Action from today's Ladies All-Ireland SFC quarter-final between Meath and Kerry in Tralee. Photo Tyler Miller / Sportsfile

Royal colours lowered by Kingdom

Wall's return fails to boost Meath as All-Ireland dreams ends in Tralee

A dominant second-half performance, during which they outscored Meath by nine points, ensured Kerry advanced to the Ladies All-Ireland SFC semi-final with a 0-16 to 0-8 victory in Tralee this evening, writes David Sheehan.

In spite of playing into a strong breeze in the opening 30 minutes, the Kingdom made the better start and led by 0-3 to 0-0 after just 12 minutes thanks to points from midfielder Mary O'Connell, Danielle O'Leary and a free from 2023 Players' Player of the Year Louise Ní Mhuircheartaigh.

Shelly Melia following Meath's loss in Tralee. Photo Tyler Miller / Sportsfile Photo by Tyler Miller / SPORTSFILE

Last year's All-Ireland runners-up made light of the conditions, and carried the ball into the heart of the Meath defence time after time in the opening quarter, and possibly should have been further ahead at that stage.

Meath finally got off the mark on the quarter-hour mark when the in-form Marion Farrelly got a fine score from distance, before Ciara Smyth cut the gap to one as Meath started to click into gear.

Kerry then coughed up a goal chance when their kick-out was turned over and Farrelly got in on goal. However, her powerful left-footed shot was palmed over by Kingdom 'keeper Ciara Butler. That score put the visitors in front for the first time.

Referee Barry Redmond with Kerry captain Niamh Carmody and Meath captain Monica McGuirk. Photo Tyler Miller / Sportsfile Photo by Tyler Miller / SPORTSFILE

Ciara Murphy - a niece of Colm 'Gooch' Cooper - leveled the scores at 0-4 apiece after 19 minutes, before Emma Duggan got her first score of the day to give her side an 0-5 to 0-4 advantage at the interval.

Even at that stage though, it looked as though a one-point advantage wouldn't be nearly enough with Kerry aided by the elements in the second period. Sadly for Meath, that was how it proved.

Vikki Wall was introduced for the second period, but in spite of a few trademark runs, even she wasn't able to stop the Kerry juggernaut.

Meath's Marion Farrelly is challenged by Kerry's Anna Galvin. Photo Tyler Miller / Sportsfile Photo by Tyler Miller / SPORTSFILE

The Kingdom rattled off seven points on the spin to take complete control of proceedings, with Ní Mhuircheartaigh particularly prominent with three scores during that period.

Niamh Gallogly - who put in another all-action performance - stemmed the bleeding momentarily with a fine point from play to make it 0-11 to 0-6 after 47 minutes, but Kerry continued to make hay with the wind.

Megan Thynne gets her shot away for Meath despite pressure from Kerry's Aoife Dillane. Photo Tyler Miller / Sportsfile Photo by Tyler Miller / SPORTSFILE

Sub Siofra O'Shea landed three fine second-half points, and while Wall kicked a point of her own to make it 0-13 0-7 in the closing stages, the goal Meath needed never came. The closest they got to a green flag was when Mary Kate Lynch's powerful effort was well saved by Butler.

Dineen finished the game on a high with her side's final score, which put an end to Meath's 2024 championship campaign.

There could be no questioning of the effort or application, but on this occasion the Royal girls just came up against a Kerry side who were a level above them on the day.

The Meath Ladies team in Kerry today. Photo Tyler Miller / Sportsfile Photo by Tyler Miller / SPORTSFILE


Kerry - Louise Ní Mhuircheartaigh 0-4 three frees; Emma Dineen 0-3; Siofra O'Shea 0-3; Danielle O'Leary 0-2; Ciara Murphy 0-1; Mary O'Connell 0-1; Anna Galvin 0-1; Niamh Carmody 0-1.

Meath - Marion Farrell 0-3; Emma Duggan 0-2 one free; Niamh Gallogly 0-1; Ciara Smyth 0-1; Vikki Wall 0-1.


Kerry - Ciara Butler; Eilís Lynch, Kayleigh Cronin, Ciara Murphy; Aishling O'Connell, Deirdre Kearney, Aoife Dillane; Mary O'Connell, Anna Galvin; Niamh Carmody, Emma Dineen, Niamh Ní Chonchúir; Hannah O'Donoghue, Louise Ní Mhuircheartaigh, Danielle O'Leary. Subs - Siofra O'Shea for O'Donoghue 38m, Fay O'Donoghue for Cronin 41m, Lorraine Scanlon for Ní Chonchuir 45m, Amy Harrington for Carmody 54m, Katie Brosnan for Ní Mhuircheartaigh 57m.

Meath - Monica McGuirk; Sarah Wall, Mary Kate Lynch, Nicole Troy; Niamh Gallogly, Shelly Melia, Katie Newe; Máire O'Shaughnessy, Aoibhín Cleary; Megan Thynne, Kerrie Cole, Ciara Smyth; Maedhbh Byrne, Marion Farrelly, Emma Duggan. Subs - Vikki Wall for Cole half-time, Áine Sheridan for Newe 35m, Rachel Casserly for Byrne 50m, Ciara Lawlor for Troy 58m, Seona Lynch for Smyth 59m.

Referee - Barry Redmond (Wexford).