By Mary Burke, Meath PRO
Meath 4-14 Carlow 1-12
Meath have made their way to the Gala All Ireland Nancy Murray Cup Final for the second year in a row, by defeating Carlow at Naomh Peregrine, Blakestown , on Saturday afternoon at 2pm, with a comprehensive second half display which left 11 points between the sides.
Meath will now meet the winners of Roscommon and Armagh in the All Ireland decider on the 24th August 2008. Meath should have known the outcome of this match last Saturday afternoon, were it not for the lightening and the severe outburst of rain which flooded the pitch in a matter of minutes, the game was called off at half time.
This All Ireland Semi-Final between Meath & Carlow was not all one way traffic for Meath as Carlow were a physically strong outfit who put it up to Meath on a number of occasions thought the game. Meath held firm with some great saves from their Goalie Emily Mangan which certainly added to Meath’s win. And with Jane Dolan securing 2-7 this gave Meath the cushion they were looking for.
Meath opened the scoring with a point from Lizzy Oaks. Carlow had a sharp shooter in Mary Coady who put over 4 points in the first half and 3 in the second.
The scoring was level pegging for the majority of the first half with only a point or two between the sides at most stages. Jane Dolan got the first goal of the game in the 11th minute. Meath failed to score for further 10 minutes after this, until Jane Dolan added a point which only left 2 points between the sides on the 20th minute. It was all Carlow for the next five minutes adding 3 more points. And Meath finished the scoring of the first half with a point from Lizzy Lynch followed by a Gaol from Aileen Donnelly with only 2 minutes to play of the first half. Meath went in with 3 pints to spare at half time. Meath 2-4 Carlow 0-7
The second saw Meath settle that little more and open out the play, Lizzy Oaks was on hand again to open the scoring of the second half with a point from play in the 2nd minute. Carlow’s Mary Coady put over 2 points from frees. Jane Dolan added a point from play followed by a point from a free by Aileen Donnelly. Eilis O’Neill got 2 well taken points from play one from a solo run from centre field and the second from a rebound from the Meath goal upright. Meath had four wides in sucession before Lizzy Lynch found the net after a scramble in front of the Carlow goal. This goal settled Meath and they began to play some nice camogie and combination play. Jane Dolan put over from a free .
Meath goalie Emily Mangan made a crucial save in the 22nd minute when if Carlow scored the game could have gone either way. From this point on it was all Meath with Lizzy Lynch helping herself to another point, Jane Dolan Cracked home a rasper of a goal after Laura Flynn set her up with a fine pass. Laura Flynn topped her good display off with a well taken point. Carlow got their twelfth point from a free by Mary Coady and Carlows stall word Valarie Creen got their only goal in the 27th minute. Meath finished with 4 points from Jane Dolan and send them on their way to the All Ireland decider. Others to impress for Meath Ann Marie Fagan, Frances Lynch and Stephanie Horan & Holly Geraghty.
Meath : Emily Mangan, Emma McNally, Laurna Donegan, Karen Ward, Edel Guy, Aileen Donnelly Capt. 1-2, Louise Donohue, Laura flynn 0-1, Ann Marie Fagan, Elizabeth Oaks 0-4, Frances Lynch, Sinead Hackett, Elizabeth Lynch 2-0, Jane Dolan 2-7 , Stephanie Horan, Holly Geraghty for Emma McNally, Christine Troy for Sinead Hackett, Jenny Rispin for Elizabeth Lynch, Aine Keogh for Anne Marie Fagan.
Carlow : Miriam Walsh, Pamela Whelan, Clodagh Byrne, Tara Wilson, Marian Hynes, Tracey Condell, Eileen Murphy, Emma Brennan 0-1, Teresa Meaney Mary Coady 0-7, Valerie Crean 1-0, Eilis O’Neill 0-2, Lisa Abbey 0-1, Lyndsey condell 0-1, Marian Doyle.