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Blues are extra special

Meath came back from the dead to force extra time in this O'Byrne Shield (SF) final at Parnell Park last night as Dublin blew a six-points lead with nine minutes left.

A Joe Sheridan goal from a penalty inspired the late revival for Meath with Paddy Gilsenan forcing extra time with a fisted effort two minutes into stoppage time.

But Dublin regrouped and Bryan Cullen found the net half a minute into extra time, although a second goal from Sheridan ensured that 2011 started with a small bit of an epic between these two.

Dublin led 1-9 to 0-7 at the end of a good first half which was marked by some quality scores, and with five bookings, four of them to Meath, there was always enough of an edge to keep the crowd of about 4,000 entertained.

Kevin McManamon picked off three excellent points and Diarmuid Connolly hit a brace to give the Dubs' supporters plenty to be optimistic about for the season ahead, but it was the goal blasted home by Mossy Quinn after 19 minutes, putting Dublin 1-4 to 0-4 in front, which really showed their edge.

Meath, who had points on the board inside a minute from Brian Farrell and the sharp Joe Sheridan, kicked seven wides to Dublin's three in the opening half.

Dublin were on top for most of the third quarter and should have sealed the issue when Bryan Cullen put them 1-13 to 0-10 in front after 66 minutes, but they finished the job in extra time.

Scorers -- Dublin: T Quinn, B Cullen 1-1 each; K McManamon, B Brogan 0-4 (4f) each; D Connolly 0-2; D Lally, G Cullen, B Cahill, P Andrews 0-1 each. Meath: J Sheridan 2-2 (1-0 pen); S O'Rourke 0-4 (1f); G Reilly 0-3; C Ward 0-2 (1f) C Gillepsie, B Farrell, P Gilsenan 0-1 each.

Dublin: S Cluxton (M Savage, 70); D Daly (J McCarthy, 67), S Murray, M Fitzsimons (A Hubbard, 55); D Lally (W Lowry, 70), G Brennan (Bastick, 88), P Casey (C McKiernan, 82); D Bastick (MD McAuley, 70), C Murphy (B Cahill, 55); D Kelly, K McManamon (B Cullen, 44), D Connolly (P Flynn, 35); B Brogan (McManamon, 86), G Cullen (A Brogan, 50), T Quinn (P Andrews, 70).

Meath: P O'Rourke; G O'Brien, K Reilly (B Meade, 35), C King; S Kenny (D Keogan, 88), B Menton, C McGuinness (C Ward, 55); M Ward (N Crawford, 42), C Gillepsie; S McAnarney (D Dalton, 79), S O'Rourke, D Morgan (G Reilly, 29); P Gilsenan (Farrell, 74), J Sheridan, B Farrell (A Moyles, 42).

Referee: S Carroll (Westmeath).

Sunday Indo Sport