Teenage speedster, Megan Thynne proved the difference as Kilmessan withstood a fierce second-half onslaught from Four Roads to claim the AIB All-Ireland Junior club title, 2-8 to 1-6 in Edenderry writes Daragh Ó Conchúir.
The Meath outfit were more efficient in the latter period, soaking up a torrent of pressure before finishing strongly to secure a famous victory.
John Watters’ crew got a tremendous start when 16-year-old Thynne swooped on a loose ball to finish first time off the sod for a second-minute goal.
It was a rare but significant positive for Kilmessan in the first quarter. They could barely get out of their own half in that period but Four Roads didn’t threaten enough from open play.
In Sinéad O’Brien however, they possessed a magnificent dead-ball striker and the corner-forward, who had given her outfit the lead from an early free, sent over three more excellent scores from a variety of angles and distances to push ahead.
With Ailbhe Lynch exerting dominance at centre-back for Kilmessan, their inside forwards started to have a lot of joy and Kelly Gorman produced a lethal finish, after Nadine Doyle had beaten two defenders, to bag a deserved 28th minute goal.
Kilmessan led by 2-3 to 0-5 at half time but Four Roads resumed with real intent. When Gertie O’Dowd set up O’Brien for a 42nd minute goal, the teams were separated by just a point and the famed Roscommon club appeared to have the momentum.
Despite monopolising possession courtesy of their own half-back line, they didn’t score again. Niamh Coyle did have a good goal opportunity but her snap-shot off the ground was pulled wide.
Thynne had been starved of possession in the second half but she showed her class to point after making the most of her first chance to take her marker on. Another Thynne run ended with Frances Lynch putting three between them, and Katie Ní Choileáin and Thynne removed any doubt.
SCORERS – KILMESSAN: M Thynne 1-3; A Donnelly 0-2 (2 45s); K Gorman 1-0; K Ní Choileáin 0-1
FOUR ROADS: S O’Brien 1-5(0-5fs); G Egan 0-1
KILMESSAN: A Carroll, N Sheridan, C O’Leary, M Horan, T King, A Lynch, M O’Leary, S Horan, F Lynch, M NíChoileáin, A Donnelly, N Doyle, K Gorman, K Ní Choilleáin, M Tynne. Subs: S Ross for Doyle (45), L Irwin for Gorman (45), A McLoughlin for K Ní Choileáin (70+2)
FOUR ROADS: S Kelly, O Hughes, S Coyle, M Glennon-Kelly, A Fallon, P Lennon, A Rogerson, D Kelly, O Gately, N Coyle, G Dowd, M Hoey, L Glennon-Tully, G Egan, S O’Brien. Subs: C Glennon for Hughes (50), C Kenney for Hoey (52)
REFEREE: G O’Dowd (Limerick)