Meath beat Kildare, Dublin crush Laois to set up Leinster SFC Final Clash

Meath beat Kildare, Dublin crush Laois to set up Leinster SFC Final Clash
Grace Fisher
Grace Fisher

Meath and Dublin will meet in the Leinster Senior Football final on May 12 in Croke Park after victories against Kildare and Laois respectively.

Meath 2-11

Kildare 0-12

Report by Aisling Clery


First half goals from Emma Duggan and Niamh Gallogly proved crucial as Meath defeated Kildare and booked their place in the 2024 TG4 Leinster Senior Football final on May 12th in Croke Park. Duggan and Gallogly hit 2-4 between them in a game where they had to fight all the way to the finish.

Kildare were 2-7 to 0-5 adrift at the break and a much improved third quarter brought the deficit back to three points. However, they failed to land the killer blow and Meath reassembled and tagged on points through Meadhbh Byrne, Megan Thynne and Gallogly to ensure the win.

Emma Duggan took the opening score of the game when she turned her marker and finished off with her right boot on two minutes. Kildare responded immediately with Niamh Farrelly converting a free at the other end.

Aoife Rattigan found Hazel McLoughlin in an inch of space and McLoughlin’s long range effort bounced off the bar before going over for Kildare to take the lead on 6 minutes.


However, the lead didn’t last long as Meath responded quickly with Aoibhín Cleary and Máire O’Shaughnessy each pointing from distance inside sixty seconds to retake the lead. Meath extended their lead to two points when Ciara Smyth hit her first point of the game on 11 minutes.

A mistake in the Kildare defence saw Emma Duggan latch onto possession and she sent the ball to Shelly Melia who popped it over the bar. Duggan added a converted free on thirteen minutes as Meath started to open up a gap.  Ciara Smyth and Gallogly worked hard to feed the Kildare attack while Mia Doherty and Aoife Rattigan worked earnestly for the Royals.

Kildare were finding it difficult to win their kickout and were punished when Meath put daylight between the sides on eighteen minutes, as Emma Duggan fired past Mary Hulgraine.

Kildare pulled one back on twenty-two minutes when Ellen Dowling converted a free and while Kildare were attacking the Meath defence dealt well with Lilywhite attacks. However, a sweeping team move was finished brilliantly by Ruth Sargent.

Meath nabbed goal number two right before the break. Ciara Smyth collected the ball and delivered a timely pass to Gallogly who finished low and hard to the net. Farrelly converted her second free for Kildare and it was Meath who led 2-7 to 0-5 at the break.

Kildare brought the deficit back to seven points on thirty-four minutes when Ellen Dowling pointed her second of the game. However, early second half pressure from Kildare yielded little in the way of changing the scoreboard.

Hulgraine relinquished possession and the Meath attack had to settle for a Marion Farrelly point but two Niamh Farrelly frees brought Kildare back to within six points on forty-three minutes.

Substitute Erin Brereton Foley brought the game back to five points before Neasa Dooley hit two scores to make it a three point game.

That’s as close as Kildare got as Meath closed out the game. Meadhbh Byrne hit Meath’s second point of the second half to restore a four point cushion while a quick free set Megan Thynne through and she added a point of her own.

Kildare did threaten Meath’s goals in the final moments but McGuirk saved brilliantly and while Sarah Munnelly added a long range score, Meath hung on for victory.

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.

MEATH: M McGuirk (C), Á Sheridan, MK Lynch, N Troy, N Gallogly, L Young, K Newe, M O’Shaughnessy, A Cleary, M Thynne, S Melia, C Smyth, E Moyles, M Farrelly, E Duggan.

Subs: C Lawlor for Sheridan (’15), M Byrne for Farrelly (’40), A McCabe for Cleary (’59)

KILDARE: M Hulgraine, F Troute, E O’Toole, M Doherty, L Murtagh, R Sargent, L Gilbert, G Clifford (C), H McLoughlin, T Duggan, E Dowling, C Sullivan, N Dooley, N Farrelly, A Rattigan.

Subs: L Lenehan for O’Toole (‘15), L Doran for McLoughlin (’20), E Brereton Foley for Rattigan (’41), S Munnelly for Doherty (’56), H Tyrrell for G Clifford (‘57)

Referee: Paul McCaughey (Westmeath).



Dublin 5-19

Laois 0-01

Report by Denise O’Flaherty

Annabelle Timothy scored a hat-trick of goals as Dublin recorded a comprehensive win over Laois in Laois Hire O’Moore Park in their second group game of the Leinster SFC to book their place in the TG4 Leinster Senior Final on May 12th in Croke Park.

The Dubs were clinical and ruthless. They scored 4-16 from play and Laois just couldn’t contain them.

Boosted by the return of Sinead Goldrick, Dublin started with a real purpose. With their first attack Nicole Owens brought a save out of Laois keeper Eimear Barry.

In the third minute Chloe Darby scored from the penalty spot to open the scoring for the Dubs. Barry saved from Caitlin Coffey minutes later before Owens kicked over her first point of the game.

Kate Sullivan, Annabelle Timothy and Darby all hit over points before Goldrick scored a neat point in the 15th minute to extend Dublin’s lead to eight points. Laois tried to muster up attacks but failed to trouble the Dublin defence. The home side were guilty of making mistakes which Dublin duly punished.

Darby, Coffey, Sullivan and Owens were on target to put 13 between the sides in the 26th minute. Dublin had been clinical in front of the posts and Sullivan kicked over their first point from a free in stoppage time.

Such was Dublin’s dominance in the opening half Laois failed to register a score in the opening half as they trailed by 14 points at the break.

Laois finally got off the mark in the 32nd minute when Mo Nerney kicked over a point. That score was cancelled out by a Niamh Hetherton point and by the 45th minute Dublin had stretched their advantage to 17 points. Barry had also saved an effort from Annabelle Timothy in the 41st minute.

Dublin got a second goal through Hetherton in the 51st minute and from the resulting kick-out the ball fell nicely to Timothy and she buried it to the net. Darby followed that up with an excellent point. Substitute Carla Rowe got her first score in the 56th minute as Mick Bohan’s side kept the scoreboard ticking over.

Timothy got her second and Dublin’s fourth goal in the 60th minute and minutes later she completed her hat-trick with the final score of the game.

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

DUBLIN: R Fleming; N Donlon, J Tobin, S Goldrick; H McGinnis, C Kirwan, K Murray; O Carey, G Kós; N Owens, C Coffey, K Sullivan; C Darby, A Timothy, N Hetherton.

Subs:E Deeley for Sullivan (ht), Hannah Hegarty for Curran (37), A Nyhan for Murray and C Rowe for Owens (46)

LAOIS: E Barry; S Farrelly, C Dunne, I Finlay, G Lalor, M Cotter, A Ryle; O Hennessy, A Moore; L Kearney, C Malone, G Moran; M Nerney, E Lacey, K Donoghue.

Subs: R Reddin for Dunne (12), A Walsh for Hennessy (32), A Gorman for Malone (39), R Allen for Kearney (46), A Byron for Lacey (55), A Cummins for Reddin (60+2)

REFEREE: Jonathan Murphy (Carlow).

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