Wednesday 13 December 2017

Tyrone edge Meath in a thriller

Martin Penrose, Tyrone, in action against Seamus Kenny
Martin Penrose, Tyrone, in action against Seamus Kenny
Michael Newman, Meath, scores his side's second goal from a penalty
Colm Cavanagh, Tyrone, has a shot on goal stopped by Meath goalkeeper Paddy O'Rourke
Sean Cavanagh, Tyrone, in action against Conor Gillespie
Eamonn Wallace, Meath, in action against Martin Penrose
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Tyrone claimed ever ever championship victory over Meath but not without a scare in an exciting All-Ireland fourth round qualifier in Croke Park.

Beaten in their two previous meetings in 1996 and 2007 Tyrone made no mistake this time to advance to the quarter final draw.

But it wasn't as comfortable as they might have expected as Meath battled hard in an entertaining second half before an official 33,761 attendance.

Sean Cavanagh fired over eight points, six from frees in a highly influential display from midfield.

Eamonn Wallace got Meath off to a flying start after six minutes when he burned off the cover and slipped a shot past Pascal McConnell for the opening goal.

But gradually Tyrone got on top with Conor Gormley operating very effectively as Tyrone's sweeper behind Joe McMahon and Peter Harte who were dominant at half back while Cavanagh and Matthew Donnelly giving them great momentum pressing forward.

Cavanagh fired over two minutes including one from his trademark shuffle as a 0-9 to 1-3 lead was established on 32 minutes and by the break they were leading comfortably by 0-11 to 1-4.

Once again Meath had too many unforced errors and paid the price for such profligacy.

But they surged impressively in the third quarter and when Seamus Kenny was dragged down by Conor Gormley Michael Newman converted the resultant penalty in style on 39 minutes to cut the deficit to one point, 0-12 to 2-5.

Briefly Meath went ahead through Eamonn Wallace who bagged 1-3 on the night but Tyrone still had the composure to regain the initiative with Cavanagh and Darren McCurry keeping the scoreboard ticking over.

But Meath weren't finished and through Wallace and Newman they got back to within a point before Cavanagh's eighth point gave them breathing space.

Tyrone's Stephen O'Neill was red carded for a second cautionable offence near the end.


Scorers - Tyrone: S Cavanagh 0-8 (6f), D McCurry 0-5 (1 45, 3f), Matthew Donnelly 0-2, S O'Neill 0-1.

Meath: M Newman 1-5 (1-0 pen, 0-4f, 0-1 45), E Wallace 1-3, S Bray 0-1.

Tyrone: P McConnell; R McKenna, C McCarron, C Clarke; C McGinley, J McMahon, P Harte; C Cavanagh, S Cavanagh; M Donnelly, Martin Penrose, Mark Donnelly; D McCurry, S O'Neill, C Gormley. Subs: A Cassidy for Mark Donnelly (ht), D Carlin for McKenna (50), K Coney for Penrose (65), P McNiece for Colm Cavanagh (69).

Meath: P O'Rourke; M Burke, K Reilly, D Keogan; B Menton, P Harnan, S Kenny; B Meade, C Gillespie; D Carroll, J Sheridan, G Reilly; M Newman, S Bray, E Wallace. Subs: B Farrell for Sheridan (42), P Byrne for Carroll (50), A Tormey for Meade (53), C Lenihan for Kenny (67).

Referee: Maurice Deegan (Laois)

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