Newman points way as relentless Royals grind down Laois
Meath 0-15 Laois 1-10
buoyed by last week's result against Donegal, Meath came to Portlaoise and deservedly left with the points.
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Playing with a new found confidence, apart from a period midway through the opening half, they outplayed Laois in most sectors of the field.
Meath started the sharper, shooting two points through Shane O'Rourke and Andrew Tormey.
But Meath were playing deep, allowing Laois to come on to them and they paid the price.
And in an 11-minute period Laois took control as wing-back Darren Strong landed two great points, along with frees from Ross Munnelly, Donie Kingston and Gary Walsh, while Kingston was also on target from play.
With 10 minutes of the half left, Meath had a golden opportunity of a goal, but Laois 'keeper Graham Brody did brilliantly to deny Dalton McDonagh from point-blank range.
Michael Newman converted the resultant '45' and added a second while in between O'Rourke pointed from play to close the gap to the minimum by the 32nd minute.
Two minutes later Meath were caught on the break and Colm Begley was brought down for a penalty, which was converted by Munnelly. He soon added a free to leave Laois leading 1-7 to 0-5 at half-time.
Meath started the new half as they did the first and soon closed the gap to a singe point, thanks to two points apiece from O'Rourke and Newman (frees). Kingston settled Laois nerves with a superb point, but Brian McMahon was on target to leave the minimum separating the sides entering the final quarter.
Newman added a 56th-minute free to level the scores and his first from play a minute later edged Meath in front.
The sides were level again in the 63rd minute, Laois substitute Evan O'Carroll on target with his first touch.
Another substitute, this time Meath's David Bray, put his side back in front. As Laois went in search of the equaliser, spaces opened up and Meath capitalised with points from Bryan Menton and Graham Reilly.
At the other end, the winners' 'keeper Paddy O'Rourke did his bit, denying Colm Begley with a great save and all Laois could respond with was an injury-time point from MJ Tierney.
Scorers – Meath: M Newman 0-6 (3fs, 2 '45's), S O'Rourke 0-4, B McMahon, A Tormey, B Menton, D Bray, G Reilly 0-1 each. Laois: R Munnelly 1-2 (1 pen, 2fs), D Kingston 0-3 (1f), D Strong 0-2, G Walsh (f), E O'Carroll, MJ Tierney 0-1 each.
MEATH – P O'Rourke; D Keogan, K Reilly, M Burke; S Curran, E Harrington, D Carroll; B Menton, S O'Rourke; D Tobin, D McDonagh, A Tormey; B McMahon, S Bray, M Newman. Subs: D Bray for McDonagh (46), P Harnan for Curran (46), G Reilly for Tobin (56).
LAOIS – G Brody; D Booth, M Timmons, P McMahon; D Strong, P Begley, C Begley; J O'Loughlin, K Meaney; D Conway, C Meredith, B Sheehan, R Munnelly, D Kingston, G Walsh. Subs: D Booth for Timmons (49), J Finn for Conway (53), MJ Tierney for Munnelly (59), E O'Carroll for Walsh (61), A Ryan for Sheehan (68),
Ref – M Collins (Cork)