A seven point victory in this All Ireland SFC quarter final at Clones ensured the good times continued to roll for Eamonn Murray’s Meath charges.
Goals from Emma Duggan, Niamh O’Sullivan and Emma Troy saw Meath run out convincing winners in Clones, a victory that sees the 2020 TG4 Intermediate champions into the Senior Semi-final in their first season back at the grade.
And the manager revealed that while he had faith in the team going far he wasn’t convinced he’d make the journey with them.
“It means everything to me,” said a delighted Murray. “It is beyond my wildest dreams to ever get this far. I knew they would, but I didn’t think I’d be with them at that stage. I thought it might take two or three years to get that far.
“The last year for us has been out of this world. Intermediate champions before Christmas, League champions, Division 1 football and now a senior semi-final.
“Anything is possible for this bunch of girls here. They train three or four nights a week, they enjoy it. There’s never a bad word out of them, they just love being together and the friendship they have.
“We showed no fear of them today and that’s how we are going to play Cork in two weeks’ time. Roll it on.”
A feature of the Meath performance this season has been their ability to start fast and once again they sprang out of the traps and built an early lead, which they defended resolutely.
Vikki Wall opened the scoring, while Orlagh Lally added to that lead before Wall sent Duggan in for the vital first goal after seven minutes.
Meath were 1-4 to 0-1 clear at the first-half water break, while Aoibhín Cleary’s point and O’Sullivan’s goal meant they were 2-7 to 0-6 ahead at half time.
The early action after the break was end-to-end as the teams exchanged points, with Aimee Mackin’s influence increasing as the match progressed. Eve Lavery and Blathín Mackin also kicked good scores for Armagh but they were never able to get close enough to the rampant Royals.
And six minutes from time, when Troy raced through the middle and fired Meath’s third goal, there was no way back for Armagh, who kept battling and notched a good goal from Aimee Mackin.
Scorers – Meath: E Duggan 1-5 (3f), N O’Sullivan 1-1, E Troy 1-0, O Lally 0-3, S Grimes 0-3 (1f), A Cleary 0-1, V Wall 0-1, B Lynch 0-1. Armagh: A Mackin 1-6 (1f), K Mallon 0-3 (3f), G Ferguson 0-1, E Lavery 0-1, B Mackin 0-1, A Clarke 0-1, N Reel 0-1.
ARMAGH: A Carr, S Marley, C McCambridge, G Ferguson, E Lavery, L McConville, T Grimes, K Mallon (C), N Coleman, B Mackin, N Marley, F McKenna, A Mackin, A McCoy, A Clarke. Subs: C Marley for Coleman (16), N Reel for S Marley (h-t), M Sheridan for Lavery (38), E Druse for McKenna (44).
MEATH: M McGuirk, E Troy, MK Lynch, K Newe, A Leahy, A Cleary, S Ennis, O Lally, M O’Shaughnessy, O Byrne, S Grimes, N O’Sullivan, V Wall, E Duggan, B Lynch. Subs: M Thynne for O Byrne (43), N Gallogly for Leahy (46), S Melia for O’Sullivan (56).
Referee: Brendan Rice (Down)