Saturday 20 January 2018

Freak Meath goal vital in victory over Wicklow

Graham Reilly in action tonight
Graham Reilly in action tonight

A missed penalty and a freak goal were enough to give Meath the edge in a five-point victory over Wicklow in Aughrim.

Mick O'Dowd's men advance to a Leinster semi-final with Wexford in a fortnight's time while Harry Murphy's Wicklow go into Monday morning's qualifier draw.

It was an entertaining game from start to finish with some great scoring in very difficult conditions.

Meath should have goaled in the opening minutes but Damien Carroll and Stehpen Bray both fluffed their lines.

A brace of frees from the Royals' Michael Noonan had them in front but the home side, playing into the breeze, responded with a great goal from Paul Earls.

Newman and Graham Reilly and Wicklow's Seanie Furlong and Anto McLoughlin traded points as the Garden men kept their noses in front.

Wicklow would only score one more point in the opening half through Rory Finn with Seanie Furlong having a poorly taken penalty saved.

From the that Wicklow penalty Meath broke and to score an incredibly fortuitous goal as ball forward from full-back Kevin Rellly bounced about 15 yards out and bounced off the hard ground and over Wicklow keeper John Flynn and into the back of the net.

Meath went in to the break with a 1-10 to 1-4 lead.

Patrick McWalter, Darren Hayden and Anto McLoughlin raised white flags as Wicklow rallied at the beginning of the half.

When Seanie Furlong pointed to put two points in it Wicklow must have believed they had a real chance of causing a shock with the elements in their favour but that was as close as they got.

Points from Newman and Graham Reilly helped Meath stretch their lead.

Eamon Wallace and Johnny McGrath traded points as Meath just about kept Wicklow at arms length.

Meath would send over three of the last four points to run out five points winners but Wicklow deserve massive credit for a gallant effort in Aughrim.

Online Editors

Promoted Links

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport