Thursday 23 November 2017

Last-gasp Grogan earns point for Tipp

Meath 1-12
Westmeath 2-8

These are testing times for Westmeath, who suffered another cruel National Football League defeat to Meath in Navan.

Stephen Bray scored the winning point deep into stoppage-time for Meath, who had earlier frittered away a seven-point lead as Westmeath came thundering back.

Meath were motoring well early on, and a flash of class in the fourth minute from Joe Sheridan ensured the Royals nicked a goal when converting from close range after Stephen Bray's thoughtful pass had created the opportunity.

Three points were then added to the Royals' account courtesy of Jamie Queeney (two frees) and David Bray before a brief interruption of Meath's dominance.

In the 21st minute Paul Greville was fouled in the square, and Paul Bannon goaled the penalty, and then added a point seconds later.

But Meath's response was both determined and dynamic. They reeled off five points on the spin as they departed at the break armed with a 1-8 to 1-2 advantage.

Westmeath improved after the restart, and reduced the deficit as Paul Greville and Bannon grabbed points to leave Meath ahead 1-9 to 1-5 entering the final quarter.

Substitute Philip Gilsenan announced his arrival with a point, and then provided the assist for Michael Ennis, who thumped an equalising goal in the 59th minute.

An absorbing climax ensued as the lead was swapped before Bray was the Meath hero.

Scorers -- Meath: D Bray 0-5, 1f, S Bray 0-4,, J Sheridan 1-0, J Queeney 0-2, 2fs, S Kenny 0-1. Westmeath: P Bannon 1-3, 2fs, M Ennis 1-2, P Greville 0-2, 1f, P Gilsenan 0-1.

Meath: D Lyons; N McKeigue, J Macken, E Harrington; C O'Connor, B Regan, S Kenny; N Crawford, M Ward; A Moyles, J Queeney, O Lewis; D Bray, J Sheridan, S Bray. Subs: N Mooney for Lewis (61 mins), S McAnarney for Kenny (62 mins).

Westmeath: G Connaughton; F Boyle, K Gavin, J Gaffey; D Harte, M Ennis, D Healy; D O'Donoghue, D Duffy; P Bannon, J Smyth, R Doolan; T Warburton, P Greville, G Hoey. Subs: S Bracken for Duffy (32 mins), G Flanagan for Smyth (36 mins), W Murtagh for Doolan (50 mins), P Gilsenan for Warburton (55 mins), W Coyne for Boyle (70 mins).

Referee: J White (Donegal).

Sunday Independent

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