Wednesday 16 October 2019

Reilly steps up to turn tide and put Meath on cusp of return to big time

Meath 1-12 Clare 1-7

The win leaves Meath top of the table, ahead of Donegal on score difference. (stock photo)
The win leaves Meath top of the table, ahead of Donegal on score difference. (stock photo)

A powerful second half took Meath to victory in Ennis yesterday.

Postponed by 24 hours due to the inclement weather on Saturday, Meath had remained in Clare after travelling on Friday for the tie.

This win moves them closer to promotion to Division 1.

However, Meath manager Andy McEntee warned: "This win doesn't necessarily mean that we are promoted. We need another point to be absolutely sure as depending on results next week it might come down to score difference."

He agreed that Meath played well after the break but was not impressed by their first-half performance.

"We looked a little bit lethargic. I don't know if that was due to hanging around for a second day for the game. It wasn't pretty but the lads dug in," he said

Clare manager Colm Collins said: "We played well in the first half, but we let Meath dictate everything in the second half."

Crucial

The crucial score came 15 minutes into the second half when Graham Reilly - just a minute after coming on - applied the finish to a sweeping six-man move

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The goal rocked Clare, who could only manage three points in the second half, all from frees.

The win leaves Meath top of the table, ahead of Donegal on score difference.

They made the better start and led 0-4 to no score after six minutes, but Clare went on to dominate the opening half.

Clare took the lead six minutes from the interval when Sean O'Donoghue found the net.

Meath rallied and landed the last two points of the half to lead by 0-8 to 1-4 at the interval.

The sides exchanged points in the opening five minutes of the new half but that crucial Meath goal and three unanswered points opened a seven-point lead.

Clare battled on and had the last two points, scores that could prove crucial in their battle to avoid the drop.

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