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Wail turns the tide in Meath goal blitz

Meath hit Wicklow with a two-goal blitz midway through the first half to lay the foundations for this four-point win at Arklow on Saturday.

Wicklow had a whirlwind opening, with a goal in the first minute by impressive corner-forward Kevin Byrne, and then led their opponents throughout the first quarter.

But then full-forward Gavin McGowan and corner-forward John Wail struck for two Meath goals in the space of a minute to set them on the road to a 2-8 to 1-2 half-time lead and, ultimately, victory.

However Wicklow, winners of the 'C' championship last year, kept up a strong challenge all the way.

A goal from a penalty in the 35th minute by top-scorer Gavin Weir ensured that they kept up the pressure on the Royals throughout the second half.

Overall, though, Meath had the better strikers of the ball all over the pitch -- and in Jack Regan they had a player of immense quality.

Regan enjoyed showcasing his talent first at corner-forward and then further towards his own goal, helping his defence on numerous occasions in the second half.

Scorers -- Meath: J Wail, G McGowan 1-1 each, J Regan 0-4, V Moore, D Kelly 0-2 each S Lenihan, D Reilly, K Ryan 0-1 each. Wicklow: G Weir 1-6, K Byrne 1-0, C Byrne, J Byrne, W Kinsella 0-1 each.

Meath -- C Bird; L Ferguson, S Whitty, S Benville; C Reilly, L Rickard, C Darby; S Lenihan, D Kelly; D Reilly, V Moore, G Rooney; J Wail, G McGowan, J Regan. Subs: K Ryan for G Rooney, C McGrath for S Lenihan.

Wicklow -- D Staunton; C Linanne, S Barnes, C Dulachain; E Molloy, A Nugent, C Kelly; D Masterson, W Kinsella; R Brandon, D Nolan, A Byrne; G Weir, C O'Byrne, K Byrne. Subs: D Lohan for C Linanne, J Byrne for K Byrne, J Manley for D Masterson, C Lambert for R Brandon.

Ref -- G McGrath (Dublin).

Irish Independent