U16 Leinster A Championship – Round 2
Meath v Wexford
Half Time: Meath 3 – 08 – Wexford 4 – 02
Full Time: Meath 4 – 20 – Wexford 4 – 03
Saturday March 31st 2018
Finding the Gears
Like driving your new car for the first time, Meath spent the first half familiarizing them selves with the gears and instruments. Comfortable at times without imposing their collective on their Wexford opponents, it was individual players that sketched grey Dunganny and a fine crowd. This was the Royals first time playing together competitively and the first half was a case of bedding in the personnel.
Firstly, well done to both teams. This was a hard fought contest, space was a premium and every ball fought for with an honesty and fervour that would grace any sport. Both sides’ fitness levels were exemplary. Meath opened against the strong wind with a flurry of points. Louise Coyne was the architect pulling the strings but the match had yet to hit a pattern. Emma Duggan goaled and all was set fair. But Wexford hadn’t read the script.
Living on a fraction of Meath’s possession, the purple and gold were still moving the scoreboard. Meath were unable to shake them. Tenacious defending by the Royals Monaghan’s and O’Kane showed how the other end of the pitch operate. Then came a yellow card for Ali Sherlock. Last week Meath’s seniors took a yellow and paid a price. Similarly Wexford were to tack on 2 – 01 during Ali’s absence. Half time came with just three points between the sides. Time for reflection!
A half time group think by the Royalettes was to pay dividends. At last finding the right gears, knowing where the instrumentation was, Meath bossed the second period. Now a clear definition of sides took place. Each line put forward a leader. McCanna and Sherlock locked up the square. Mollie Browne romped forward, linking play with the midfield of McCabe and Delaney, simple but effective. Gore and Alannah Boland bossed their respective lines. Meath were purring like a new car.
Wearing number 15 was Emma Duggan. Rarely venturing beyond the 20 metre line, Duggan gave us the perfect definition of what economical actually is. Had she been wearing a match tracker, the stats would make interesting reading. She hardly broke sweat, timed her runs to perfection. Never had to drive the boot through the ball but wound up scoring 4 – 09. Left foot, right foot, left hand, right hand, once even an almost contemptuous fisted point when all other avenues were shut off!
Did she run her marker ragged? No. In fact her marker did a good job but sometimes a player cannot be marked because they do the right thing that fraction ahead of most other players. Emma will be well aware that she has shed more sweat in other matches, but one tips the hat to her sheer visionary instincts. She scores, and she creates scores. Provider when necessary, finisher when needed. No, this is not a one woman team. This is a team of enormous potential. Olivia Gore and Louise Coyne were the earlier conductors of the the Royal orchestra. They simply handed the baton over to Duggan for the rest of the concert.
The substitutions were made. All added to the team. Aideen Jones being the pick with two booming points and using herself as a target. This game will iron out any kinks, those ladies know they are on track. Well done to both sets of women. We came away feeling good. You couldn’t ask for more.
Clara McCanna, Saoirse O’Kane, Ali Sherlock, Aoibhe Monaghan, Caragh Monaghan, Mollie Browne, Alice McGrath, Aisling McCabe, Aoife Delaney, Louise Coyne, Olivia Gore, Eimear Fay, Meadhbh Byrne, Alannah Boland, Emma Duggan.
Subs used: Aideen Jones, Ellen Grant, Aoibhinn Bracken, Lauren Donnelly, Orla Finnegan, Zoe Kirwan.
Duggan 4 – 09, Louise Coyne 0 – 03, Alannah Boland 0 – 02, Mollie Browne 0 – 02, Aideen Jones 0 – 02, Olivia Gore 0 – 01, Meadhbh Byrne 0 – 01
A Dunne, S Hackett, S Nolan, A Bridges, L Doyle, L Fortune, KA Dempsey, J Rochford S Boyle, R Power, J Gahan, A Cullen, O Kehoe, S Hobbart, N M Hugh S. Boxwell