Braniff eases Down through
Down eased into the semi-finals with an 11-point win at McKenna Park, Ballycran.
The Mournemen dominated the opening half and strolled into a 14-point lead at half-time. Meath upped their game in the second period, but the home side were never in any real danger of losing this game.
Down opened with two points from Benny Ennis and one each from Gareth Johnson and Eoin Clarke. It was all Down and with nine minutes gone Braniff finished off a good move with a fine goal.
Meath lost corner-forward Peter Durnin three minutes before the break after he picked up two yellow cards, and Down led by 1-12 to 0-1 at the interval.
Michael Cole struck for Meath's goal 10 seconds into the second half, but Down never looked like crumbling and two James Coyle points finished off a comfortable win.
Man of the Match: Benny Ennis (Down)
scorers -- Down : P Braniff 1-1, G Johnson, B Ennis 0-5 each, J Coyle 0-4, S Clarke, E Clarke, C O'Prey 0-1 each. Meath: M Cole 1-0, N Kirby 0-4, D Kirby, N Horan, J Keena 0-1 each.
Down -- G Clarke 7; M Hughes 7, C Coulter 7, S Ennis 7; K McGarry 8, C Woods 8, M Ennis 8; A Savage 8, E Clarke 8; S Clarke 7, G Johnson 8, C O'Prey 7; J Coyle 7, P Braniff 8, B Ennis 9. Subs: A Clarke for P Braniff (65); A O'Prey for C O'Prey (67); S Nicholson for J Coyle (70).
Meath -- S McGann 8; D O'Donoghue 7, E Fitzgerald 7, W Mahady 7; E Keogh 7, P Fagan 7, D Kirby 8; P Keogh 7, S Donoghue 7; J Keena 7, N Kirby 8, M Cole 7; D Muldoon 7, N Horan 7, P Durnin 6. Subs: G O'Neill 8 for S Donoghue (h-t); B Slevin 7 for D Muldoon (41); J Boyle 8 for P Keogh (43); N Hackett 7 for M Cole (51).
Ref -- E Hasson (Derry).