Meath 1-20 Wexford 1-13
Sean Tobin scored the second half goal that helped Meath to a comfortable seven point victory over Wexford in their O'Byrne Cup third round game played in St. Patrick's Park, Enniscorthy.
Leading 0-15 to 0-9, it was Tobin who got on the end of a neat move, created space before firing a rising shot to the roof the net, giving his side a 1-15 to 0-9 lead after fifty-five minutes.
Wexford were seeking their third victory on the trot but their cause was not helped with a disallowed goal after twenty-six minutes. Meath led 0-4 to 0-3 thanks to the accuracy of Niall Kane (two), Thomas Reilly and Bryan Menton while Jonathan Bealin (two frees) and John Tubritt responded for the homeside.
Then nine minutes before the break a delightful Wexford move ended with a superb John Tubritt goal, but the referee disallowed the goal as the result of four hand passes.
Meath picked up their game following this let off to finish the half strongly, adding points through Darragh Campion, Michael Newman (two each) and Adam Flanagan to lead 0-9 to 0-5 at the interval.
The visitors started the second half strongly with Thomas O'Reilly, Michael Newman and sub Graham Reilly all prominent in picking off points as they assumed control. Wexford managed to restrict the scoring until Tobin's fine goal which all but settled their semi-final spot and clash with Dublin. Wexford did get a goal one minute from the end when sub Donal Shanley intercepted a poor kick-out to lob the stranded keeper but it wasn't enough.
Wexford scorers: D Shanley 1-0; C Devereux (2f), J Bealin (3f) 0-3 each; K O’Grady, J Tubritt, E Nolan, 0-2 each; N Hughes 0-1.
Meath: S Tobin (0-1f) 1-1; M Newman (1f), T O’Reilly 0-4 each; N Kane, D Campion, B Menton, 0-2 each; A Flanagan, B Brennan, J McEntee, M Burke, G O’Reilly 0-1 each;
Wexford: M Doyle; M O’Connor, G Sheehan, C Carty; G Malone, S Doyle, T Rossiter;B O’Connor, N Hughes; C Devitt, J Bealin, R Frayne; P Curtis, K O’Grady, J Tubritt. Subs: C Devereux for Frayne (43), E Nolan for Curtis (43), E Porter for Rossiter (47), B Malone for Devitt (49), J Cash for Carty (53), D Shanley for Bealin (52), B Brosnan for O’Grady (56), M O’Neill for Doyle (58);A Nolan for M O’Connor (63), D Pepper for Tubritt (64).
Meath: B Dardis; S Lavin, T McGovern, R Ryan; G McCoy, D Keoghan, N Kane; B Menton, A Flanagan; E Devine, D Campion, N Hickey; B Brennan, M Newman, T O’Reilly. Subs: G O’Reilly for Devine (35), E Lynch for McGovern (inj. 38), S Tobin for Campion (46), J McEntee for Brennan (46), M Burke for Hickey (58), J Conlon for Newman (58).
Referee: J Hickey (Carlow).
Longford are set to play the winners of Westmeath vs Kildare in this year's O'Byrne Cup semi-final after their second round game against Louth finished all square at Pearse Park.
Padraic Davis' side looked set for victory in the closing stages but a point from the boot of Declan Byrne spoiled the party for Longford.
Louth had the perfect opportunity to put some daylight between the sides inside the first minute when their full-forward Sam Mulroy cut off his marker and blasted his point blank shot off the Longford crossbar. The home side didn't panic however and they fired over three well-taken points in quick succession that put them in firm control.
A brace of points from the boot of Robbie Smyth opened their account while Shane Donohoe and Peter Lynn showed brilliant accuracy from acute positions. Padraic Davis' men continued to dominate the exchanges over the course of the first half with Mickey Quinn and Robbie Smyth the main protagonists in Longford's starting 15.
A well engineered goal for the visitors got their game back on track. Eoghan Callaghan picked out the roving Tadgh McEneaney who flicked the ball to the roof of the Longford net. The midlanders, without the services of the St Columbas players, displayed some exciting patches of play and they regained control after Peter Lynn found the back of the Louth net when he got onto an unselfish pass from the in-form Darren Doherty. Two further points without reply from Darren Gallagher and Robbie Smyth gave them a six-point cushion at the half time interval.
After the break the visitors introduced a host of substitutes and they quickly increased the tempo and hit Longford for three points on the trot. Conal McKeever registered their opening score while Ronan Holocroft hit a brace of points before he was taken off in an effort to save him for National League duty when these side meet again at the end of the month.
The Wee County enjoyed better success inside Longford's own half during the second-half exchanges. Declan Byrne pulled the trigger on two occasions and two points from Sam Mulroy and an equalising score from Jim McEneaney levelled the game with seven minutes remaining.
