O'Sullivan just too good as Derry struggle
Meath 3-15 Derry 0-9
Meath produced an impressive second-half display to see off Derry's feeble challenge in this Division 2 tie at Páirc Tailteann.
The Oak Leaf County had no answer to the speed and guile of the Royals' centre-forward Cillian O'Sullivan who was superb.
O'Sullivan lit up what was an otherwise drab opening half, scoring two points into the stiff breeze.
Derry laboured throughout the opening 35 minutes but deservedly led 0-6 to 0-4 at the break. Benny Heron, Enda Glynn, Emmett McGuckin, Conor McAtamney and Niall Loughlin were all on target for the visitors but Derry's finishing proved erratic .Matters improved significantly for Andy McEntee's charges after the break even though Derry still led 0-8 to 0-6 following Enda Lynn's 43rd-minute point.
O'Sullivan's opening goal changed the game while the introduction of Joey Wallace, Ruairi O Coileain and Bryan McMahon to the Meath attack helped matters. By the time midfielder Bryan Menton had scored his fourth point Meath led by 1-9 to 0-8.
Meath were six clear when McMahon produced a great finish for the second goal on 65 minutes. The hosts had earlier being reduced to 14 men after Alan Forde picked up a second yellow card.
Then in added time O'Sullivan rounded off a great display with his side's third goal.
Derry's frustrations got the better of them in the closing stages and they had 'keeper Ben McKinless and captain Enda Lynn black-carded.
Scorers - Meath: C O'Sullivan 2-2, B Menton 0-4, B McMahon 1-1 (1f), R O Coileain 0-2, W Carry, S McEntee, J Toher (45), A Forde, C O'Brien, B Sheridan 0-1 each.
Derry: J Kielt, B Heron, E Lynn 0-2 each, C McAtamney, N Loughlin, E McGuckin 0-1 each.
Meath - P O'Rourke 7; D Keogan 6, C McGill 7, M Burke 6; W Carry 7, B Power 6, S McEntee 6; J Toher 7, B Menton 7; A Forde 6, C O'Sullivan 9, C O'Brien 7; C Downey 5, B Sheridan 6, D Lenihan 5. Subs: J Wallace 7 for Downey (29), R O Coileain 7 for Burke (h-t), B McMahon 7 for Lenihan (52), E Wallace 4 for McEntee (58), S Tobin for Sheridan (68).
Derry - B McKinless 6; R Murphy 6; C Nevin 6, P Hagan 6; N Keenan 6, N Forester 6, M McEvoy 6; C McAtamney 6, J Kielt 7; E Lynn 6, N Loughlin 6, C McWilliams 6; B Heron 7, E McGuckin 6, D Tallon 6. Subs: O Hegarty 6 for Hagan (39), J Doherty 6 for Nevin (46), G O'Neill 6 for McAtamney (54), R Bell 5 for Loughlin (60), T Mallon for McKinless (BC 70).
Ref - L Devenney (Mayo)