Meath beat Kildare, Dublin dominates Laois ahead of Leinster SFC final encounter

James

2024 Leinster Ladies SFC Final Preview: Meath and Dublin Set to Clash at Croke Park, Concept art for illustrative purpose, tags: meath's - Monok

In a pivotal match that secured their spot in the 2024 TG4 Leinster Senior Football final at Croke Park on May 12th, Meath delivered a commanding performance, propelled by early goals from Emma Duggan and Niamh Gallogly. The duo combined for an impressive tally of 2-4, setting the tone for Meath’s hard-fought victory.

At halftime, Kildare found themselves trailing 2-7 to 0-5, facing a considerable deficit. However, a spirited resurgence in the third quarter narrowed the margin to just three points. Despite their renewed efforts, Kildare ultimately fell short of turning the tide, unable to deliver the decisive blow as Meath rallied.

Crucial points from Meadhbh Byrne, Megan Thynne, and Gallogly in the closing stages sealed the win for Meath, underlining their resilience and determination. The game’s opening moments saw Duggan and Farrelly exchanging scores, with Duggan’s early strike setting the tempo for Meath’s offensive onslaught.

A moment of brilliance from Aoife Rattigan, linking up with Hazel McLoughlin, briefly gave Kildare the lead, with McLoughlin’s impressive long-range effort rattling the crossbar before finding the mark.

Meath swiftly countered Kildare’s brief lead with points from Aoibhín Cleary and Máire O’Shaughnessy, followed by Ciara Smyth extending their advantage. Emma Duggan capitalized on a defensive lapse to set up Shelly Melia for another point before adding a converted free. Despite Kildare’s efforts, Meath surged further ahead with Duggan’s goal.

Ellen Dowling’s free briefly narrowed the gap for Kildare, but Meath’s defense remained resolute. Ruth Sargent capped off a cohesive team effort with a brilliant finish, while Ciara Smyth set up Niamh Gallogly for Meath’s second goal before halftime.

Kildare managed to trim the deficit with Dowling’s second point but struggled to gain momentum in the second half. Despite some late scores from Kildare, Meath maintained control, with Meadhbh Byrne and Megan Thynne extending their lead. Kildare pressed in the final moments, but Meath secured victory, with goalkeeper McGuirk making a crucial save.

SCORERS: Meath: E Duggan 1-3 (2f), N Gallogly 1-1, M O’Shaughnessy 0-1, A Cleary 0-1, M Thynne 0-1, S Melia 0-1, C Smyth 0-1, M Farrelly 0-1, M Byrne 0-1.

Kildare: N Farrelly 0-4 (4f), N Dooley 0-2, E Dowling 0-2 (1f), R Sargent 0-1, H McLoughlin 0-1, E Brereton Foley 0-1, S Munnelly 0-1.

Dublin vs. Laois

Annabelle Timothy’s hat-trick propelled Dublin to a commanding victory over Laois at Laois Hire O’Moore Park, securing their spot in the TG4 Leinster Senior Final.

Dublin’s performance was clinical and relentless, amassing an impressive 4-16 from play, leaving Laois struggling to contain them.

With the return of Sinead Goldrick, Dublin displayed determination from the outset. Chloe Darby opened the scoring with a penalty in the third minute, followed by Nicole Owens’ point. Kate Sullivan, Annabelle Timothy, and Darby added further points, with Goldrick extending the lead. Laois attempted to mount attacks but faltered against Dublin’s defense, leading to costly errors that Dublin capitalized on.

As halftime approached, Dublin’s dominance was evident, with Laois failing to register a score, trailing by 14 points.

Laois finally scored in the 32nd minute through Mo Nerney, but Dublin swiftly responded, stretching their lead to 17 points by the 45th minute. Dublin’s relentless attack continued, with goals from Niamh Hetherton and Timothy, along with points from Darby and substitute Carla Rowe.

Timothy completed her hat-trick in the final minutes, sealing Dublin’s comprehensive victory.

Scorers – Dublin: A Timothy 3-3 (1f), C Darby 1-3 (1-0 pen), K Sullivan 0-4 (1f), N Hetherton, 1-1, N Owens 0-3, C Rowe 0-2 (1f), S Goldrick, G Kos, C Coffey 0-1 each

Laois: M Nerney 0-1

All-Ireland champions Dublin will be Meath’s opponents after win over Laois.

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