Report by Margot Hughes
Wicklow U16 ladies suffered a heavy defeat at hands of a strong Meath side on Saturday March 29th in Summerhill GAA grounds, Co. Meath.
The Wicklow girls were dominated from the outset by the skilful girls of Meath. In the opening half Marion Farrelly in the no. 14 jersey led the Meath attack. She scored 2-3 in the half and was very much at the centre of every attack.
A third goal from Kelsey Nesbitt and points form Rachel Huijsdens, Dani O’ Sullivan and Florence Smith left Wicklow trailing 3-7 to 0-2 at the break. This despite some great saves from Chloe Dwyer in the Wicklow goal and the hard work of the Wicklow back six of Ríoghna McGettigan, Shauna Byrne, Laoise Marron, Annie Conroy, Aoife Grace and Annie McGuire.
Niamh O ’Brien and Ashling McDonald worked tirelessly at centre field for Wicklow but Meath played a very fast hand passing game and gave a superb display of support play throughout the sixty minutes. Katie Miley led the Wicklow attack and scored the opening point in the nineteenth minute.
Niamh O’Brien added Wicklow’s second point in the twenty seventh minute. Despite the best efforts of Katie Bouchier, Chelsea Snell, Mia Kavanagh, Marie Kealy and Niamh Clarke the Wicklow forwards found it impossible to breach the stalwart Meath defence.
In the second half Katie Miley lifted Wicklow spirits with a goal and a point. Ashling McDonald added a further point in the fourteenth minute. That was to be the last score for the Wicklow side, despite applying increased pressure on the Meath back line; they did not convert their chances into scores.
Meath on the other hand were perfectly consistent scoring 3-7 in the second half to match their exact tally for the first. The Wicklow management introduced all their substitutes and this panel of players must be admired for their determination to keep trying to the final whistle.
Wicklow: Chloe Dwyer, Ríoghna McGettigan, Shauna Byrne, Laoise Marron, Annie Conroy, Aoife Grace, Annie McGuire, Niamh O ’Brien(0-1), Ashling McDonald (0-1), Katie Miley (1-2), Katie Bouchier, Chelsea Snell, Mia Kavanagh, Marie Kealy, Niamh Clarke Subs: Lisa Lawlor, Casey O’Brien, Amy Burke, Kate Hennessy , Erynn O’Brien
Meath: Sarah McNerney, Karley Leavy, Victoria Wall, Emma Cassidy, Aoibhinn Cleary, Natasha Mullen, Florence Smith (0-1), Katie Bellew, Rachel Huijsdens (0-1), Megan Thynne, Niamh Cassidy, Hannah Mulvany, Kelsey Nesbitt (1-2), Marion Farrelly (3-8), Dani O’Sullivan (0-2)Subs: Lauren McLean, Niamh Donnelly, Molly Gray, Niamh Hand, Regina Hand, Kealey Hannon, Toni Hannon, Alannah Hannon (1-0), Ailbhe Leahy, Shona Lister, Megan Lyons, Patricia Owens, Emma O’Byrne, Saoirse Patchell (1-0), Ruth Sherlock, Aisling Duffy, Alison Jones