Shield defeat for U-15 Girls

Meath Ladies U-15 Division 2 Shield Final

Rathkenny 6-6 Seneschalstown 4-4

The curtain came down on the Ladies U-15 championship for Seneschalstown with this heart-breaking defeat to Rathkenny in the Div. 2 Shield final in Kilmainham. Conditions were excellent for a game of football and both teams served up a fine contest.

Rathkenny were first off the mark in the fourth minute with a point and followed this up a minute later with their first goal. The Furze girls were getting their fair share of ball around the middle and their efforts were rewarded when Ava Jane Ryan drove the ball to the back of the net soccer style to cut the deficit to the minimum. Scores were at a premium and it was Ryan again who slotted over a free to level things up at the end of the first quarter.

Seneschalstown took the lead in the twentieth minute with one of the best scores of the game as Orla Finnegan picked up possession, beat a couple of opponents before slotting over an excellent point. Seneschalstown were enjoying plenty of possession but were finding it difficult to get scores as the Rathkenny defence hassled and harried to great effect. The winners regained the lead five minutes before the break with their second goal to leave the half time score at 2-01 to 1-02 to the girls in Red and Black.

When play resumed it was Rathkenny who go the upper hand from the off and slotted over 3 points by the thirty-fifth minute and by the fortieth minute had tagged on a further three goals in quick succession. It wasn't looking good for the Furze girls but true to form the didn't give up and in the forty third minute Aoibhe Monaghan's persistence ended with her forcing the ball to the net off the Rathkenny defender. Two minutes later, Monaghan’s twin sister Caragh went on a mazy run before dispatching the ball to the back of the net. Lauren Donnelly and Ryan tagged on further points in quick succession to bring the furze girls right back into contention.

With seven minutes remaining Seneschalstown were awarded a penalty after Aoibhe Monaghan was hauled down in the square but Ryan’s well struck shot was well saved with the help of crossbar and post and the ball was cleared. Indeed, Monaghan could have had a second penalty shortly afterwards as she appeared to be tackled high and taken down but it wasn't given and just to compound matters Rathkenny broke away to score their sixth goal of the game and tagged another point on with two minutes remaining. On the hour mark Aoibhe Monaghan found the Rathkenny net but it was the eventual winners who had the last score with a point in injury time.

This young Seneschalstown outfit, shorn of the services of Sorcha Gough and Leah Ryan due to injury for the campaign, can be proud of their efforts and despite falling well behind they never gave up and fought right to the end. Indeed it was good to see Leah get back into action for a few minutes towards the end.

Best for Seneschalstown were Leanne Clarke, Orla Finnegan and Aoibhe Monaghan.

The team management would like to thank the players for their efforts, parents and families for their support and the Senior ladies trio of Orla Garry, Louise "Cheesey" Coyle and Grainne Nulty for their help and guidance.

Team: Shauna Gordon, Sadhbh McLarney, Aoibhe Monaghan (1-00), Aine Nangle, Zoe Kirwan, Leanne Clarke, Lauren McCarthy, Aoife Lenehan (C), Lauren Donnelly (0-01), Orla Finnegan (0-01), Caradh Monaghan (1-00), Ava Jane Ryan (1-02), Sinead McLarney, Mallaidh Breen, Aoife Mulvany.

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