Thursday 18 October 2018

Five-star Royals advance

Meath 5-18 Laois 0-8

Niall Carey of Laois in action against Bryan McCormack of Meath. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Niall Carey of Laois in action against Bryan McCormack of Meath. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Three first-half goals left an impressive Meath out of sight as they booked their place in the Leinster MFC final for the first time since 2012 at Portlaoise on Saturday.

Laois could only offer token resistance as the Royals assumed control from the opening whistle and by half-time they had built up a 3-9 to 0-2 advantage.

Luke Kelly of Meath is tackled by Niall Carey, left, and Sean Micheal Corcoran of Laois. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Luke Kelly of Meath is tackled by Niall Carey, left, and Sean Micheal Corcoran of Laois. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

The first of the goals arrived after 40 seconds when Luke Kelly pounced on a mistake in the Laois defence to net from close range.

Full-forward Kelly also accounted for the second goal on 11 minutes after a Matthew Costello effort had rebounded off the crossbar.

Towering midfielder Cian McBride produced an exhibition of high fielding in the first half and with Luke Mitchell on target from frees, Meath piled on the scores.

Wing-forward Bryan McCormack finished with aplomb for goal number three following a surging run out of defence by Sean Coffey.

Bryan McCormack Meath celebrates after scoring his side's third goal. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Bryan McCormack Meath celebrates after scoring his side's third goal. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Both of Laois's first-half scores were from frees and the game was 34 minutes old before corner-back Sean Greene hit their opening point from play.

The hosts produced an improved second-half display but David Bell added two more goals for the Royals in the final quarter.

Scorers - Meath: D Bell 2-3; L Kelly 2-1; L Mitchell 0-6 (6fs); B McCormack 1-1; M Costello ( 1 '45), B O'Hanlon 0-2 each; D Swaine, C Farrelly, C Hawdon 0-1 each. Laois: J Lacey 0-2 (1f); S Greene, C Goode, O Byrne (f), R Bolger (f), E Delaney ('45), D Larkin 0-1 each.

Meath - S Brennan; J O'Hare, H O'Higgins, C Hickey; C Farrelly, C Harford, S Coffey; A Reilly, C McBride; D Swaine, M Costello, B McCormack; D Bell, L Kelly, L Mitchell. Subs: O McCloskey for Hickey (44), B O'Hanlon for Kelly (46), C Hawdon for Swaine

Luke Kelly of Meath celebrates after scoring his side's second goal. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Luke Kelly of Meath celebrates after scoring his side's second goal. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

(50), A Treanor for McCormack, L Newe for O'Higgins (both 57), K Price for Harford (60).

Laois - O Keogh; S Greene, M Bennett, S O'Neill; N Carey, C Bennett, C Byrne; B Conroy, S M Corcoran; D Galvin, R Murphy, C Goode; O Byrne, R Bolger, M O'Connell. Subs: C Doyle for Galvin, D Larkin for O Byrne, J Lacey for Bolger (all h-t), C Burke for Corcoran (46), E Delaney for Carey (47), S Burns for M Bennett (54).

REF - D Sheppard (Dublin).

Laois manager Donnacha Phelan. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Laois manager Donnacha Phelan. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

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