Lidl Ladies National Football League Division 3 Round 5
There was late heartbreak for the Kildare Ladies Footballers as a stoppage time goal from Kelsey Nesbitt helped Meath to victory in round 5 of the Lidl National Football League.
It’s a game that Kildare will have huge regret in as they played brilliant football at stages as they led by six points in both halves but they eventually ran out of steam.
Meath lost Maire O’Shaughnessy to a red card halfway through the second half but Kildare weren’t able to capitalise on it as they remained scoreless from there to the end with Meath gradually getting on top.
Meath finished the game with 1-4 without reply and after Nesbitt’s goal brought the sides level, Stacey Grimes struck with a free to give Meath the late success.
Despite playing against a stiff enough breeze in the opening half, Kildare made a blistering start and were on the board within thirty seconds when Ellen Dowling kicked a fine point from play.
That score was then followed up by a brace of frees from Lara Curran as Daniel Moynihan’s side eased into an early three point lead.
Meath steadied things with a nice Kelsey Nesbitt score but Kildare were fairly rampant in the opening ten minutes and a pair of efforts from Neasa Dooley and an effort from a tight angle by Molly Price had Kildare in an ideal position as they went into a 0-6 to 0-1 lead.
Kildare only scored two points for the rest of the half though and they came pretty quickly when both Ciara Wheeler and Ellen Dowling exchanged scores with Aoibhinn Cleary and Kelsey Nesbitt.
Kildare then had a couple of opportunities for goal but a Molly Price shot was well saved by Monica McGuirk in the Meath goal while Lara Curran was also denied from close in.
Those misses allowed the Royal County to stay in touch and they put on a spurt before the break with two points apiece from Stacey Grimes and Emma White.
Meath also had a goal chance in that period but White was denied by Rebecca McGuirk as Kildare took a narrow one point lead into the break.
Meath drew level in the 35th minute courtesy of a Grimes free but in similar fashion to the first period Kildare began to take control.
Kildare duly scored 1-3 without reply in a devastating eight minute period which started off with Lara Curran kicking a couple of frees.
Them points were then followed up by Neasa Dooley netting the opening goal of the match when she broke free of the Meath defence and cooly slotted a shot to the net.
Kildare really should have had more than that solitary goal though as both Dooley and Dowling had shots expertly turned away.
Molly Price was proving a real threat along with Dooley up front and the Sarsfields star soon extended the lead with a nice point to push the home side into a 1-11 to 0-8 lead.
The fadeouts that Kildare are making something of a habit resurfaced again as they didn’t score again for the rest of the game.
Meath did look in real trouble when midfielder and captain Maire O’Shaughnessy saw red for a striking offence on Trina Duggan but that seemed to inspire them rather than hinder them.
A couple of frees from Grimes brought the gap down to three points on the back of Aoibhinn Cleary also hitting the target.
Meath really needed a goal however and despite Kildare defending relatively well the three pointer arrived in the last minute when Nesbitt lobbed a shot over the hands of McGuirk to bring the sides level.
Meath then got a rise from the goal and they took the lead for the first time with a Grimes free.
Kildare tried desperately to work a late score but after Mikaela McKenna missed a free the game was up as Meath battled to victory to maintain their unbeaten start to the campaign.
Scorers for Meath: K Nesbitt 1-2, A Cleary 0-2, S Grimes 0-6 (6f), E White 0-2
Scorers for Kildare: L Curran 0-4 (4f), N Dooley 1-0, E Dowling 0-2, N Dooley 0-2, M Price 0-2, C Wheeler 0-1
Meath: Monica McGuirk; Katie Newe, Sarah Powderly, Orlaith Duff, Aoibhinn Cleary, Shauna Ennis, Seanaidh Hickey, Maire O’Shaughnessy, Kate Byrne, Bridgetta Lynch, Megan Tyne, Orla Byrne, Stacey Grimes, Kelsey Nesbitt, Emma White.
Subs used: Niamh Gallogly for K.Byrne 42 mins, Shelly Melia for Duff 55 mins.
Kildare; Rebecca McGuirk; Rachel Cribbin, Shauna Kendrick, Gemma Harnett, Louise Scully, Lara Gilbert, Trina Duggan, Sarah Munnelly, Grace Clifford, Lara Curran, Ciara Wheeler, Ellen Dowling, Molly Price, Neasa Dooley, Dervla McGinn.
Subs used: Mikaela McKenna for McGinn 45 mins, Eadaoin Connolly for Dowling 50 mins, Aoife Rattigan for Price 50 mins, Michelle Curley for Harnett for 50 mins, Amy Horan for Cribbin 52 mins, Orlaith Sullivan for Dooley 59 mins.
Ref: Paul Burke
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