Meath 4-11 Louth 2-03
Meath Minors travelled to a cold, wet, windy and totally miserable Knockbridge in Louth on Sunday confident after their victory over Wexford during the week. The forecast for the day was rain, rain and more rain. It didn't disappoint! Both teams turned out for their warm ups. It was getting increasingly doubtful whether the game would go ahead as the pitch was just short of being flooded.
With less than ten minutes to throw in the referee eventually decided that it was too dangerous for the game to proceed. Louth personal were trying to source another pitch nearby and eventually this was the case. Everyone into their cars and move a couple of miles up the road to the facilities of Darver Centre of Excellence!
When eventually the game got under way it was 7 minutes before Louth playing with the stiff breeze opened the scoring with a point. Meath to be fair had missed several chances in this time. They eventually found their scoring boots and it was Seona Lynch who booted two lovely points for Meath. This was followed swiftly by a superb goal from Lauryn Grier. Meath were on the move. They hit another 1-03 with a Tara Berigan goal and points from Leah Devine (2) and Lauryn Grier before Louth would claw back a goal and a point from Niamh Rice.
Not to be outdone Meath launched another attack and a speculative long ball into the Louth rectangle saw the Louth keeper spill the ball. Leah Devine the ever present thorn in Louths side was there to whip the ball into the back of the net. Meath went into the break with a 3-05 to 1-02 advantage.
On the resumption Orlagh Lally latched on to a scrappy ball and popped it effortlessly over the bar. This was followed by another point from Grier on the sixth minute. For the next 20 or so the game was interspersed by one stoppage after another. Orlagh Lally had to leave the field of play injured. Laoise McDermott was glad she was wearing her gum shield after an accidental clash with her opposition player. In the mean time Louth had earned themselves a goal from Bronagh McArdle. Substitute Petra Reilly on for the injured Susie O'Rourke was alert when the ball broke loose in front of goals and without hesitation lashed it into the goals.
Once again there were more stoppages than passages of play. By this stage both teams were getting colder by the minute. A couple more points courtesy of Seona Lynch and Lauryn Grier made sure the Meath girls were heading to their first A final in a while. Louth tagged on a point in the last minute but by that stage it was more consolation than anything else.
It has to be said that both teams to their credit gave everything they had in this game despite the cold and rain. Well done girls!
A big thanks to all the supporters who turned up and despite getting soaked to the skin stayed till the very end of the game.
Meath will now play either Dublin or Kildare (game postponed today) in the Leinster A Final on April 29th at a venue and time tbc.
Meath team and scorers: Judy Bobbett, Katie Newe, Mary Kate Lynch, Sophia Payne, Rachel Troy, Orla Smith, Aedin Slattery, Orlagh Lally (0-01), Laoise McDermott, Susie O'Rourke, Leah Devine (1-02), Seona Lynch (0-04), Lauryn Grier (1-04), Megan Peters, Tara Berigan (1-0). Subs: Petra Reilly (1-0), for O'Rourke, Marina Kelly for Payne, Mollie Byrne for Lally, Orla McLoughlin for Devine.
Louth: Grainne Boyle, Claire Donnelly, Marie Claire Rogers, Kate Smith, Abbi O'Connor, Seoda Matthews, Orla McEvoy, Grace Treanor, Rachel McNally, Bronagh McArdle, Ciara Woods, Lauren b-Boyle, Hannah Carolan, Niamh Sadlier, Niamh Rice.
Referee: Finbarr Shanahan - Dublin