Battersby ends Carlow hopes
Meath 1-18 Carlow 1-4
Meath cruised to victory in their O Byrne Cup opener against hosts Carlow at Netwatch Cullen Park yesterday, with an early second-half goal from Mark Battersby sending them on to victory.
Carlow were competitive early on and led by 0-3 to 0-2 after 21 minutes with Chris Blake popping over three frees and they could have gone further ahead. Darragh O'Brien found himself in on goal but Meath 'keeper Conor McHugh made a diving save.
Instead Meath powered towards half-time, with Graham Reilly picking off some fine scores from play, and when Dalton McDonagh was dragged down in front of goal, Mickey Newman had a chance from the penalty spot. However, he blazed his effort over and Meath led 0-9 to 0-3 at the interval. After the break, it was one-way traffic and after Battersby had volleyed an effort over, he made no mistake with his second chance and palmed to the net after a mazy run by Newman.
Carlow hit back with their only score from play, which came from wing-back Benny Kavanagh. However, it provided little reprieve and a flurry of frees from Newman gave Meath a fine start to 2016.
Scorers - Meath: M Newman0-7(6f, 0-1 pen), M Battersby 1-2, G Reilly, D McDonagh 0-3 each; H Rooney , P Geraghty and S Tobin 0-1 each. Carlow: C Blake 0-4f, B Kavanagh 1-0
Meath - C McHugh; B Tormey, D Keoghan, N Judge; J O'Reilly, C Finn, D Smyth; H Rooney, A Tormey; G Reilly, M Newman, P McKeever; S Tobin, D McDonagh, M Battersby. Subs: C Downey for McKeever (8, inj), D Lenihan for Tobin (h-t), S McEntee for A Tormey (40), P Geraghty for O'Reilly (47), P Kinnelly for Judge (60), S Carty for Smyth (65)
Carlow - C Kearney; BJ Molloy, D St Ledger, G Power; G Kelly, D Hayden, B Kavanagh; P O'Halloran, M Ware; E Finnegan, D O'Brien, A Kelly; C Blake, J Murphy, D Moran. Subs: JJ Smith for Halloran, H Hegarty for Power and M Fitzgerald for Hayden (all 54), J Kennedy for Murphy (61), P Broderick for O'Brien (66), G Dunne for Kavanagh (70, bc)