Dublin beat All-Ireland champions Meath to claim Leinster title

After a cagey start, Nicole Owens – a late addition to Dublin’s starting line-up – opened the scoring with a ninth-minute point.
Dublin beat All-Ireland champions Meath to claim Leinster title

Daire Walsh

Hannah Tyrrell scored a second half penalty at Croke Park where Dublin secured a ninth consecutive TG4 Leinster SFC title with a narrow triumph over reigning All-Ireland champions Meath.

Having found themselves three points adrift at the break, a superb scoring blitz at the start of the second half put the Royal County in a strong position to claim their first provincial crown since 2000.

However, Dublin held firm and Tyrrell’s calm finish propelled her side towards a 16th Leinster crown.

After a cagey start, Nicole Owens – a late addition to Dublin’s starting line-up – opened the scoring with a ninth-minute point.

Meath’s defensive set-up ensured that clear-cut scoring opportunities were initially at a premium for their opponents, but Eamonn Murray’s team also took a while to settle.

On the other hand, Dublin were growing in confidence and moved four points in front courtesy of a brace from St Sylvester’s ace Kate Sullivan and another courtesy of the ever-influential Lyndsey Davey.

It took Meath all of 29 minutes to get up and running but even though Aoibheann Leahy found the target from close-range, Tyrrell’s first point of the day gave Dublin a commanding 0-5 to 0-1 cushion into the interval.

Yet the game was dramatically turned on its head upon the resumption as Meath registered 1-2 without reply to edge themselves into the ascendancy.

Straight from the throw-in, 2021 TG4 Footballer of the Year, Vikki Wall played the ball into her Dunboyne clubmate Emma Duggan for a fine point from play.

Duggan had a subsequent effort that rebounded off the post but midfielder Orlagh Lally was on hand to claim the rebound and fire beyond the reach of Ciara Trant.

A routine Stacey Grimes free suddenly presented Meath with a slender advantage 36 minutes in and, while Dublin eventually responded with another Tyrrell point, a Wall score at the end of a trademark lung-bursting run kept the Royals ahead inside the final-quarter.

The pendulum swung back in Dublin’s favour on 47 minutes, however, when Tyrrell coolly slotted a penalty past All-Star goalkeeper Monica McGuirk.

Meath’s Maire O’Shaughnessy was sin-binned for a foot block on Owens in the lead-up to this score, but a second free by Grimes left the gap at a bare minimum upon her return.

Wall was also yellow carded in a frantic finale, though, and with Niamh Hetherton adding her name to the scoresheet, it was Dublin who prevailed.

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