Rowe inspires Royals to end silverware drought
Meath 0-19 Louth 0-10
Meath won their first provincial football crown since their infamous senior victory over Louth in 2010 after overcoming the Wee County in a one-sided final at Croke Park yesterday.
It was the Royals' first success at this level since 2006, and they were well on their way to victory after building up a 0-14 to 0-3 lead by half-time.
Any hope Louth had of registering a rare victory over their neighbours disappeared when captain David Quigley received a straight red card for a challenge on Kevin Ross on 24 minutes.
Louth trailed 0-9 to 0-3 at the time.
Inspired by full-forward and captain Daire Rowe, Meath controlled proceedings throughout the opening half and picked off scores at will against the out-of-sorts Louth men.
Rowe accounted for five points in the half while James Conlon, Kevin Ross and Paddy Kennelly possessed too much power for an overworked Louth defence.
That 11-point interval lead could have been much more but Rowe was denied a goal by a fine block from Louth goalkeeper Robert Samson after just 30 seconds.
Then close to half-time Kevin Traynor was unfortunate to see a goal effort rebound off the woodwork.
William Woods, who finished with five points, converted two frees for Louth, while their only point from play in the first half came from Colm Giggins after 20 minutes.
The second half turned into a stroll for the Royals, who increased their lead to 13 points before Louth outscored their opponents six points to two in the final 10 minutes to add a veneer of respectability to the scoreline.
Scorers - Meath: D Rowe 0-5 (2fs), J Conlon 0-4, K Ross (1f), P Kennelly 0-3 each, B Brennan (f), M Flood, D Toner, N Shortall 0-1 each. Louth: W Woods 0-5 (3fs), D O'Connell, A O'Brien 0-2 each, C Giggins 0-1.
Meath - J Lynch; A Lynch, L Moran, M Flood; D Toner, J Sweeney, K Traynor; A Flanagan, C Farrell; P Kennelly, B Brennan, C McConnell; J Conlon, D Rowe, K Ross. Subs: S Coogan for Conlon (43), Neil Shortall for McConnell (47), D Smyth for Traynor (50), W Carry for Brennan (52), J Reilly for A Lynch (55), C O'Rourke for Toner (58).
Louth - R Samson; B Reynolds, K Lenaghan, N McCabe; N Sharkey, D Quigley, M McDonald; R Brodigan, D O'Connell;; C Sheridan, D Maguire, C Giggins; C Callan, C O'Hanlon, W Woods. Subs: M Hoey for Reynolds (h-t), C Early for Maguire (h-t), H Osborne for Lenaghan (38), A O'Brien for Callan (39), P Nixon for Giggins (42), C Kirk for McCabe (58).
Ref- F Barry (Longford)