Gaffney goal gives gutsy Royals another Croker date



Amy Gaffney’s late goal put the seal on another terrific Thurles day for the Camogie stars of Meath as they saw off the gritty challenge presented by neighbours Westmeath in this GlenDimplex All Ireland Intermediate Camogie semi final at FBD Semple Stadium.

Brendan Skehan’s side have already had a rollercoaster season, cruelly missing out on promotion in the National League – due to what I consider to be a flawed competition structure – but in the meantime bouncing back superbly. With Croke Park having been a happy hunting ground for a couple of Meath teams already this season, these girls deserve a similar occasion. Especially having lost out by the minimum to Kerry on their last outing in HQ.

As with any local derby, there was never much between the sides. Aoife Minogue, Emma O’Connell and Ciara Foley traded scores with Sheila McGrath and Megan Dowdall. Though those sponsored by Bective Stud were unfortunate not to change ends a few lengths in front after a mighty Minogue goal effort drew a superb stop from Fiona Keating in the Lake County goal.

Meath Captain Ellen Burke wins this tussle for possession with Westmeath’s Laura Doherty

Her heroics actually allowed the maroon and white lead by 0-07 to 0-06 at the break but once Meath equalised immediately after the restart, with Minogue, Grace Coleman, Abbye Donnelly and Gaffney sparkling in attack they were able to keep the neighbours at arms length until the last named Ratoath clubwoman applied the exclamation mark to a fine display.

MEATH – T. Murphy; R. O’Neill, C. Coffey, S. Payne; T. King, M. Clince, L. Devine; G. Coleman (0-1), A. Minogue (0-4); A. Gaffney (1-2), A. Donnelly (0-1), O. O’Halloran; E. O’Connell (0-2), E. Burke, C. Foley (0-1).

SUBS – A. Lally for O’Halloran, A. Carey for Coleman.

Referee: Cathal McAllister (Cork)

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