Reilly strike pivotal as Meath edge past battling Wee County
MEATH 1-11 LOUTH 0-10
MEATH, chasing a sixth successive title, were pushed all the way in an exciting quarter-final at Simonstown.
The Royals were somewhat flattered by the margin of victory.
They led by only the minimum with four minutes of normal time remaining, but produced a strong finish, which yielded points from Michael Brogan, Ryan Carey and Niall Carolan.
With Darren Marks outstanding at midfield and Kevin Hearty, Karl Martin and Richie Halpenny on target, the Wee County enjoyed a 0-6 to 0-2 lead by the 25th minute.
Meath eventually burst into life and, buoyed by a goal from Oisin Reilly, they were one point ahead at the break. Their strong finish made sure of victory.
SCORERS -- Meath: O Reilly 1-1, N Carolan 0-3 (3f), E Wallace 0-2, S O'Brien, S McEntee, C O'Brien, R Carey, M Brogan 0-1 each. Louth: K Hearty 0-5 (4f), K Martin 0-2, R Halpenny, E Leavy, O Olajubu 0-1 each.
MEATH -- S Rooney; G Deary, P Gallagher, N Lenehan; C Carton, R McMahon, S O'Brien; S McEntee, L Beggy; O Reilly, E Wallace, C Griffin; C O'Brien, N Carolan, R Carey. Subs: B Power for McMahon (13), M Brogan for Beggy (22), A Hughes for Reilly (43), T Smith for Griffin (56).
LOUTH -- C Costello; N Eccles, M Smith, O Olajubu; E Lafferty, R Hand, E Duffy; D Marks, S Crosbie; W Campbell, K Hearty, T Donegan; R Halpenny, K Martin, E Leavy. Subs: J Brannigan for Donegan (55), R Mooney for Leavy (60).
REF -- D Maher (Westmeath)