Thursday 17 October 2019

Meath book place in Leinster semi-final with crushing victory over 14-man Carlow

Meath 2-18 Carlow 0-9

Seán Murphy of Carlow, left, jostles with Meath's Donal Keogan, 6, before getting a red card
Seán Murphy of Carlow, left, jostles with Meath's Donal Keogan, 6, before getting a red card

Dermot Crowe

Carlow crashed out of the Leinster Championship to Meath in a one-sided quarter final at Portlaoise, having lost midfielder Sean Murphy to a red card in the 51st minute.

Murphy was shown a straight red by referee Barry Cassidy after foolishly throwing a fist in frustration at Meath's Donal Keogan. By then Carlow were in serious trouble, trailing 0-7 to 2-9, and the outcome after that was a formality. 

It took a brilliant penalty save from Robert Sansom, denying Mickey Newman, to prevent a worse beating and by the end it was a stroll for Meath who have never lost to Carlow in the Championship. They led by nine points at half time with first half goals from Newman and Padraic Harnan, after Carlow had fought back well to level the match at 0-4 a piece by the 24th minute.

But indiscipline cost them, having already left to sideline bans for manager Turlough O'Brien, coach Stephen Poacher and midfielder Brendan Murphy. They also lost Daniel St Ledger and Eoghan Ruth to back cards, while Paul Broderick went off after just 14 minutes, their leading forward.

The goals set Meath on their way, coming in the space of three minutes and gave Carlow a mountain to climb after they had clawed their way back from an early deficit to draw the match. They failed to score for the remainder of the half, with Meath growing in stature and adding 2-3 without reply to take a merciless grip on the match.

After Carlow reached parity, points from Ben Brennan, the first from a free, restored Meath's advantage and then the breached the massed Carlow defence for the first time in the 29th minute when Keogan set up Newman for a goal tucked home from close-range.

Three minutes later Carlow were in deeper trouble when Keogan provided the assistance once more when surging forward to lay on a goal for the impressive Harnan. By half time they were 2-7 to 0-4 clear and look uncatchable. 

Meath started better and looked a more accomplished side in the early stages, opening a four-point lead after 11 minutes with scores from Newman, a free, Thomas O'Reilly, Cillian O'Sullivan and the powerful Bryan Menton. Carlow, whose shock win over Kildare in last year's Championship was memorable for not featuring a single wide, had little penetration and took almost ten minutes to even land a shot on goal.

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John Murphy finally got them off the mark after 12 minutes with their first score and from there they settled and committed more players forward. Two fine points from Darragh Foley drew them closer to Meath and then a foul on Sean Murphy led to a free for Foley which levelled the match. But they suffered a set-back ten minutes earlier when their leading forward Broderick was withdrawn.

The red card finished what remote prospects they had of getting back into the match after the interval. Meath go on to play Laois or Westmeath in the Leinster semi finals on June 9, while Carlow are in the qualifiers the same weekend.

Scorers: Meath - M Newman 1-6 (0-4 fs), P Harnan 1-0; J Conlon 0-3; B Brennan 0-2 (0-1 f); B Menton, G Reilly 0-2; T O'Reilly, C O'Sullivan 0-1; S Gallagher 0-1

Carlow - D Foley 0-3 (0-1 f); D Walshe 0-3 (0-2 fs, 0-1 '45); J Murphy, S Murphy, E Ruth 0-1.

Meath: A Colgan; S Gallagher, C McGill, S Lavin; D Keogan, P Harnan, G McCoy; B Menton, A Flanagan; C O'Sullivan, B McMahon, B Brennan; S Tobin, M Newman, T O'Reilly.

Subs: B Dardis for O'Reilly (34 mins); G Reilly for Tobin (51); R Ryan for McCoy (55); D Campion for O'Sullivan (60); J Conlon for Brennan (65); E Devine for Menton (69).

Carlow: R Sansom; L Roberts, S Redmond, C Lawlor; J Morrissey, D St Ledger, C Moran; S Murphy, E Ruth; D O'Brien, S Gannon, C Doyle; P Broderick, D Foley, J Murphy.

Subs: D Walshe for Broderick (inj 14 mins); C Crowley for O'Brien & B Kavanagh for Lawlor (both half time); D Moran for St Ledger (b/c 52); J Murphy for Ruth (b/c 60); D Lunney for J Murphy (61).

Referee: B Cassidy (Derry).

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