Healy points the way past Meath for triumphant Royals
Meath 0-17 Wicklow 0-7 - Kehoe Cup
Full-forward Anthony Healy was the star man as Meath comfortably retained the Kehoe Cup at foggy Trim yesterday.
Healy showed tremendous accuracy throughout as he accounted for nine points, seven of which came from placed balls, as the Royals captured the title for the eight time.
The game started in heavy fog and the conditions made it difficult for both teams but fortunately it improved slightly the longer it went on.
Wicklow were the sharper of the two teams in the early stages but their hopes of a first outright win in the competition since 2003 diminished when full-forward Andy O'Brien received a straight red charge following a foul on his opposite number Shane Brennan on 16 minutes.
The Garden County were ahead 0-5 to 0-4 at the time but that proved a major turning point and they didn't score again until midfielder Eamonn Kearns pointed in the 54th minute.
The hosts had 11 points on the scoreboard at that stage and were never really in danger of being caught.
Meath controlled the game following the sending-off and drew level through Jack Regan before Healy pointed them ahead on the half hour.
They led by that score, 0-6 to 0-5, at the end of the half which seemed to be actually blown up a couple of minutes early by Louth referee Kevin Brady.
Keeper Charlie Bird was forced into a smart save from Wicklow's Mikey Lee five minutes after the restart but the visitors rarely threatened to breach the Meath rearguard after that.
Their only other point of the half came from the lively Leighton Glynn.
A succession of points from Healy eased Meath clear and there was also a fine contribution from James Toher who accounted for a couple of superb scores in that second half.
Scorers: Meath: A Healy 0-9 (7fs), J Toher 0-4, E Marsh, P Conneely, J Regan, S Quigley 0-1 each. Wicklow: J Connors, L Glynn 0-2 each, M Lee (f), E Kearns, D Staunton 0-1 each.
Meath: C Bird; C Reilly, S Brennan, S Whitty; K Keoghan, P Keogh, E Marsh; S Morris, S Heavey; P Conneely, J Toher, G Kelly; J Regan, A Healy, W McGrath. Subs: S Quigley for Regan (55).
Wicklow: T Kennedy; T Doyle, S Kelly, P Keane; E Dunne, B Cuddihy, S Byrne; E Kearns, J Connors; L Glynn, J O'Neill, C Moorehouse; M Lee, A O'Brien, D Staunton. Subs: D Masterson for Connors (49), M O'Brien for Cuddihy (52), A Byrne for O'Neill (60).
Referee: K Brady (Louth).