmeath
Sunday 12th June at 2pm
Half Time; Meath 0-08, Westmeath 3-12
Full Time: Meath 2-14, Westmeath 5-21
Meath Senior Ladies got their Leinster Senior Championship underway this afternoon with a tough home assignment against a strong Westmeath team. Five players made their Championship debuts as Westmeath recorded their opening win of this yearâs 2016 competition.
Niamh Gallogly got her name on Meathâs opening score in this yearâs Championship in the opening minute as Vikki Wall won the throw in and found Gallogly in space. On the resumption, Westmeath got the first of a five goal haul, Leona Archibald finishing to the net. Meath battled hard in the humid conditions and restored parity with a brace of scores from Jenny Rispin and a second point from Gallogly. Westmeath hit back strongly, hitting 1-03 without reply, the goal coming on 9 minutes from Ciara Blundell. Good combination play from Orla Byrne and Niamh Lister set up a fine score from Simonstownâs Ailbhe McHugh who pointed from a tight angle on 11 mins. As Westmeath kept the scoreboard ticking over with points, Meath kept driving forward and were unlucky to see some efforts fall short. With the superb Vikki Wall running at the Westmeath defence from her midfield berth, the Royals looked dangerous and with Niamh Lister, Shauna Ennis and Niamh OâSullivan all pushing forward, the signs were looking good for Meath. Stacey Grimes, also making her Championship debut, converted a free on 22 mins after Jenny Rispin was fouled. Winning possession on the resumption, Wall found Rispin in space who split the posts. Niamh OâSullivan found her scoring boots after some lovely combination play and the Royal Gaels player split the posts on 25 mins. Also making her Championship debut, Emma White was unlucky to see her efforts fall into Sarah Keeganâs arms. Westmeath hit back, Laura Walsh hitting 1-02 but there was time for Niamh OâSullivan to split the posts for her second of the contest.
Half Time; Meath 0-08, Westmeath 3-12.
With Meath Management making the changes at half time, the Royals started the second half in determined fashion. Emma White split the posts on 31 mins but this was cancelled out as Ruth OâConnor converted on 34 mins. Substitute Julie Donnellan pointed on the resumption after great play by Jenny Rispin, whoâs settling influence was key. With the Royal defence determined, Captain Paula Dunne led by example and overturned the ball on several occasions. The teams swapped scores with ten mins gone in the second half. Maude Ann Foley converted a free on 40 mins, but this was cancelled out as patient build up play from Vikki Wall and Niamh Gallogly found OâSullivan who duly converted from a wide angle. Westmeath hit back, scoring 2-04 without reply, the first goal awarded appeared to have rebounded off the upright and the second scored by Karen Hegerty who had been a thorn in the Royalâs defence all afternoon. The Meath Seniors are nothing if not persistent, and hit back strongly, Emma White crowning a terrific debut performance with Meathâs first goal of the Championship on 49 mins. OâSullivan found White in space and the St Pats player finished with aplomb to the net. Meath could have been further behind but for a super save from Monica McGuirk on 49 mins. Two fine Jenny Rispin points sandwiched a Foley point at the other end, with Kate Flynn and Donnellan providers for both Rispin scores. OâSullivan was unlucky to see a free rebound off the post and away to safety while White was harshly sin binned after clashing with her marker. The Royals continued to run at the Westmeath defence and their efforts were rewarded with a second goal, OâSullivan finishing a big performance with a long range goal on 57 mins. While the game was over as a contest, both sides continued, the intensity not letting up and while Westmeath put a final brace of points on the board, Meath had the final say, Stacey Grimes pointing her second of the game. It finished with the neighbours getting off the mark in this yearâs Leinster Championship.
Full Time; Meath 2-14, Westmeath 5-21.
Goals win games and today Westmeath scored five, three in the opening half at a crucial time. However, it is not all doom and gloom for the Meath Ladies. Converting 2-14 and having a plethora of other chances shows this team has real talent and a steely determination. Undoubtedly they will regroup and prepare for their next game against Laois next Sunday. Laois were beaten by Dublin on Sunday afternoon on a 3-15 to 0-04 scoreline which should make next weekâs encounter all the spicier. That game is set for a Laois venue next Sunday. Details tbc. The Meath Senior Ladies would like to congratulate the Meath U14s who qualified for the All Ireland Final this afternoon against Tyrone!
Meath Team & Scorers: Louise Dunne, Aideen Guy, Paula Dunne (C), Elaine Plunkett, Orla Byrne, Shauna Ennis, Niamh Lister, Stacey Grimes (0-02, 1f), Vikki Wall, Emma White (1-01), Niamh O'Sullivan (1-03), Niamh Gallogly (0-02), Ailbhe McHugh (0-01), Catriona Keogan, Jenny Rispin (0-04, 1f).
Subs: Emma Troy for Guy (HT), Monica McGuirk for Dunne (HT), Kate Flynn for Plunkett (HT), Julie Donnellan (0-01) for McHugh (HT), Tracy King for Lister (58 mins), AoibhÃn Cleary, Niamh OâKelly-Lynch, Kate Lawless, Natalie Davitt, Ray Lawless, Nicole Kelly.
Westmeath: S. Keegan, T. Durkin, L. Brennan, A. Martin, L. McCarton, J. Rogers (C), S. McGrath, M.A. Foley, K. McDermott, L. Archibold, F. Claffey, C. Kelly, C. Blundell, L. Walsh, K. Hegerty.
Referee: Cathy Forde (Wicklow)