Thursday 17 October 2019

Murray's delight at convincing win as feel-good factor endures in Meath

Meath 4-11 Sligo 1-7

Meath players celebrate with the cup. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile
Meath players celebrate with the cup. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile

Daragh Small

Meath manager Eamonn Murray says his players did him proud while they banished the heartbreak of some big defeats on the national stage last year.

Having lost the Lidl National Football League Division 3 and TG4 All-Ireland Intermediate finals in 2018, the Leinster outfit have at least put the memories of that Wexford defeat behind them by claiming promotion to Division 2.

Emma Kevany of Sligo in action against Shauna Ennis of Meath. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile
Emma Kevany of Sligo in action against Shauna Ennis of Meath. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile

Murray's side made a fast start to both halves with Kelsey Nesbitt (two), Stacey Grimes and Emma Duggan all finding the net in a convincing display.

Duggan, Sarah Wall and Orlagh Lally, who all started on Saturday, will take the field for the Meath minors against Kildare in Kinnegad today. It's another Leinster final for a county on the rise.

"This league title is massive for Meath," said Murray.

"We are after winning the U-14 championship in Leinster, the U-16 championship and we are in the minor final. We are winning everything we touch this year.

Nilola Brennan of Sligo in action against Orlagh Lally of Meath. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile
Nilola Brennan of Sligo in action against Orlagh Lally of Meath. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile

"We didn't have a cup for years in Meath. This is all coming at the one time and it is no fluke. It is with the hard-working county board to brilliant management team. My own coaches are amazing coaches.

"Once we keep it going now. We have a big population in Meath, we have over 5,500 members and that is a lot of kids. They all want to play for Meath. That's what it's all about."

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Meath were awesome in their thumping 5-18 to 3-10 semi-final victory over Longford. And they took a 1-6 to 0-1 lead into half-time in the decider against Sligo.

Nesbitt was shown a yellow card halfway through the opening half, but Meath continued to dominate, with Katie Walsh's free all Sligo could muster.

Sligo did rally in the second half but goals from Grimes and Nesbitt (two) in the four minutes at the start of the half killed the game.

"We didn't think we were going to get all of those goals in the first few minutes," said Murray of the scoring burst at the start of the second half. "At half-time we said the first half means nothing, the second half is everything.

"This game showed we have a lot of progress done. Look at the scoreboard, it's a massive win."

Scorers - Meath: K Nesbitt 2-0, S Grimes 1-4 (0-2f), E Duggan 1-2, N Gallogly 0-1, V Wall 0-1, M Thynne 0-1, A Cleary 0-1, O Lally 0-1. Sligo: L Boles 1-0, K Walsh 0-3 (0-2f), N Brennan 0-2, E Kevany 0-1, L Casey 0-1.

Meath - M McGuirk; K Newe, S Powderly, S Ennis; S Wall, A Cleary, N Gallogly; M O'Shaughnessy, O Lally; V Wall, E Duggan, M Thynne; E White, K Nesbitt, S Grimes. Subs: O Byrne for White (46), O Duff for Newe (55), K Byrne for Lally (55), B Lynch for Nesbitt (57), N Sheridan for S Wall (60).

Sligo - N Gormley; A Morrisroe, M McNamara, J Mulligan; N Brennan, B Byrne, AM Coleman; R Goodwin, LA Laffey; L Boles, C Gorman, S Naughton; K Walsh, E Kevany, L Casey. Subs: R Quigley for Gormley (half-time), S Regan for Kevany (35), G O'Loughlin for Coleman (46), S Reynolds for Laffey (49), J Brehany for Casey (54).

REF - E Moran (Kerry).

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