Ladies: Four first-half goals help Dublin crush Meath in Leinster final dress rehearsal

May 05, 2024

Meath's Mary Kate Lynch tackles Caoimhe O'Connor of Dublin ©INPHO/Leah Scholes

Dublin 5-13
Meath 0-8

by Aisling Clery

Dublin secured their third win in the TG4 Leinster SFC when they accounted for Meath in glorious sunshine in Parnell Park this afternoon.

Four first half goals paved the way for victory in what was a dress rehearsal of sorts ahead of the two teams meeting again next Sunday in the Championship Final in Croke Park.

Nicole Owens (2), Carla Rowe, Jennifer Dunne and Caoimhe O’Connor all found the net for Mick Bohan’s team who led comfortably at the break. Scores were scarce in the second half, but the damage was done. Meath will take solace from the result given they rested some of their more seasoned players ahead of next week’s final, yet they still put it up to the reigning champions.

Dublin attacked right from the start, Carla Rowe’s shot was saved well by Meath netminder Robyn Murray. Meadhbh Byrne grabbed the opening score for Meath on two minutes, but this early lead didn’t last. Nicole Owens hit the net on four minutes for the first of Dublin’s four first half goals.

Two minutes later and the ball was in the back of the Meath net once more, Carla Rowe this time the one to convert after a brilliant exchange with Annabelle Timothy. Dublin could have been even further ahead when Sinéad Goldrick’s effort rebounded off the Meath crossbar and parried away to safety by Robyn Murray.

Two Carla Rowe points in the space of a minute added to Dublin’s lead, the second a lovely score on the run down the left wing from Rowe.

Meath hit back on eleven minutes, Orlaith Mallon converting a free, but this was cancelled out by an excellent Goldrick point. Goldrick caused the Meath defence all sorts of problems throughout the opening half.

Meadhbh Byrne hit Meath’s third point on fifteen minutes, a fine long range effort that curled inside the upright.

Points from Owens and Jennifer Dunne consolidated Dublin’s lead and Orlagh Nolan too had a chance to add to Dublin’s goal tally, but it was fumbled away by Murray who played well under pressure.

Goldrick added her second point of the game on twenty minutes after a well timed pass from Caoimhe O’Connor and Dublin landed their third goal when the Sky Blues again created the overlap and a ball from Rowe found Jennifer Dunne who dutifully finished with aplomb.

Meath were caught on the overlap once more on twenty-six minutes as Caoimhe O’Connor got her name on the scoresheet, firing to the net. Hannah Tyrrell who had had a quiet first half put over two points, one a free, before Orlaith Mallon grabbed her second free of the afternoon on the stroke of half time. Dublin led comfortably at the break, 4-8 to 0-5.

On the scoreboard, the second half was a quieter affair. Meadhbh Byrne got her second score of the game on thirty-four minutes before Goldrick got her third a minute later.

Dublin’s attacks were relentless and to their credit, the Meath defence did well under the pressure. Orlagh Nolan added a point on forty-two minutes and on the resumption, a miskicked kick out landed in Nicole Owens arms and the St. Sylvester’s player added her second goal as she tapped home to an empty net.

Meath continued to show up well with points from Seona Lynch and Amy O’Leary, but Dublin finished strongly with Hannah Hegarty, Jennifer Dunne and Ellen Gribben all scoring to seal their third win in the Championship. The sides will meet again next Sunday in the TG4 Senior Championship Final at 11.45am in Croke Park.

SCORERS: Dublin: N Owens 2-1, C Rowe 1-2, J Dunne 1-2, S Goldrick 0-3, C O’Connor 1-0, H Tyrrell 0-2 (1f), O Nolan 0-1, E Gribben 0-1, H Hegarty 0-1.

Meath: M Byrne 0-2, S Lynch 0-2, O Mallon 0-2 (2f), K Cole 0-1, A O’Leary 0-1.

DUBLIN: R Fleming, K Murray, M Byrne, N Crowley, H McGinnis, S Goldrick, A Kane, J Dunne, L Magee, C O’Connor, O Nolan, C Rowe (C), A Timothy, H Tyrrell, N Owens.

Subs: L Caffrey for Magee (HT), E Gribben for Murray (HT), C Coffey for Timothy (42), H Hegarty for Goldrick (50), A Shiels for Fleming (50).

MEATH: R Murray, C Lawlor, O Gore, K Kealy, T Foster, I O’Connor, K Newe (C), A McCabe, R Casserly, M Byrne, S Lynch, O Mallon, M Collins, K Cole, A Leahy.

Subs: S Caulfield for Newe (HT), C Doherty for Casserly (34), C Gorman for Collins (34), E McCann for O’Connor (39), A O’Leary for Cole (39).

Referee: Eoghan O’Neill (Laois).

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