Sometimes the scoreline does reflect a team’s superiority and this one shows just exactly how much better Meath were than Kerry as they put back-to-back All Ireland titles together in Croke Park.

Second-half goals from Niamh O’Sullivan and sub Bridgetta Lynch wrapped the win up but the Royal ladies were full value for the victory.

Before this, All Ireland ladies senior final Meath manager Eamonn Murray had publicly declared if his side kept a clean sheet they would win.

Privately, given the Kingdoms goal scoring prowess en route to the decider Murray must have accepted the probability of a clean sheet was low.

What he could never have imagined never mind legislated for was how Kerry’s first goal would come about.

In the eighth minute with the Kingdom already two points up normally reliable Meath’s keeper Monica McGuirk gifted a kick out to Kerry ace Louise Ni Mhuircheartaigh whose chip over the retreating goalie nested in the net and yet again the Meath girls were off to the slowest of slow starts.

But beneath the smiley demeanour of the Meath women, there beats the resolute hearts and within minutes they were level.

The equalising goal was a neat finish from Emma Troy after a good pass from Katie Nesbitt.


Vicky Wall kicked two frees and a point from play and suddenly the game had turned on its head as Meath showed once again that they are the comeback queens.

Hawkeye ruled out a Meath point and McGuirk showed the error didn’t phase her when fielding a dangerous high ball as Meath went in 1-8 to 1-5 ahead at the break.

Kerry reduced the deficit to one, 1-8 to 1-7 six minutes into the half before Meath got back on top again.

Emma Duggan stretched the winner’s advantage then Niamh O Sullivan was at the end of a flowing move to tap home Meath’s second goal.

Shortly afterwards Stacey Grimes had an effort for a point partially blocked and when the ball spun up in the air sub Lynch reacted first to flick off the bar before blasting the rebound to the roof of the net to ensure the Brendan Martin Cup stayed in the Royal county.

Kerry; C Butler; J O’Sullivan, K Cronin, E Lynch; A O’Connell, A Costello, C Murphy; L Scanlon, C Lynch; N Carmody, S O’Shea, A Galvin (capt.); P McCarthy, D O’Leary, L Ní Mhuircheartaigh.  

Meath; M McGuirk; S Ennis (capt.), M.K. Lynch, K Newe; A Leahy, E Troy, A Cleary; M O’Shaughnessy, O Lally; M Thynne, E Duggan, K Nesbitt; V Wall, S Grimes, N O’Sullivan