Published: Wednesday, 16th May, 2012 4:54pm
Maggie Randle in action for Meath on Sunday.
Meath 2-15, Westmeath 1-10
Meath got back to winning ways when they proved too strong for neighbours Westmeath in the Leinster Junior Camogie quarter-final at Páirc Táilteann on Sunday where each side missed a penalty.
Defeated by derry in the National Camogie League Div 2 decider, Meath got a first-half shock from Westmeath and trailed by three points, 1-5 to 1-8, at the interval.
There was a ghostly feel about the almost empty stadium with a gale-force wind blowing from the hospital end, but the players on each side adapted well to the difficult conditions.
Wind-assisted Westmeath enjoyed a good opening half and made Meath work hard for scores, but after the resumption it all began to unravel for the visitors and there was no doubt about the outcome once Jane Dolan raced through for a goal within 25 seconds of the resumption.
Slowly, Meath gained control and Westmeath lost a certain amount of their discipline.
Dissent to the referee by Westmeath players earned yellow cards that could have been avoided and on a couple of occasions gave Meath more favourable positions for frees.
The referee, who arrived without any umpires and got through the game with one linesman, made a number of puzzling decisions, but they had no impact on the result.
He also missed an off-the-ball challenge on Meath midfielder Elizabeth Oakes 10 minutes into the second-half. Oakes had to leave the fray. Westmeath's negative second-half attitude was in stark contrast to their display for the opening 30 minutes when they ran the hosts ragged.
Westmeath had two pointed frees on the board from midfielder Dinah Loughlin inside two minutes while Sinead Hackett got Meath off the mark from play in the third minute.
Soon after Dolan was impeded in the square on her way for what looked like a certain goal, but the resultant penalty was missed by the Blackhall player.
An in-rushing Westmeath defender attempting to block down Dolan's shot was over-looked by the referee and Westmeath made the most of that reprieve when Nicola Fagan finished to the net at the other end.
The Westmeath goal chance was created by some determined tackling and Meath goalkeeper Emily Mangan was unable to clear the danger.
Avril Fagan (two) and Pamela Greville added points from play before a scrambled goal gave Meath a little bit of a lift when Elizabeth Lynch finished after Dolan did the spadework.
Dolan (two) and Lynch added Meath points, but battling Westmeath took that three-point lead to the dressing rooms when Loughlin pointed three more frees.
Westmeath also lost defender Aisling Boyhan late in the opening half through injury and she had to be assisted off the pitch.
The referee re-started play before the injured player was clear of the pitch and she almost got caught up in a piece of frantic action near the sideline.
Dolan's goal immediately after the resumption had Meath on terms and the points flowed as the traffic remained one-way.
A brace of points apiece from Aileen Donnelly and Dolan eased Meath into a sort of comfort zone and the remainder was fairly academic.
Westmeath battled well, they also talked and complained a lot which earned yellow cards for Loughlin and centre-back Aisling Conaty, but Meath concentrated on their task.
Westmeath closed out the scoring with late points from Loughlin and Greville who fired a penalty over the bar.
Next up for Meath is a semi-final against Carlow next Sunday while Westmeath will prepare for the All-Ireland Junior championship following a third place finish in the National Camogie League Div 3.
Meath - Emily Mangan (Blackhall Gaels); Cheyanne O'Brien (Kiltale), Aoife Thompson (Dunboyne), Fiona O'Neill (Dunboyne); Aine Keogh (Dunboyne), Kristina Troy (Blackhall Gaels), Lisa Foley (Killyon); Elizabeth Oakes (Navan O'Mahonys), Aoife Maguire (Killyon); Edel Guy (Trim), Jane Dolan (Blackhaell Gaels 1-9 four frees), Aileen Donnelly (Kilmessan 0-2); Elizabeth Lynch (Donaghmore/Ashbourne 1-1), Sinead Hackett (Dunboyne 0-3), Katie Hackett (Trim). Subs - Holly Geraghty (Blackhall Gaels) for Guy and Maggie Randle (Donaghmore/Ashbourne) for Foley both 27 mins, Guy for Oakes 40m, Laura Maguire (Killyon) for Lynch 50m, Stacey Duignan (Killyon) for K Hackett 58m.
Westmeath - F Keating; M Smith, J Egan, A Boyhan; C Corcoran, A Conaty, R Scally; M Scally, D Loughlin (0-6 frees); L O'Connor, P Greville (0-2 one penalty), N Fagan (1-0); C Kelly, L Newman, A Fagan (0-2). Subs - L Thompson for Boyhan 27 mins, M Buckley for Kelly 52m.