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Carlow 4-08 vs 1-03 Meath
A great first-half performance proved decisive as Carlow claimed the All-Ireland æC’ title in St Peregrines on Saturday.
The girls from the Barrowside started well putting the Meath defence under early pressure and soon had their reward when Maria Carroll slotted over. Centre-half forward Ciara Quirke pulled the strings to great effect as she got on the score-sheet with a goal and two points. Despite the efforts of Lauren McCann, Ciara O’Donoghue and Ellan Burke; Lorraine Bible and Eleanor Treacy extended the Carlow lead before Lisa Carroll sent over a free after Adrienne McCann was fouled, this would prove to be Meath’s only score of the half. Despite some great attacking play Meath could not convert their chances, Kate Nolan and Shauna Barcoe snuffing out any danger, full-back Katie O’Byrne was called into action to great effect as she caught Lauren Patterson’s goal bound effort. The Carlow support play was paying off as Eleanor Tracy raised the green flag twice to give her side a 3-07 to 0-01 lead at the interval, it could have been a greater deficit but for Ellan Duignan in Meath goals who looked good under the high ball.
Meath came out determined to take the game to Carlow and soon found themselves on the scoreboard, Lauren Patterson raising the white flag, this was quickly followed by Adrienne McCann’s fine point. . Going in search of a goal Meath sent full-back Ellan Burke to the edge of the square a move which paid off as she found the back of the net, claiming a high ball she turned to blast past ækeeper Niamh Curran. Carlow broke forward and when Shauna Daly was fouled outside the ’21 Shauna Barcoe made no mistake coolly slotting between the posts. Eleanor Treacy scored the last of the Carlow goals after some great interlinking play between substitute Casey Tobin and Ciara Quirke.
Carlow manager Jack Barcoe hoped that his side’s achievement would help raise the profile of the game within the county.
“”This victory means everything to Carlow, we’ve been the bottom of the ladder for sometime now and we knew we needed to win something major to change that. Hopefully this will help the profile of the game in the county and make it easier for us in terms of sponsorship and things,”” said Carlow manager Jack Barcoe.
Barcoe believed that it was the closeness of the team that inspired victory: “”This team has been together for four years, they’ve won two Leinster Champioships back to back, there’s six or seven girls who were on the Borris Vocational School’s side which competed in the College’s Final and we only have five clubs to pick from, so they know each other really well.
“”The girls played very well, we got off to a good start and that proved decisive. The first couple of scores settled the girls, the score-line doesn’t reflect what a tough game it really was,”” added Barcoe.
Carlow Scorers: Eleanor Treacy 3-01, Ciara Quirke 1-02, Shauna Barcoe 0-02 (frees), Maria Carroll, Rebecca O’Dwyer, Lorraine Bible 0-01 (each)
Meath Scorers: Ellan Burke 1-0, Lauren Patterson , Adrienne McCann 0-01 (each), Lisa Carroll 0-01 (free)

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