Carolan leads by example as title-holders Meath progress
Meath 3-11 Longford 0-5
Meath made the perfect start to the defence of their title with a comfortable victory in Abbeylara.
Such was Meath's dominance, they were just behind once; that was inside the opening minute when Longford's Liam Sullivan fired over the game's first point.
Meath grabbed their first goal in the ninth minute through Niall Carolan and Caoimhin Griffin added a second a minute later.
Meath looked threatening with every attack and Longford struggled to contain them with goalkeeper Gareth Higgins making a number of fine saves.
Leading by seven points at the break, Meath didn't let up and Ryan Carey grabbed their third goal within two minutes of the restart.
Two of Meath's substitutes made an impact after that, Oisin Reilly and Aiden Hughes grabbing two points each.
Scorers -- Meath: N Carolan 1-2 (0-1f), C Griffin, R Carey 1-0 each, A Hughes, O Reilly 0-2 each, P Donnellan, C O'Brien, N Carolan, G Deery, C Carton 0-1 each. Longford: C Madden 0-3, L Sullivan, C Mallon 0-1 each.
Meath -- S Rooney; N Lenehan, P Gallagher, G Deery; C Carton, S McEntee, S Byrne; L Beggy, M Brogan; R O'Dowd, C O'Brien, C Griffin; P Donnellan, N Carolan, R Carey. Subs: O Reilly for Byrne (h-t), A Hughes for Griffin (36), C Smith for O'Dowd (45), L Ferguson for Carolan (55).
Longford -- G Higgins; W Goldrick, J Gill, B Garry; L Sullivan, D Murphy, D Reilly; C Madden, T Jackson; A McBrien, C Mallon, G Kelly; S Harton, N Casserley, D Burke. Subs: E Kelly for Goldrick (20), P Keegan for Casserley (32), Goldrick for Kelly (52).
REF -- D Brazil (Offaly)