Defending Lidl National Football League and TG4 All Ireland Champions Meath will be hoping it turns out to be a case of ‘Will come on for the run’ after a disappointing start to their 2023 season at DCU St Claire’s this evening.
Stacey Grimes, Niamh O’Sullivan and Olivia Callan were late alterations to the Meath starting 15. However, though fielding with 11 newcomers themselves, Mick Bohan’s Dublin were always going to have a point to prove.
They wasted no time in doing so either, wiyh sky blue skipper Carla Rowe and the brilliant Hannah Tyrell combining superbly after two minutes. Allowing the former to literally push the ball past Monica McGuirk in the Meath goal.
Knowing the miserly nature of the Royal rearguard in recent years, they will not have been happy with how their defences were breeched.
Mind you, to their credit, Davy Nelson’s charges soon settled, with the aid of a classy point from Skryne’s Ciara Smyth. The same player and O’Sullivan were then desperately unlucky not to hit the net.
Megan Thynne did clip over a fine point before the break, but it was still the home side who led by 0-02 to 1-05 at the change of ends. The visitors were brighter immediately after the restart.
Sometimes going back to basics is the best policy. Tonight, that meant running at the Dublin defence at every available opportinity. Which drew frees that were, in turn, converted by Grimes to leave everything up for grabs entering the home straight.
Three points was as close as the hunters could to the hunted and every time Meath looked like bridging the chasm still further the crafty Tyrell seemed to rebuff their efforts.
Not the best of starts for Nelson and co, but there were enough nuggets of quality there to imbue hope and expectation that there will be better days ahead.
Meath: M. McGuirk; S. Ennis, M. K. Lynch, K. Newe; N. Gallogly, A. Cleary, M. O’Shaughnessy; O. Callan, A. Minogue; A. Sheridan, S. Grimes (0-4), N. O’Sullivan; M. Thynne (0-2), M. Byrne (0-1), C. Smyth (0-1). Subs – A. Leahy for O’Shaughnessy, A. Sherlock for Smyth, O. Gore for Newe.
Referee: K. Phelan (Laois)