Six of the best for Dublin’s Under-16s

by Gazette Reporter
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DUBLIN’S Under-16 ladies footballers made it six in a row as they beat Meath to land the Leinster title in Clane.

The girls from the capital showed great resolve to hold off the Meath challenge in a pulsating contest.

The Royal county threw everything they had at their great rivals in the hope of recapturing the crown that they last held back in 2009.

Indeed, they were swiftly out of the blocks, rushing into a two point lead as Aoibhin Cleary and Ailbhe Leahy hit two quick points.

Dublin did squander a couple of goal opportunities before Rachel Brennan broke through the Meath defence in the 9th minute to blast the ball past Judy Bobbett.

Cleary responded immediately to tie things before the powerful Ciara McDunphy split open the Meath defence to blast home her side’s second goal in the 19th minute.

Meath, though, kept chipping away at the lead with three unanswered scores to reign in the gap to 2-4 to 0-8 at the break.

And they duly took the game by the scruff of the neck in the second half. Naomh Olaf’s Clara O’Sullivan took on the Meath backs at every opportunity. Within four minutes of the restart, the Sandyford flyer bagged herself 1-1, pushing her side six points clear of Meath.

The Royals bounced back in the 40th minute as their perseverance was rewarded when Ailbhe Leahy was at the end of a fine move, tucking her shot past Jenny Flaherty in the Dublin goal.

Shannon Murtagh then took a yellow card sin-binning to put more pressure on but Dublin replied well.

The next three scores came courtesy of Michelle Carey, Danielle Lawless and the superb Caoimhe O’Connor pushing Dublin’s lead out further to seven points.

Bell tagged on Dublin’s final point in the 60th minute, Timmons responded with a late Meath point deep into injury time but the result was never in doubt, the cup and the title would be heading back to the Capital for a sixth year.

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