Meath far too strong for Wick­low

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - SPORT -


MEATH pro­duced a stun­ning per­for­mance to cruise to the TG4 Le­in­ster In­ter­me­di­ate fi­nal where they must be red hot favourites to beat Wex­ford go­ing on their dis­man­tling of a gallant Wick­low side in Na­van on Sun­day af­ter­noon last.

From the very first Wick­low at­tack that was turned over it was abun­dantly clear that Meath are just in a to­tally dif­fer­ent place in terms of tac­tics and fit­ness as they ran Wick­low ragged over the course of this game, find­ing the net five times, four in the sec­ond half, as they main­tained their im­pres­sive form un­der the coach­ing guid­ance of for­mer Balt­in­glass Se­nior ladies and men’s team man­ager Paul Gar­ri­gan.

Meath’s abil­ity to move the ball swiftly through the hands had Wick­low chas­ing shad­ows early on and the Roy­als opened up an early two-point lead through wicked points from Emma Dug­gan and Emma White.

The Royal County put huge pres­sure on Kim Con­nors’ kick­outs in this game, while the tight mark­ing at the other end, es­pe­cially from full-back Sarah Pow­derly on Wick­low’s main at­tack­ing threat in Laura Ho­gan, was fe­ro­cious to say the least.

The home side romped out to a 0-8 to 0-0 lead be­fore Laura Ho­gan got the vis­i­tors off the mark with a pointed free af­ter 13 min­utes.

But Meath were just ef­fort­less in their move­ment up the field, with run­ners off the shoul­der help­ing them charge into Wick­low ter­ri­tory be­fore a neat ball found one of the tar­get women, usu­ally full-for­ward Kelsey Nes­bitt, and in one of the next at­tacks the ball was worked to Orla Byrne who lashed home past Kim Con­nors in the Wick­low goal to make it 1-8 to 0-1 with very lit­tle hope re­main­ing of a Wick­low re­cov­ery even at this early stage of the en­counter.

Meath led by 1-10 to 0-3 at the break and were 2-12 to 0-3 ahead by the 40th minute, Kelsey Nes­bitt with the goal, and from here they coasted to vic­tory and de­nied James Kelly’s charges a sec­ond Le­in­ster fi­nal on the trot. Any­thing other than a Meath vic­tory in that de­cider would be a shock.

Wick­low now turn their at­ten­tion to the All-Ire­land In­ter­me­di­ate foot­ball cham­pi­onship that gets un­der­way in early July.

WICK­LOW: Kim Con­nors; Sarah Jane Win­ders, Sarah Ho­gan, Aoife Gillen; Lorna Fus­cia­rdi, Aimee Ma­her, Emily Mul­hall; Aoife Gor­man, Sarah De­lahunt; Jackie Kinch, Lau­rie Ah­ern, Mead­hbh Deeney; Marie Kealy, Laura Ho­gan, Jessie Nolan Byrne. Subs: Tara Costello for L Fus­cia­rdi (44), Anna McGrath for M Kealy (51), Amy Murphy for M Deeney (54), Kate Hen­nessy for A Gillen (54).

MEATH: Mon­ica McGuirk; Katie Newe, Sarah Pow­derly, Or­laith Duff; Aoib­hin Cleary, Shauna En­nis, Megan En­nis; Máire O’Shaugh­nessy, Katie Byrne; Aoib­heann Leahy, Emma Dug­gan, Orla Byrne; Emma White, Kelsey Nes­bitt, Vikki Wall. Subs: A Leahy for M O’Shaugh­nessy (40), B Lynch for E White (46), N Sheri­dan for K Newe (46), F O’Neill for K Nes­bitt (49), M O’Brien for K Byrne (49).

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