Sunday 18 March 2018

'Cavan test is pivotal to Meath prospects'

Sean Wall

With three points out of a possible four it has been an encouraging start to Meath's NFL campaign and their efforts to finally make the breakthrough into the top tier.

However, consistency - or a lack of it - has been Meath's Achilles' heel in recent years at this level and there were glaring signs of that again on Sunday in the 14-point win over Clare.

The Royals looked very average throughout the opening half but were transformed in the second as they cut through their opponents' disappointing resistance.

That second 35 minutes pleased manager Andy McEntee, but it was his side's lack of a killer instinct that was the frustrating part.

'The second half was a lot more accurate, a lot more clinical. The first half we did a lot of things right, but we just didn't finish it off, didn't get the scores, and we dropped seven balls into the goalkeeper's hands. That's frustrating,' McEntee said.

'We had two great goal chances. I mean, they go in and the scoreboard has a totally different look to it at half-time. In all fairness to the lads, we regrouped, we asked for a little bit more accuracy, a little bit more composure in front of goal, and that's probably the way the second half turned out.'

However McEntee was happy his charges did a lot of good things in that opening half, even if their finishing let them down.

'Yeah, we weren't a million miles away,' he continued. 'It was just a matter of the final pass, as you say, or the final shot, or the shot selection - it wasn't what we wanted. But it's good to be able to regroup and to put it right in the second half.

'I suppose everybody's first ambition is to get enough points so that you're not scrapping at the wrong end of the table. You don't want that. That's what you're looking at first of all. To do that you probably need to win your home games and get results away from home.

'That puts next Saturday's game against Cavan into context and it's an important game for us obviously.

'I know what to expect from them, Cavan and Meath on a Saturday night down there, I think it's great. It's set up nicely for a fairly hectic game and I'd be expecting a huge challenge. I hope everybody is looking forward to it.'

Drogheda Independent