Monday 24 October 2016

A nightmare in Navan for Dub minors

Daragh Champion of Meath in action against Nathan Nolan of Dublin in Navan. Photo: Sportsfile
Daragh Champion of Meath in action against Nathan Nolan of Dublin in Navan. Photo: Sportsfile

Meath delivered a dominant performance when comfortably overcoming a disappointing Dublin by 1-18 to 2-5 in their one-sided Electric Ireland Leinster Minor Football Championship quarter-final at Páirc Tailteann on Saturday afternoon.

It proved a hugely dispiriting display by the visitors who failed to play anywhere close to their potential against a Meath team that, in contrast, produced a compelling showing.

They seized the initiative right from the first whistle and never looked in any consistent degree of discomfort over the sixty minutes.


Their cause was assisted by the 35th-minute dismissal of Cormac Howley, a pivotal moment as Dublin had opened up well upon the restart as they looked to eradicate a seven-point interval deficit.

That they should face such a mountain to climb was down to a superb second quarter by Meath in which they took the game away from their struggling opponents as they kicked seven successive points.

The nature of their scoring threat was evident from the throw-in as they raced out of the blocks with three quick points on the bounce.

Impressive midfielder Daragh Campion got the ball rolling in the first minute and further points from James Conlon and Sean Reilly was just the start that manager Barry Callaghan would have looked for from his team.

Dublin were struggling for possession at this stage but were handed a massive boost in the seventh minute as full-forward Kevin Callaghan shot clinically home from close range to tie the scores up.

Meath replied through points from Conlon and Eanna O'Kelly Lynch with Dublin responding in kind through the tireless Tom Keane and a Howley effort that cleared Adam McDermott's crossbar.

However, any momentum those scores may have generated was quickly dispelled as the hosts began to give an exhibition in point-taking as two frees by Jason Scully and an excellent brace from Eoin Smyth handed Meath a healthy 0-12 to 1-2 interval lead.

Points from Conor Hynes and Sean Bugler upon the resumption offered very brief cause for optimism for the visitors but with Howley receiving his second booking, their challenge eroded from that points.

Scully added a goal for the hosts in the 57th minute and although Dublin responded through Callaghan, their fate was sealed long before then.

Sc orers - Meath: J Scully 1-3 (0-3f), J Conlon 0-5, D Campion 0-3, E Smith, E Devine 0-2 each, J Cassidy, E O'Kelly Lynch, S Reilly 0-1 each.

Dublin: K Callaghan 2-0, C Hynes 0-2 (2f), C Howley, S Bugler, T Keane 0-1 each.

Teams - Meath: A McDermott; R Clarke, C Harnan, B O'Reilly; J Cassidy, E O'Kelly Lynch, Sean Reilly; D Campion, E Devine; N Murphy, C O'Reilly, E Smith; J Conlon, F O'Reilly, J Scully. Subs: E Mooney for F O'Reilly (47), C O'Byrne for Devine (53), A Murphy for C O'Reilly (57), N Durkan for Smith (57), M Callaghan for Reilly (57), C Cullen for Clarke (60).

Dublin: E Comerford; R Shaw, N Doran, CJ Smith; C Lennon, J Holland, M Tighe; A Kelly, M Donnelly; C Howley, S Bugler, D O'Brien; T Keane, K Callaghan, C Hynes. Subs: E Fitzpatrick for Kelly (half-time), A Bradshaw for Lennon (half-time), N Nolan for Tighe (half-time), R McGarry for Hynes (42), G McNamara for Shaw (46), P Flaherty for Donnelly (59).

Referee: Seamus Mulhare (Laois)

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