The balance of favour tilted back in Longford's direction in the final moments. Louth's Jim McEneaney was handed a black card for a foul on Robbie Smyth and the Abbeylara calmly duly obliged from the placed ball. He quickly followed up with an easy white flag effort but a final point from the boot of Louth's Declan Byrne ensured a draw.
Scores: Louth - T McEneaney 1-2, D Byrne 0-4, C Downey 0-2, S Mulroy 0-3, A Williams 0-1, R Holcroft 0-1, C McKeever 0-1, R Nally 0-1, J McEneaney 0-1
Longford: R Smyth 0-6, D Gallagher 0-4, P Lynn 1-1, D Doherty 0-2, S Donohue 0-1, P Gill 0-1, C P Smyth 0-1,
Longford: P Collum, P Lynn, B O’Farrell, S Donohoe, D Quinn, A Farrell, D Gallagher, C Shields, P Hanley, M Quinn, C P Smyth, P Gill, B McKeon, R Smyth, D Doherty.
Subs: PJ Masterson for C Shields 57th L Connerton for P Gill 57th, C Lee for A Farrell 62nd,
Louth: A McGauley, F Donohue, D Marks, J Craven, L Grey, A Williams, E Callaghan, B Duffy, T Durmin, C Downey, R Holcroft, D Byrne, N Conlon, S Mulroy, T McEneaney.
Subs: J Clutterbuck for L Grey 17th, C Earley for E Callaghan HT, D Corcoran for F Donohue ht, C McKeever for N Conlon ht, C Brannigan for T McEneaney ht, Jim McEneaney for R Holcroft 44th, E Duffy for C Downey 59th, R Nally for Sam Mulroy 62nd,
Ref: F Smyth (Offaly)
The short forthcomings of the new hand-pass rule were laid bare just sixteen minutes into this O'Byrne Cup game at Netwatch Cullen Park. Carlow had opened brightly and eased into a three-point lead before Anton Sullivan knocked over two long-range points for the visitors.
As Carlow moved the ball back down the field Offaly looked to have covered the space but the Barrowsiders put a series of hand-passes together to release Shane Clarke. A half-goal chance presented itself as the ball-carrier opted to take his point. However, Carlow were pinged for a hand-pass too many and the chance was lost.
In a lively first half Carlow goalkeeper Robert Sansom saved well from Niall Darby at the expense of a point but, at the other end, this time a legal Carlow move put in Simon Doyle and his shot to the bottom left-hand corner gave Jason Dunne no chance to give Carlow a 1-8 to 0-8 lead at the interval.
The concession of a series of frees cost Carlow early in the second half with Bernard Allen converting three close-in efforts to cancel out the home lead.
Carlow hit back with two goals in less than ten minutes as Lee Walker stole dirty ball when the Offaly defence looked to be in control. His shot found the Offaly net and there was further cheer for the same player when another shot was parried by Dunne and Darragh Foley followed up to flick home.
Offaly hit back with a Bernard Allen penalty after he was fouled himself. This set up a drama packed last ten minutes with Conor Carroll punching in a late Offaly goal but Carlow held their heads, worked the ball down the field and with an advantage coming Darren Lunney shot the winning point.
Offaly: B. Allen 1-5 (1-0 pen 5fs), C. Carroll 1-0, N. Darby 0-3, A. Sullivan 0-2, S. Tierney (f), J. Moloney, J. O’Connor (f), R. McNamee(f) 0-1 each.
Carlow: L. Walker 1-3, D. Foley 1-3 (2fs), S. Doyle 1-0, D. O’Brien, D. St. Ledger (f), E. Ruth, S. Murphy, P. Broderick, D. Lunney 0-1 each.
Offaly: J. Dunne (B. Rohan h/t); D. Hogan, E. Rigney, D. Dempsey; C. Donohoe (J. Hayes 57), P. McConway, J. O’Connor (M. Abbott 57); C. Mangan (C. Horan 25-PJ Daly 67) , A. Leavy (K. Higgins 49); N. Bracken (R. McNamee h/t), A. Sullivan, N. Darby; B. Allen, J. Moloney (C. Carroll 67) S. Tierney (S. Horan h/t).
Carlow: R. Sansom; C. Crowley, S. Redmond, D. Moran (B.J. Molloy 62); S. Doyle, D. St Ledger, S. Clarke (D. Lunney h/t); B. Murphy, S. Murphy; S. Gannon (P. Broderick 49), L. Walker, E. Ruth (D. Walsh 49); D. O’Brien (Conor Crowley 67), D. Foley, B. Kavanagh.
Referee: B. Cawley (Kildare).
Laois snatched victory from Wicklow with almost the last kick of the game in their final O'Byrne Cup Match at Bray.
Wicklow were ahead 2-20 to 1-11 as the match went into the third minute of injury time but, in a final last gasp attack, Paul Kingston was fed possession and he fired to the net from close range for the winner.
Twelve new inter-county football managers already have their competitive inter-county seasons up and running after one of the biggest turnovers of sideline personnel for some time.