Ladies: Goals key as Meath pick up third win at Waterford's expense

February 04, 2024

Meath's Marion Farrelly

Meath 2-10
Waterford 2-5

by Tomás McCarthy

Ailbhe Leahy and Marion Farrelly struck first half goals as Meath shrugged off a determined Waterford challenge at a blustery Fraher Field and made it three wins from three in Division 1 of the Lidl National Football League. 

Two-time All Star Emma Duggan shot six points for the Royals, four frees and two from play, in a great duel with Emma Murray on the edge of the square. Déise dual star Mairéad O'Brien netted twice but Pat Sullivan's side suffered their third straight defeat in the top flight. 

Waterford won the toss and captain Kellyann Hogan elected to play with the wind in the first half. Four goals arrived in the opening eleven minutes. 

Meath made a blistering start as Ailbhe Leahy lashed the ball to the net after just 30 seconds. The home side hit back straight away as the towering O'Brien flicked a high ball from Aine O'Neill to the back of the net. 

O'Brien got her second goal in the ninth minute after she was set up by Lauren McGregor and Eve Power. It was her third goal in two games.

But Waterford's lead didn't last long as Marion Farrelly fired home two minutes later to make it 2-1 to 2-0. 

The goals dried up for the rest of the half as four Emma Duggan points (three frees) kept the Royals ahead. Farrelly also rattled the Waterford crossbar. Lauren McGregor and Kellyann Hogan converted frees for the hosts while Katie Murray saw her effort saved by Monica McGuirk. The away team led 2-6 to 2-3 at the break. 

Duggan split the posts from 40 metres within two minutes of the restart. Waterford substitute Clare Walsh pointed at the other end with her first touch. Shelly Melia and Duggan saw Shane McCormack's charges stay four in front entering the closing stages. The Déise missed two late frees before Meath substitute Rachel Casserly wrapped up the win with a 65th minute point. 

Scorers - Meath: E Duggan 0-6 (4fs), M Farrelly, A Leahy 1-0 each, R Casserly, S Melia, C Smyth, N Gallogly 0-1 each. 

Waterford: M O'Brien 2-0, L McGregor (2fs), K Hogan (2fs) 0-2 each, C Walsh 0-1. 

MEATH: M McGuirk; K Newe, A Sheridan, N Troy; N Gallogly, MK Lynch, A Cleary; M O'Shaughnessy, S Melia; M Thynne, E Moyles, C Smyth; A Leahy, M Farrelly, E Duggan. Subs: L Young for Smyth (43), S Lynch for Leahy (55), R Casserly for Farrelly (61), T Foster for Melia (66). 

WATERFORD: E O'Brien; H Power, E Murray, A Murray; A O'Neill, E Power, A McNulty; M O'Brien, C Carroll; C McCarthy, K McGrath, K Hogan; B McMaugh, K Murray, L McGregor. Subs: C Murray for Hogan (11), K Hogan for C Murray (16), C Murray for McCarthy (HT), A Brazil for McMaugh (41), C Walsh for Carroll (41), M Comerford for McGrath (56), A Waring for K Murray (57).

Referee: Kevin Phelan (Laois).

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