15's edge a thriller

Meath Ladies U-15 Division 2

Seneschalstown 4-07 Summerhill 1-12

In Rathkenny on Saturday morning a very young gutsy team performance was rewarded with maximum points for the U-15 Furze girls as they continue to leave their mark on the Autumn Championship.

With only fourteen players, a full size pitch and twelve of the team U-14 and U-13 players a youthful Seneschalstown got off to the perfect start with Anna Wogan pointing over the first score. On the resumption an attacking run from deep by half back Aoibhé Monaghan saw her combine with Aoife Mulvany, Orla Finnegan and eventually find Ana Wogan on the edge of the square. The young player finished to the net with all the composure of a veteran. Finnegan then followed up with a fine point and the Furze Girls were really playing superbly with great running and tackling from all the forwards and Ava Jane Ryan in particular a feature of the opening quarter.

The return of Mallaidh Breen was significant as she had been sorely missed against Simonstown and she popped over the next point before Summerhill opened their account with two nice points.

Caragh Monaghan who was operating from midfield caused the Summerhill defence headaches with her penetrative runs and ball carrying. She found Sinead McLarney on the square and the deadly accurate full forward duly found the back of the net as she does so often. Again Summerhill kept responding in what was a thoroughly open affair due to the size of the pitch and they kept the scoreboard ticking over with six more points throughout the first half.

Meath U-14 captain Aishling McCabe was proving a handful but Aoife Lenihan was beginning to come to terms with this fine player. Orla Finnegan popped over another point and Ana Wogan smashed a powerful shot off the crossbar to be denied just before half time.

Half Time: Seneschalstown 3-03 Summerhill 0-08

The second half again proved to be a cracker as the two teams traded attacks up and down the field in an energy sapping game. Mallaidh Breen opened the scoring with a fine point from play before Summerhill managed to squeeze a goal as Shauna Gordon found herself nutmeg despite having a fine game between the posts. There was now only two points between the teams with Summerhill pressing relentlessly and reduced the margin to the bare minimum shortly afterwards with a point. By now the momentum had really shifted with the Furze Girls coming under serious pressure.

The sideline management threw caution to the wind to try and reinvigorate a tiring team and this resulted with the switch of pushing the Monaghan twins forward, Zoe Kirwan running deep from defence and dropping Ana Wogan back which produced an immediate effect. Attack being the best form of defence Sinead McLarney rifling to the net eased the pressure and opened a four point gap again.

Both teams really went for the game and Aoife Lenihan scored two important points to nullify a brace of fine points from Summerhill centre half forward. Aoibhé Monaghan completed the scoring with a rare point from play just to show how adaptable versatile and determined this team can be.

Aine Nangle was supreme in defence alongside the ever dependable Sadhbh McLarney. Lauren McCarthy was a pillar throughout breaking up play and launching forward to set up attacks. Zoe Kirwan was a joy to watch as her level of fitness was invaluable towards the end. Her ball winning and carrying is a vital cog in this team.

With key members of the squad unavailable through injury this performance was immense and the character of the team again proving their major asset against a very good Summerhill team. These pair will surely meet again at the business end of the championship. Don't miss it.

Shauna Gordon Sadhbh McLarney Aine Nangle Lauren McCarthy Zoe Kirwan Aoibhe Monaghan (0-01) Caragh Monaghan Aoife Lenihan (0-02) Ava Jane Ryan Mallaidh Breen (0-02) Orla Finnegan (0-02) Anna Wogan (1-01) Sinead McLarney (2-00) Aoife Mulvany.

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