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Emma Duggan explains remarkable goal as Meath end Dublin dominance

Emma Duggan scored a crucial goal for Meath yesterday.

Emma Duggan has explained her thinking behind the goal that went a long way to seeing Meath crowned All-Ireland Ladies Football champions for the first time in the county’s history.

The Royal County ran out 1-11 to 0-12 winners over Dublin at Croke Park yesterday and in the process, prevented their Leinster rivals from winning a fifth All-Ireland title in a row.

Emma Duggan explains historic Meath goal.

Duggan’s sixth minute goal proved crucial but the lobbed effort had many wondering if the 19-year-old had meant for the ball to drop over the head of Dublin goalkeeper Ciara Trant and into the net, or if Duggan had intended to score a point.

In an emotional interview on the Croke Park pitch after the game, the St. Peter’s Dunboyne clubwoman was asked if she was going for a goal or a point, she answered: “Goal, of course!”

“We wanted to turn over the kickouts and punish them for it,” Duggan added, explaining her thinking behind the strike. “We don’t think that Dublin were really challenging the kickouts this year.

“I suppose when she was off the line, goals are going to win games.”

Meath ladies’ incredible rise.

Duggan scored two additional points during an immense display at GAA HQ, with the other Meath scorers being Stacey Grimes (0-3), Niamh O’Sullivan (0-4), Emma Troy (0-2) and Bridgetta Lynch (0-1).

The victory completed a remarkable rise for Meath under manager Eamonn Murray, who took over in 2017.

The county won the All-Ireland intermediate title just last year and had lost by 40 points to Cork in a Championship fixture as recently as 2015.

They also lost to Dublin by 16 points in the counties’ previous Championship meeting in 2016.

Meath finished second to Cork in the group stage of this year’s All-Ireland Championship but went on to defeat the Rebel County in extra time at the semi-final stage, setting up their historic meeting with Dublin yesterday.

They fact they beat the girls in blue in front of 32,000 raucous fans at Croke Park would have made the victory all the sweeter.

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