Louth

| 26.9°C Dublin

Midfield ace Maire says Meath don’t do panic

Close

Duleek-Bellewstown club player Orla Byrne battles against Kerry duo Emma Costello, left, and Julie O'Sullivan at Croke Park. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Duleek-Bellewstown club player Orla Byrne battles against Kerry duo Emma Costello, left, and Julie O'Sullivan at Croke Park. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Meath players (l to r) Katie Newe, Máire O'Shaughnessy, Aoibhín Cleary and Monica McGuirk celebrate after their side's victory in the TG4 All-Ireland Ladies Football Senior Championship Final. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Meath players (l to r) Katie Newe, Máire O'Shaughnessy, Aoibhín Cleary and Monica McGuirk celebrate after their side's victory in the TG4 All-Ireland Ladies Football Senior Championship Final. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

/

Duleek-Bellewstown club player Orla Byrne battles against Kerry duo Emma Costello, left, and Julie O'Sullivan at Croke Park. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

droghedaindependent

MEATH’S steely determination in the face of adversity and their ability to keep their fingers off the panic button was tested on a number of occasions over the last two years and again on Sunday as Kerry made a blistering start to proceedings.

Two early points and then a goal inside seven minutes would have given lesser teams the jitters, but not Meath as midfielder Maire O’Shaughnessy emphasised afterwards.

“We are quite good at not panicking we have been further behind at times throughout the last few years and it hasn’t fazed us,” the Donaghmore/Ashbourne star said.

“In terms of the personalities on the team we are a very chilled bunch of girls. Everyone is very laid-back and easy going and that is probably the key as to why we all get on so well.

This is Louth Newsletter

Your weekly fix of local news and sport headlines from Louth, direct to your inbox

This field is required

“There are no big personalities and under pressure we have the ability to perform. That has been drilled into us by our management team. We practise and practise and do the same things over and over again. When you practise that much it becomes a habit.

“We knew what Kerry were going to bring. Fantastically skilled footballers, especially at getting goals, so it wasn’t a shock when we conceded that goal, but we knew we had to switch on and not allow more goals go in and leave ourselves with a mountain to climb.”

Having been involved on All-Ireland final day for the last four years did give Meath an edge and their maturity showed throughout the 60 minutes.

“This group, including management, have been together for six years almost, so that is special in itself and that is the secret to our success,” continued O’Shaughnessy.

“We stay together, we know each other so well and there is such a range of ages on the panel, so, yes, I think experience did stand to us today.”

And while the outcome was the same, Shauna Ennis climbing the steps of the Hogan Stand to receive the Brendan Martin Cup, the year in general was completely different to 2021 when Meath arrived from nowhere to claim the title for the very first time, according to O’Shaughnessy.

“I think the whole year was completely different. People were saying we hadn’t been playing as well this year, but I don’t see it like that.

“I think other teams have gotten better. It is such a tough competition and it really is great for ladies football that the bar is constantly rising. We might not have been playing as well, but that was because the opposition weren’t allowing us.

“The standard of ladies football is constantly rising. It is such a privilege to be involved in the sport and be involved with such a competitive team.

“We have always approached it one game at a time and we have quite rigid routines in what we do and leading up to matches, whether it is an All-Ireland final or the opening round of the league, that doesn’t change.

‘Personally I thought there was less of a hype this year. Maybe it was just the two weeks since the semi-final, a quick enough turnaround – it is usually three – so we had to get straight down to business. There was no meet and greet this year either.

“Personally I didn’t think there was more hype or pressure this year. It was a different challenge. Last year heading in against Dublin, we had never played them before and were massive underdogs and this year we started as slight favourites.

“We were more familiar with Kerry, having played them twice last year, and we were keeping a close eye on them throughout the championship as well.

“Different years, but we kept our preparations the same and it has worked out well for us.”


Privacy