Meath Camogie upset the odds as they top their group after drawing level with Laois in the Gala All Ireland Junior Camogie Championship (New Ireland Cup).
Meath travelled to O’Moore Park on Saturday the 4th July 2009 for their championship game against Laois, this game was as a curtain raiser to the All Ireland Hurling qualifier between Laois & Antrim.
Meath having played in O’Moore Park on two occasions in 2007 in a Leinster Final & National League Division 3 Final, unfortunately the outcome in both those games did not go Meath’s way.
Meath who two weeks previous had a great win over Antrim were feeling a little optimistic as the travelled to play Laois, Meath have failed to get the better of Laois in all of their last four encounters over the last three years.
The game started a steady pace without either team giving away too much in the opening 10 minutes. Meath wing half forward Elizabeth Oakes put her mark on the game in the second minute with a well taken point this came from a pass from centre field player Anne Maire Fagan.
Laois who have a very strong outfit with their ever prominent central player Louise Mahony caused a lot of headaches for the Meath defence. Meath’s Aileen Donnelly hit the cross bar from a long distance free with the ball dropping into the Meath forwards as they failed to take advantage.
Elizabeth Oakes popped over from a free before Laois’s corner forward Aine Mahony secured their first point from a free. Both number 12’s on each side Sarah Anne Fitzgerald Laois & Elizabeth Oakes Meath worked well for their teams. While there was some impressive play from both sides O’Moore Park gave Meath’s Sinead Hackett plenty of space to run in on the Laois defense as she pointed from a solo run in the 7th minute. Trish Cuddy Laois slipped the ball in by Meath goalie Emily Mangan midway through the first half as they Laois forward opened up the Meath back line.
Louise Donohue Meath fielded well and she was helped by Aileen Donnelly at centre half back who delivery some crucial ball from her back line to help Kristina Troy who pointed to draw the sides level.
Meath were lucky not to concede further scores as Emily Mangan made some important clearances. Elizabeth Lynch who was tightly marked after her personal performance against Antrim two weeks ago was fouled as she gained possession. Elizabeth Oakes secured Meath’s fifth point from this free.
The Meath defense did come under attack on a few occasions as Eimear Delaney and Aine Mahony Laois were causing some problems. Louise Mahony drew the sides level from a well taken point for Laois. Aileen Donnelly Meath followed shortly with a pointed free as both teams could not be parted on the score board when Aine Mahony Loais pointed and Meath just edged ahead before the interval with a point from Meath’s centre field player Edel Guy. Half time score Meath 0-7 Laois 1-3
The second half was a different game as both teams had a number of wides, Laois looked stronger and always seemed to have that little more advantage as Meath struggled in some areas. The first score of the second half came in the 4th minute a pointed free from Laois forward Aine Mahony.
Play was so tight that the next score did not come until the 20th minute when Louise Mahony secured another point. Meath captain Jane Dolan was brought on and did make an impression. The Laois forwards were a constant danger with Trish Cuddy & Aine Mahony drawing out the Meath backs who fouled and gave Louise Mahony the opportunity to go two points ahead with ten minutes remaining, but Meath did not give up as Emily Mangan & Aileen Donnelly cleared well.
Aine Keogh who was also moved out field helped bring in some vital ball to her forwards. Meath substitute Dearbhla O’Carroll caused the Meath bench & mentors to erupt as she gained possession on the stroke of actual time when she cleverly flicked the ball over Laois goalie Laura Dunne’s head to give Meath a one point lead. Laois quickly pucked out they ball, with the time in the 62nd minute, a throw ball was awarded where Louise Mahony Laois got possession and pointed to draw the game level.
Meath Team : Emily Mangan, Holly Geraghty, Lorna Donegan, Emma McNally, Aoife Thompson, Alieen Donnelly 0-1, Louise Donohue, Anne Marie Fagan, Edel Guy 0-1, Laura Flynn Frances Lynch, Elizabeth Oakes 0-3, Elizabeth Lynch, Kristina Troy 0-1, Sinead Hackett 0-1.
Subs: Aine Keogh for Laura Flynn, Stephnaie Horan for Emma McNally,Jane Dolan for Frances Lynch, Derbhla O’Carroll 1-0 for Sinead Hackett.
Laois Team: Laura Dunne, Bridie Cuddy, Eimear Moynan, Denise Quigley, Maggie Hogan, ciatriona Phelan, Rosemarie Bermingham, Eimear Delaney, Louise Mahoney 0-4, Sinead Lanham, Laura Mohoney, Sarah Anne Fitzgerald, Aine Mahony 0-3, Sarah Cuddy,Trish Cuddy 1-0.