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11 May 2008
Meath, Longford, Wexford and Offaly all advanced to the ESB Leinster minor football championship semi-finals following victories on Saturday.
Despite having David Ryan sent off early in the second half, Meath outlasted Dublin at Parnell Park to secure a deserved 0-14 to 0-10 win after extra-time. Dublin, under the management of former Royal County midfielder Gerry McEntee, had the upper hand for much of the second half but Meath never gave up and points from Mark Battersby and Michael Newman (two),the best player on view, and forced extra-time.
In the additional period, the visitors dug deepest and sealed their win thanks to scores from Mark Collins (two) substitutes Sean Dalton and Paddy Gilsenan.
A goal from midfielder Padraic Gill midway through the first half proved decisive as Longford overcame Louth by 1-13 to 0-12 at Pearse Park. Michael Quinn top-scored for the home side with 0-6, while JJ Matthews (0-3) and Gill (1-2) were also to the fore.
An early Bill Nolan goal helped Wexford on their way to a 1-8 to 0-8 victory over Wicklow. There was a dramatic end to the game when, shortly after Wexford corner forward David OBrien was dismissed, Wicklow were awarded a penalty. However, full forward Paul Cunningham missed a glorious opportunity to force extra-time when he fired wide.
In Tullamore where the locals spent the day celebrating new Taoiseach Brian Cowens homecoming, Offaly caused an upset when they defeated a much fancied Westmeath by 3-7 to 1-11. The visitors opened up an early 0-4 to 0-1 advantage, but the Faithful County clawed their way back and helped by a goal from Anton Sullivan, they emerged as deserving winners.
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