Offaly’s first outing in the All Ireland Minor B Championship resulted in a very comfortable victory over Meath in O’Brien Park on Saturday. A young but well balanced team went on to win once they settled down having opted to hurl with the wind in the first half.
Meath were first on the scoreboard after six minutes with a point from Anna Fagan which was quickly followed by an equalising point from Offaly’s Helen Dolan. A free soon afterwards from midfielder Lisa Carroll proved to be Meath’s last score of the half as Offaly began to get into their stride.
A free from Helen Dolan was followed by a goal from Ann Marie Guinan midway through the half. A good pass from Helen Dolan resulted in a well taken point from Christine Cleary. When a well taken point from Rachel Brennan was followed by a goal and a point from Grainne Egan Offaly were well in their stride. On the half-time whistle Helen Dolan added a further point to leave Offaly leading by 2-6 to 0-2 ahead at half time.
Meath scored the first point of the second half from a free but were restricted to just two further points from frees as the Offaly backs stood firm constantly denying the Meath forwards time and space on the ball .
A great run from Ann Marie Guinan resulted in a fine point and this was followed by goals from Helen Dolan and Mairead Daly who had a great game at midfield.
Further points from Grainne Egan and Mairead Jennings ,who came on for Ann Marie Guinan, left it 4-9 to 0-5 and two further goals from Grainne Egan sealed a great Offaly win.
There were fine performances all over the field for Offaly. Tara Dooley was solid in goals behind a solid defence. Mairead Daly marshalled midfield very well and five of Offaly’s starting forwards got on the scoresheet. The five subs who came on also made a great contribution so hopefully Offaly can look forward with some confidence to their next opponents although a much stiffer test lies ahead.
Offaly: Tara Dooley, Sorcha McGarry, Edel O’Meara, Paula Kinnarney, Lauren Keenahan, Debbie Flynn (c), Kelly Sammon, Emma Corcoran, Mairead Daly, Christine Cleary, Ann-Marie Guinan, Rachel Brennan, Helen Dolan, Grainne Egan, Roisin Woods. Subs: Eimer Mooney for Emma Corcoran, Mary Nevin for Roisin Woods, Mairead Jennings for Ann-Marie Guinan, Ciara Ryan for Christine Cleary, Aoife Troy for Sorcha McGarry. Cailin Fitzgerald, Lorna Rigney, Sharon Boland, Sarah Lyons, Deirdre Cashen, Lisa Gorman and Laura Walsh.
Meath: Aoife Flynn, Ciara Donoghue, Ellen Burke, Maggie Randle, Emma McGill, Lauren McCann, Aibhe Lynch, Cheyanne O’Brien, Lisa Carroll, Tara Murphy, Anna Fagan, Aine Kerby, Lauren Patterson, Adrienne McCann, Maeve O’Leary.