Width of a post denies 'town in thriller

Meath Ladies Division 1 Minor Championship

Seneschalstown 2-7 Royal Gaels 3-4

Seneschalstown and Royal Gaels served up an entertaining and exciting draw in this Minor Div. 1 Championship game played under lights in Dunshaughlin on Thursday night.

A win for either side would have put them in pole position to qualify for the final against Simonstown and now we must wait until Royal Gaels complete their program of games to see who will qualify.

From early on it was evident that a tight encounter was on the cards as both defences were on top and it took until the eight minute for Roisin Commons to open the scoring with a point from play. It didn't take long for the Dunshaughlin outfit to reply as within a minute the scored their opening goal. In the eleventh minute Kiah Geraghty went on a fine run before shooting low to the net although confusion reigned for players and supporters alike as the ball went through the net and appeared to go wide. The see saw nature of the game continued as the home side equalised in the thirteenth minute and by the end of the first quarter had tagged on a second goal.

Caragh Monaghan then got in on the scoring act with a fine point from the right in the sixteenth minute and shortly afterwards Natasha Mullen launch over an excellent long range point to cut the deficit to the minimum. Royal Gaels got the next two scores with a point in the twentieth minutes and their third goal on twenty-three minutes to push the lead out to five. Last score of the half went to Commons who added a point three minutes remaining to leave the half time score at 3-2 to 1-4 to Royal Gaels.

The second half started with the a few positional switches and the introduction of Orla Finnegan and the strength of this young squad was being tested with losing Eve Loughran early in the first half to injury and the unavailability of regular forwards Katie Geraghty and one of the team’s top scorers Chrystal Delamere. It was the home team who started the best and extended their advantage within a minute of the restart and were six ahead by the thirty fifth minute. In the thirty seventh minute Kelly Smith got the Seneschalstown girls first score of the second half and two minutes later a Kiah Geraghty shot nestled in the back of the Gaels net as the excitement rose.

Both teams were giving it their all with some great defending on both sides and even an attempt at a score had to be worked hard for the contest had just entered the final quarter when Geraghty again got on the score sheet with another point and two minutes later Caragh Monaghan levelled matters up with her second point from play. This was to prove to be the last score of the game as both teams went all out to get a winner. With two minutes to go a Commons point attempt from about 35 yards came back off the post and back into play, Finnegan collected the rebound and despite being tugged back got her shot off which went agonising outside the post. There was still time for each team to have half chances to get the winning score before referee Colm McManus blew time on the enthralling encounter.

Both teams deserve great credit for the skill and entertainment provided and showed why Ladies football is growing at a very steady rate.

Seneschalstown: Sinead McLarney, Laura Wall, Aoife Lenehan, Aoibhe Monaghan, Grace Cahalane, Leanne Clarke, Orla McMahon, Kiah Geraghty (2-1), Natasha Mullen (0-1), Chloe Williams, Lauren Kelleher, Caragh Monaghan (0-2), Kelly Smith (0-1), Roisin Commons (0-2), Eve Loughran.

Seneschalstown Substitutes: Lauren Donnelly, Orla Finnegan, Ava Jane Ryan, Aoife Mulvany, Carmen Merinero Lopez.

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