01 September 2008
Five second-half points did the trick as Meath got the better of Roscommon by the narrowest margin in the All-Ireland junior B camogie final at Drumlane, County Cavan on Saturday afternoon.
The outcome left John Davis’ charges in possession of the Nancy Murray Cup and atones for defeat to Laois in last year’s decider.
Meath were in a spot of bother when trailing by the minimum margin, 0-5 to 1-3, at half-time but with Jane Dolan leading the way in attack they outscored Roscommon, whom they had defeated earlier in the year in the Division 4 league decider.
The efforts of Caroline Connaughton in the Roscommon goals prevented Meath from raising a couple of green flags after the restart while the winners’ defence held firm against a late onslaught from the Connacht side.
Kellie Hopkins’ third pointed free increased the Rossies’ lead in the 35th minute before a Dolan effort from play and a long distance free from team captain Aileen Donnelly tied up the scores for third and penultimate time.
Meath’s Frances Lynch and Roscommon’s most potent attacker Annette McGeeney exchanged scores before Dolan’s fourth point saw the Royal County side regain the upper hand in the 50th minute.
Elizabeth Lynch doubled Meath’s advantage in the 57th minute, but in a prolonged spell of stoppage time a series of Roscommon raids only yielded a white flag for Claire Curley.
Player of the match Edel Guy and skipper Donnelly as well as Margarita Stephens and full-back Laura Donegan all made telling contributions as the Meath defence held firm to become the third winners of this competition.
Playing towards the pavilion end at this impressive north Cavan venue, Meath were quick off the mark and a brace of Sinead Hackett points left them 0-4 to 0-1 to the good after 15 minutes.
Defensive slackness allowed Roscommon full-forward Fiona Connell stroke the sliotar to the Meath net and leave it 1-2 to 0-4 after 22 minutes. Elizabeth Lynch’s first point quickly levelled matters.
However, Roscommon finished the half on the up with Hopkins landing a 27th minute free to give her side a slender interval advantage. Meath shaded the second-half exchanges by 0-5 to 0-3 and look forward to playing championship camogie at a higher grade next year.
Meath – E. Mangan; M. Stephens, L. Donegan, K. Ward; E. Guy, A. Donnelly (0-1, free), L. Donoghue; A. M. Fagan, L. Flynn; E. Oakes, F. Lynch (0-1), S. Hackett (0-2); E. Lynch (0-2), J. Dolan (0-4, 2 frees), S. Horan. Subs – A. Keogh for Hackett (55 mins).
Roscommon – C. Connaughton; E. Farrell, N. Connolly, S. Coyle; C. Kileen, D. Kelly, C. Morris; C. Regan, K. Hopkins (0-3, frees); C. Moran, A. McGeeney (0-1), P. Lennon; E. Daly, F. Connell (1-0), C. Curley (0-2). Subs – R. Fallon for Connell (half-time), C. Rogers for Daly (47 mins).
Referee – P. Walsh (Armagh).
In other news, hosts Tyrone emerged victorious from a junior blitz which took place on Saturday.
The Red Hands defeated Wicklow in the final of a competition which also featured Cavan and Monaghan.