Back-on-track Meath ladies resurrect their semi-final ambitions
THIS victory over Clare got the Royal ladies back on track in their pursuit of a NFL Division 2 semi-final spot in Donaghmore/Ashbourne on Sunday.
The home side were comfortable throughout and led by eight at the break, 2-6 to 0-4, and despite a mini fight back by their opponents in the closing minutes they ran out deserving winners.
Meath started brightly and built up a 0-3 to 0-1 advantage. The opening goal came on the 10 minute mark when Katie O'Brien found the net after her shot just dipped under the crossbar. The Royals looked comfortable at that stage and added further scores when O'Brien was pushed inside the square resulting in a penalty which she converted herself.
Captain Shauna Bennett then opened her account before Ger Doherty and O'Brien followed up with a point apiece to give Meath a solid cushion at the interval.
Meath continued in the ascendancy on the restart with a brace of points from the midfield pairing of Kate Byrne and Bennett. Clare responded well and closed the gap with three successive points.
Bennett and Doherty added further scores to Meath's tally to leave a nine point gap between the sides.
Sinead Coyle was introduced to the action and made an immediate impression and was involved straight away setting up Emily Davis for Meath's third goal of the match. That put the game out of the Banner sides reach and the lead was extended further when Siofra Cleary made her way up from her wing back position to split the posts.
Clare did rally late in the game and boosted by two goals they closed the gap significantly but Meath were never in any danger of being overhauled.
MEATH: Irene Munnelly; Mary Coyne, Michelle Peel, Sarah Powderly; Siofra Cleary, Maire O'Shaughnessy, Emma Troy; Shauna Bennett, Kate Byrne; Bridgetta Lynch, Laura Dempsey, Alice Davis; Geraldine Doherty, Katie O'Brien 2-1, Meabh Downey. Subs: Elaine Plunkett for O'Shaughnessy, Shauna Ennis for Davis, Emily Davis for Downey, Sinead Coyle for Lynch, Vivienne McCormack for Byrne, Laura Bagnall for Powderly, Jenny Rispin for Dempsey, Lesley Buchannan for Cleary, Aideen Guy for Troy, Julianne Scanlon for Coyne, Stephanie Byrne for Doherty.