Queeney brace sets up Royals date with Lilies
Meath 3-13 Louth 1-7
Leinster U-21 FC
THERE will be no repeat provincial final appearance for Louth after they fell at the opening hurdle at Pairc Tailteann.
Meath, who have an abysmal record at this level in recent years, produced an impressive display, full of fast-flowing football and clinical finishing.
The Wee County started with five of the team beaten in last year's decider by eventual All-Ireland champions Dublin, including four in defence.
They got off to a dream start with full-forward Paddy Reilly, son of manager David, blasting to the Meath net after 20 seconds.
However, it was rising star Ciaran Byrne, a target for Australian Rules clubs, who posed most problems for the Meath rearguard in the opening period and he accounted for their three points of the half.
Following that sluggish start Meath went on to dominate for long periods and should have been ahead by more than 1-6 to 1-3 at the break.
Daniel Queeney, brother of senior player Jamie, opened Meath's account and the same player blasted to the net to put his side into a 1-2 to 1-1 lead after eight minutes.
The impressive Queeney notched 1-3 in of that first half tally, while his Na Fianna colleague Conor Downey accounted for two points.
Eamonn Wallace went close to a second Meath goal on 22 minutes but his effort came off the crossbar.
Two minutes later Downey blasted wide with only the 'keeper to beat.
At the other end, substitute Sean Donnelly was denied by a terrific save by Meath custodian Conor McHugh.
The sides exchanged points at the start of the second half, but Meath took a firm grip after that and went eight points clear early in the final quarter.
Queeney also produced an exquisite finish for the second goal on 39 minutes.
There was no way back for Louth after that and they were always struggling with the pace of the Meath attack.
Meath's third goal came from Bryan McMahon when he fisted to the net from close range near the end.
The winners now look forward to a home quarter-final tie against Kildare in a fortnight's time.
SCORERS – Meath: D Queeney 2-4 (0-2f), B McMahon 1-3 (0-2f), C Downey 0-3, B O'Brien, C O'Brien, E Wallace 0-1 each. Louth: C Byrne 0-5 (3f), P Reilly 1-1, G Traynor 0-1.
MEATH – C McHugh; S Carty, D McQuillan, C Finn; B Dillon, B Moore, S Shortall; C Sheridan, C O'Brien; S Barry, C Downey, D Queeney; E Wallace, B O'Brien, B McMahon. Subs: A Forde for Finn (45), M Devine for B O'Brien (54), F Toolan for Barry (55), H Rooney for Sheridan (56), C Deveraux for Dillon (57).
LOUTH – K Brennan; C Ward, D Campbell, K Toner; M McKeown, A Williams, S McMahon; R Brodigan, M Breen; D McMahon, C McKeever, M Rafferty; K Hearty, P Reilly, C Byrne. Subs: A English for Toner (25), S Donnelly for S McMahon (27), G Traynor for Ward (35), C Deane for D McMahon (53), A Quigley for Breen (57).
REF – D Maher (Westmeath)