Gaffney's lucky 13 lifts Armagh
Armagh 0-26 Meath 1-10
Published 14/03/2016 | 02:30
Armagh maintained their bid for promotion by overpowering a resilient but technically inferior Meath side at the Athletic Grounds.
The Orchard County's victory was underpinned by a towering contribution from outstanding centre-forward Ryan Gaffney, who landed 13 points from frees as well as creating a number of chances from play.
With Cathal Carvill and Conor Corvan also lively up front, Armagh built up a 0-8 to 0-2 lead by the 20th minute, and the home side enjoyed a seven-point advantage at the break (0-13 to 0-6).
An opportunistic Joe Keena goal from a free in the 59th minute hinted at a Royal revival, but although the visitors kept probing for openings, they found the resolute Armagh defence difficult to penetrate.
A late flurry of points from Gaffney and Carvill emphasised Armagh's dominance in a match in which they were rarely under pressure.
Scorers - Armagh: R Gaffney 0-13 (13fs), C Carvill 0-6, C Corvan, C Devlin 0-2 each, D Carvill, D Coulter, S Renaghan 0-1 each. Meath: J Keena 1-3, R Sherlock, S Clynch 0-2 each, A Gannon, T Clarke, N Heffernan 0-1 each.
Armagh - S Doherty 6; C Clifford 6, A McGuinness 7, C Devlin 7; S Gaffney 6, N Curry 7, K Mc Kernan 6; E McGuinness 7, S Renaghan 6; C Carvill, 8, R Gaffney 9, D Carvill 7; C Corvan 8, J Corvan, 7 D Coulter 7. Subs: P McKearney 5 for Devlin (53), O Curry 5 for Coulter (70), D McKenna 4 for J Corvan (72).
Meath - S McGann 6; C Reilly 6, S Brennan 6, D Donoghue 6; D Healy 6, R Sherlock 8, S Heavey, K Keoghan 6, S Geraghty 7, S Clynch, 6 S Morris, 6 A Gannon 6; T Clarke 6, J Toher 6, J Keena 8.
Subs: K Keena for Clarke (28), N Heffernan 6 for Clynch (43), S Quigley 5 for Geraghty (48), B Slevin 5 for Morris (60).
Ref - C Cunning (Antrim).