LEINSTER U16 FINAL
DUBLIN 5-9 MEATH 2-7
Dublin produced a stunning second half performance in Sunday's Leinster Final versus Meath in Clane to retain their U16 crown for a remarkable eighth year in-a-row.
At the break Meath appeared to be in full control as the royals took a five point lead into the half time dressing room. HT Meath 1-5 Dublin 0-3.
The royals full forward line of Byrne, Devine and O'Rourke were causing Dublin untold problems with Byrne netting the opening goal of the game in the 3rd minute. Meath captain Orlagh Lally was dominating midfield while also contributing to the royal score board. She would finish the game with a personal tally of 1-4 (0-1f).
Indeed Dublin can be extremely thankful to keeper Caitlin Staunton for keeping her side in the game. As the Thomas Davis player pulled off three crucial first half saves.
Just before the interval Dublin received a hammer blow when corner back Tammy Quinn Corbally was given a harsh yellow card (sin bin) in the 27th minute.
The second half of this game was the polar opposite of the first as Dublin threw off the shackles attacking Meath with purpose and more conviction.
Jodi Egan began the metropolitans comeback when she netted in the 35th minute. Meath responded quickly with a goal of their own coming from the boot of inspirational team captain, Orlagh Lally.
Irish U17 soccer international Roisin McGovern started to make her presence felt in the game when she bagged Dublin's third goal on the 43rd minute. Some moments later McGovern showed great calmness when she expertly converted a penalty kick following a foul in the square on Dublin's number 9 Emma McCormack.
McGovern also converted three free kicks off the ground to keep the score board ticking for the reigning champions.
The industrious Emma McCormack from Fingallians was rewarded for her fine performance with a well taken goal in the 55th minute.
The game was killed as a contest when Sarah O'Leary netted Dublin's 5th goal some three minutes later.
Dublin reclaimed their Leinster crown by outscoring Meath in the second half by a remarkable 5-6 to 1-2.
Meath can be proud of the performance with Susie O'Rourke and Orlagh Lally two players to keep an eye on in years to come.
While Dublin's opening half performance was below par the girls from the capital certainly upped the ante in the second half.
The aforementioned Caitlin Staunton, Grace Kos, Emma McCormack and Roisin McGovern where huge players for Dublin today as was the gritty performance of team captain Grainne O'Driscoll.
Dublin will now play the winners of the Connacht Championship on Wednesday the 12th of July in the All Ireland semi final.
SCORERS – Dublin: Rosin McGovern 2-4, Jodie Egan 1-2, Emma McCormack 1-1, Sarah O'Leary 1-0, Grace Kos 0-1, Niamh Cummins 0-1. Meath: Orlagh Lally 1-4, Meabh Byrne 1-00, Susie O'Rourke 0-2, Leah Devine 0-1
DUBLIN: Caitlin Staunton, Tammy Quinn Corbally, Lisa Davies, Hannah Murphy, Grace Kos, Lauren Young, Alannah Coughlan, Grainne O'Driscoll, Emma McCormack, Katie McNally, Laura Quinn, Jodie Egan, Sarah O'Leary, Katie Wisdom, Roisin McGovern. Subs: Belan Swords for Egan, Kerri Owens for Quinn Corbally, Niamh Cummins for McNally, Ceileigh Connell McDonald for Wisdom, Megan Colman for McGovern
MEATH: Emily Jo White, Caitlin Hamilton, Kate McCarthy, Sonia Leonard, Mary Kate Lynch, Aisling McCabe, Aoife Farrell, Orlagh Lally, Petra Reilly, Orla McLoughlin, Orla Smith, Megan Peters, Meabh Byrne, Leah Devine, Susie O'Rourke. Subs: Molly McNamara for Peters, Ali Sherlock for McLoughlin, Leah Dennehy for McNamara, Aoibhinn Bracken for Leonard, Mollie Brown for Byrne
Player of the Match: Emma McCormack (Dublin/Fingallians).
Referee: Cathy Forde (Wicklow)