Tuesday 24 April 2018

O'Brien to fore in Meath stroll

MEATH 1-16

The gulf in class was evident from the early stages as Meath romped to victory at Pairc Tailteann.

Wexford -- who had tallied 7-17 in their opening-round victory over Kilkenny -- provided feeble opposition, going 43 minutes without a score.

Meath played into a stiff breeze in the opening half but were well on their way to a semi-final rematch against first-round conquerors Louth when leading 0-9 to 0-2 at the break.

Padraig Harnan and Shane McEntee dominated midfield, while Bobby O'Brien shone in attack and scored three first-half points.

By the three-quarter way stage, all six Meath forwards had hit the target and the gap had widened to 0-13 to 0-2.

Substitute Brendan Hughes ended Wexford's scoring drought with his side's only point of the half on 56 minutes.

Another substitute James Sweeney went close to a consolation goal, but was denied by a fine save from Meath goalkeeper Robert Burlingham after 58 minutes.

The game's only goal finally came a minute later, when the impressive O'Brien burst through the middle before finishing with aplomb.

SCORERS -- Meath: B O'Brien 1-4, B McMahon 0-4 (3f), N Shorthall (2f), C O'Sullivan, W McGrath 0-2 each, A Forde, R Farrelly 0-1 each. Wexford: B Kearney (f), A Nolan, B Hughes 0-1 each.

MEATH -- R Burlingham; A Forde, C McGill, O Fitzpatrick; C Finn, S Melia, B McConnon; P Harnan, S McEntee; N Shorthall, B O'Brien, C O'Sullivan; B McMahon, R Farrelly, W McGrath. Subs: D Smyth for McConnon (h-t), F McEntee for Shorthall (52), D Donnellan for McGrath (52).

WEXFORD -- P Murphy; M Doyle, D Byrne, G Foley; K Butler, J Tubritt, AJ Lehane; S Hughes, E O'Byrne; D Foley, G Murphy, P Breen; B Kearney, A Nolan, C McCabe. Subs: P Waters for O'Byrne (26), J Sweeney for Kearney (40), A Doyle for Breen (43), P O'Leary for Tubritt (50), B Hughes for D Foley (55).

REF -- D Maher (Westmeath).

Irish Independent

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