Monday 19 March 2018

Minors cruise into provincial decider

GAA: Leinster MFL semi-final

Colm Coyle's Meath minors will have another competitive outing before their provincial championship opening round clash with Dublin next month following this win in the Leinster MFL semi-final at Dr Cullen Park, Carlow, last Saturday.

Meath 2-14 Carlow 1-6

They now face Cork in the decider after the Munster side defeated Offaly by 5-13 to 5-10 in the other semi on Sunday.

This was a good performance by the Meath lads although they wasted plenty of scoring chances with some poor finishing in each half.

Meath tallied a total of 14 wides for the hour, but the wayward shooting had a positive impact as it kept the game competitive and Carlow took some fine points from play, especially in the opening half.

The Royals were ahead by 1-7 to 0-4 at the interval with Summerhill's Conor Frayne grabbing 1-1, the goal was a superb individual score as he waltzed past a couple of Carlow defenders.

Shane Walsh (three), Thomas Murtagh, Robert Smith and Adam Murphy completed the first-half points tally for Meath.

Carlow were well off the pace for most of the opening half, but stayed in touch with fine scores from Gavin Healy, Robbie Kane, Ronan Curran and Conor Doyle.

Substitute Conall Ahearne sent over Meath's first point of the second-half as Frayne limped out of the action with an ankle injury.

Walsh increased Meath's advantage to 1-10 to 0-4 by the end of the third-quarter with a well-taken brace of points before Carlow's Andrew Kehoe got in for a goal due to some deplorable defending.

That gave the hosts a boost and the goal was quickly followed by a Cormac Lomax point that reduced the deficit to five (1-5 to 1-10) with about six minutes remaining.

Meath settled into the game again and duly took control as they added points from substitutes Paddy Matthews and Liam Shaw that were followed by a goal from Ahearne.

They continued to pick off the scores and points from Caolan Ward and Keith Connell closed Meath's account and sealed the place in the final before Michael Murphy's pointed free completed Carlow's tally.

MEATH: Andrew Beakey (St Colmcille's); Sean Ryan (Dunboyne), Liam Byrne (Dunboyne), Niall Mulvey (Longwood); Conal Courtney (Gaeil Colmcille), Dan Devine (Na Fianna), Adam Murphy 0-1 (Moynalvey); Thomas Murtagh 0-1 (Nobber), Padraig Nulty (St Patrick's); Robert Smith 0-1 (Oldcastle), Conor Frayne 1-1 (Summerhill), Sean Martin (Na Fianna); Jordan Morris (Nobber), Shane Walsh 0-5 (Na Fianna), Cathal Finnegan (Seneschalstown). Subs: Caolan Ward 0-1 (Wolfe Tones) for Courtney, Conall Ahearne 1-1 (Ratoath) for Smith, Joey Donnelly (Kilbride) for Finnegan (all h-t), Darragh Nolan (Dunboyne) for Frayne (34), Paddy Matthews 0-1 (Meath Hill) for Murtagh, Liam Shaw 0-1 (Summerhill) for Martin (both 52), Keith Connell 0-1 (Oldcastle) for Morris (55).

CARLOW: J Rowan; T McDonnell, R Gahan, R Hollick; K Gaffney, J McCabe, T Dunne; J Morrisey, H Dooley; C Doyle 0-1, C Lomax 0-1, C O'Neill; R Curran 0-1, R Kane 0-1, G Healy 0-1. Subs: T Roche for McCabe (22), A Kehoe 1-0 for Kane, M Murphy 0-1 for Healy, P Hynes for Dooley (all h-t), T Sheehan for Roche, A McAlister for McDonnell (both 52).

REF: Fintan Pierce (Offaly).

Drogheda Independent