Smith helps Royals rumble on
MEATH 0-13 LOUTH 0-10
THE minor footballers of Meath inflicted more misery on their neighbours when recording a deserved win in this Leinster semi-final at Pairc Tailteann last night.
Louth had already defeated Meath in an opening-round match but the Royals came through the losers section to make it back to the decider for the first time since 2008.
Meath played the final quarter with 14 players after Neil Shorthall picked up a second yellow card, but with substitute Cathal Smith contributing two points, the hosts increased their lead to five.
Cillian O'Sullivan and Shorthall (all frees) were on target with three points each in the opening half and at the break Meath led 0-7 to 0-4. All of Louth's first-half points came from their talisman Ciaran Byrne.
Byrne ended with a personal tally of nine points and was the only Louth forward to score. Their other point came from centre-back Daniel Grimes.
Louth enjoyed a good third quarter and by the 43rd minute had reduced the deficit to two points.
However, it was Meath who raised their game following the sending off and Louth's only response was two pointed frees from Byrne, both in added time.
SCORERS -- Meath: N Shorthall (4f), B McMahon 0-4 each, C O'Sullivan 0-3, C Smith 0-2 (1f). Louth: C Byrne 0-9 (5f), D Grimes 0-1.
MEATH -- R Burlingham; A Forde, B McConnon, O Fitzpatrick; C Finn, S Melia, D Smyth; P Harnan, S McEntee; N Shorthall, B O'Brien, C O'Sullivan; B McMahon, R Farrelly, W McGrath. Subs: C Smith for Farrelly (43), S Sheridan for McMahon (56).
LOUTH -- C Quigley; M Kane, D Campbell, N McCabe; C Bellew, D Grimes, D McMahon; R McCabe, M Breen; S Thornton, P Reilly, C Smyth; C McKeever, J Horan, C Byrne. Subs: J King for Smyth (30), D Breen for Quigley (30), K Ryan for McKeever (43), R Brodigan for McCabe (54), S McAuley for King (59).
REF -- F Barry (Kildare)