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*Tara Kelly is forced to offload. Photograph: Burren Eye Photography

Clare’s Royal hoodoo continued as Meath dished another sizeable defeat, this time on their home soil of Páirc Tailteann to seal a National League Division 2 Semi-Final spot this evening.

Meath 4-18
Clare 0-05
Venue: Pairc Tailteann, Navan

Six months on from Meath’s 21 point victory over the Banner at the last four stage of the All-Ireland Intermediate Championship, a new-look Clare remained powerless to halt or even aptly negotiate the new senior side’s structured tactical approach.

With 12 behind the ball when defending allied to a similar swarm counter-attacking style, the hosts dominated the entire hour, smothering a frustrated Banner into submission long before the final whistle.

An unerring start of nine unanswered points, bookended by singles from the excellent Emma Duggan, ensured a 0-9 to 0-1 first quarter cushion for Meath. Seven wides did lessen their potency after the water break but Clare simply couldn’t capitalise as a Roisin Looney point to add to Roisin Considine’s opener was all that the visitors could muster by the break at 0-13 to 0-02.

Clare did carve out a rare goal chance five minutes into the new half but first a Fidelma Marrinan effort came back off the crossbar while Cliodhna Blake only found the side-netting when the rebound was teed up by half-time replacement Chloe Moloney.

Instead, it was Meath that found their goal-den touch as a teasing Emma Duggan delivery found Stacey Grimes to score the opening major in the 40th minute at 1-16 to 0-02. And while both sides incrementally emptied their benches for the remainder, more Meath goals would follow as substitute Emma White, a Grimes lob and a palmed finish from Bridgetta Lynch poured further misery on the visitors.

Roisin Considine and a brace of Chloe Moloney frees did provide some solace for the Banner who were also thankful to goalkeeper Micaela Glynn for repelling an injury-time White penalty.

However, following encouraging display against Wexford and Kerry, the only consolation for Clare on their long journey home is that they can’t meet their bogey side again in 2021 as they now prepare for the All-Ireland Intermediate Championship.

Scorers for Meath: Stacey Grimes (2-6, 5f), Emma White (1-1), Emma Duggan (0-3), Niamh O’Sullivan (0-3), Bridgetta Lynch (1-0), Orlagh Lally (0-2), Aoibheann Leahy (0-2), Aoibhin Cleary (0-1)

Scorers for Clare: Roisin Considine (0-2), Chloe Moloney (0-2f), Roisin Looney (0-1)

Meath
1: Monica McGuirk (Duleek/Bellewstown)

4: Katie Newe (Ratoath)
7: Shauna Ennis (Na Fianna)
3: Mary Kate Lynch (Summerhill)

6: Aoibhin Cleary (Donaghmore/Ashbourne)
2: Emma Troy (Boardsmill)
25: Aoibheann Leahy (Navan O’Mahony’s)

5: Orlagh Lally (Clan na nGael)
9: Máire O’Shaughnessy (Donaghmore/Ashbourne)

13: Vikki Wall (Dunboyne)
10: Orla Byrne (Duleek/Bellewstown)
11: Stacey Grimes (Senchalstown)

15: Bridgetta Lynch (Oldcastle)
8: Emma Duggan (Dunboyne)
12: Niamh O’Sullivan (Dunshaughlin Royal Gaels)

Substitutions
28: Emma White (St Patrick’s) for Wall (25, inj)
30: Megan Thynne (Dunsany) for Lally (33)
17: Niamh Gallogly (Dunshaughlin Royal Gaels) for Cleary (42, inj)
14: Meadbh Byrne (Dunshaughlin Royal Gaels) for O’Sullivan (48)
24: Shelly Melia (Dunboyne) for Duggan (48)
22: Aine Sheridan (St Michael’s) for Troy (49)
21: Aoife Farrell (Simonstown) for Newe (50)
20: Aisling McCabe (Summerhill) for Byrne (55)
18: Kate Byrne (Duleek/Bellewstown) for O’Shuaghnessy (55)
26: Olivia Gore (Rathkenny) for MK. Lynch (55)
27: Megan Peters (Kilbride) for Leahy (55)
19: Caragh Monaghan (Senchalstown) for Grimes (56)
29: Ali Sherlock (Clan na nGael) for B. Lynch (56)
23: Elaine Doyle (Dunboyne) for Ennis (57)

Clare
1: Micaela Glynn (Kilmihil)

4: Orla Devitt (Éire Óg)
3: Siofra Ní Chonaill (St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield)
2: Ellie O’Gorman (Kilmihil)

11: Lauren Griffin (Fergus Rovers)
6: Tara Kelly (Cúil Gaels)
17: Sinead Considine (Liscannor)

8: Aisling Reidy (St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield)
9: Roisin Looney (Cooraclare)

7: Roisin Considine (Liscannor)
14: Cliodhna Blake (Doonbeg)
5: Caoimhe Harvey (West Clare Gaels)

18: Laura Griffey (Burren Gaels)
13: Fidelma Marrinan (West Clare Gaels)
12: Lizzy Roche (Burren Gaels)

Substitutions
20: Catriona Callinan (Kilmihil) for S. Considine (HT)
19: Chloe Moloney (Kilmurry Ibrickane) for Griffey (HT)
10: Ciara McCarthy (Kilmurry Ibrickane) for Blake (42)
25: Rebecca Doohan (Kilmurry Ibrickane) for Griffin (48)
15: Aine Keane (Miltown Malbay) for Marrinan (49)
24: Sinead O’Keeffe (Banner Ladies) for Kelly (50)
23: Carol O’Leary (Newmarket-on-Fergus) for Roche (50)
26: Chloe Towey (St Joseph’s Doora/Barefield) for Harvey (50)
22: Aisling Morrissey (Cooraclare) for O’Gorman (55)
21: Joanna Doohan (Kilmurry Ibrickane) for Looney (55)
30: Eimear Keane (Miltown Malbay) for R. Considine (55)

Referee: Kevin Phelan (Laois)

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