Kehoe Cup final: Royals edge out Wicklow
06 February 2011
Meath's Paudge Geoghegan
Meath lifted the Kehoe Cup for the first time since 2008 with a narrow win over Wicklow in the final at Arklow on Sunday.
Cillian Farrell's charges registered more scores and were less wasteful than the home side.
After Ger O'Neill opened the scoring in the second minute, Meath led all the way but had to withstand fierce Wicklow pressure in the latter stages.
Neil Hackett proved a capable replacement for the injured Nicky Horan - who scored eleven points in the semi-final win over GMIT.
The Dunboyne man scored eight points (five frees) as well as being instrumental in other scores including O'Neill's opener.
Team captain Stephen Clynch was to the fore as Meath resisted Wicklow pressure in the latter stages and also landed a free from his own 65 that left it 0-13 to 1-6 after 47 minutes.
Wicklow lined out without Leighton Glynn - on NFL duty with the county footballers at Carlow - who scored the winning goal in the Ring Cup quarter-final clash between the sides last May.
Jonathan O'Neill was the mainstay of the Wicklow attack scoring seven points (two frees). Meath full-back Paul Fagan did a good job in limiting the influence of the long-serving Don Hyland.
Wing-back Geoffrey Bermingham was prominent for Wicklow who posted 13 wides to Meath's 11 over the 70 minutes.
Meath 'keeper Shane McGann denied Wicklow's Andy O'Brien a goal in the eighth minute. The visitors had 0-6 on the board before Bermingham opened the hosts' account in the 18th minute.
Points from Peter Durnin and the energetic Padraig Geoghegan left Meath six points clear by the 20th minute.
Wicklow were revived by an O'Brien goal when he flicked a long delivery to the Meath net.
Thanks to O'Neill the margin was down to two points on as many occasions before David Kirby sent over to leave it 0-10 to 1-4 at the break.
Meath led by four points on twice in the second-half but an O'Brien score left just the minimum between them in the 56th minute, 0-14 to 1-10.
The scoring rate dropped in the final minutes as good defending ensured Meath began life under new management by winning the Kehoe Cup for the seventh time.
Meath - S. McGann; W. Mahady, P. Fagan, D. Donoghue; M. Horan, S. Clynch (0-1, f), M. Lynch; J. Boyle, G. O'Neill (0-1); J. Keena (0-1), N. Hackett (0-8, 5 fs), P. Geoghegan (0-1); M. Cole, D. Kirby (0-2), P. Durnin (0-2). Subs - D. Doran for Cole (50), N. Kirby for Keena (68).
Wicklow - W. O'Gorman; J. Connors, G. Keogh, B. Cuddihy; G. Bermingham (0-1), L. Kennedy, C. O'Neill; E. Kearns, T. Doyle; R. Keddy, J. O'Neill ((0-7, 2fs), E. Dunne; A. O'Brien (1-1), D. Hyland (0-1), A. Driver (0-1). Subs - N. Driver for O'Neill (ht), E. Glynn for Dunne (60).
Referee - P. O'Dwyer (Carlow)