Meath could start 12 of last year’s All-Ireland-winning team in Leinster SFC final against Dublin

meath could start 12 of last year’s all-ireland-winning team in leinster sfc final against dublin

Martha Byrne of Dublin in action against Orla Byrne, left, and Orlagh Lally of Meath during the Leinster LGFA Senior Football Championship Final match beween Meath and Dublin at Croke Park in Dublin last year.

Meath could start with 12 of last year’s All-Ireland winning team when they take on Dublin in the TG4 Leinster SFC final at O’Moore Park, Portlaoise, on Sunday at 4:15pm.

The senior decider is the third game in a triple header which gets underway at noon when Carlow play Kilkenny in the junior final. Kildare play Wexford in the intermediate final at 2pm.

Dublin are, of course, the champions having defeated Meath last year and are going for their 17th provincial win. Last year’s decider was played at Croke Park and was the curtain-raiser to the men’s senior final between Dublin and Kildare.

A penalty goal from Hannah Tyrrell proved the difference as the Dubs won 1-7 to 1-5. That defeat didn’t hamper Meath’s All-Ireland prospects, however, and they recovered to successfully defend their crown later in the year.

The counties have clashed twice already this year with Dublin winning both matches. Six points separated the teams when they met in the opening round of the league at DCU, Dublin ahead at the finish, 1-11 to 0-8. Then, in the opening match of the Leinster campaign, Dublin came to Navan and won by 1-6 to 0-7.

Orlagh Lally made a welcome return for her first appearance since last year’s All-Ireland final win over Kerry when she lined out in the recent championship win over Laois. Meath lost Aoibhin Cleary to injury in the early stages of that game and they will be keeping their fingers crossed that the Donaghmore/Ashbourne star is fit to take her place in defence.

Meath probably produced their best form so far this year in the second half against Laois but further improvement will be needed if they are to dethrone the Dubs.

This is the one title that has eluded this group of players and a victory would prove a tremendous morale victory ahead of the tilt at three-in-a-row. The outcome will also decide which of the counties goes into the All-Ireland series as a number one seed.

If Meath are to win, they need to start with a much greater intensity than in recent outings and they also need to improve their scoring rate.

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