Bryan Menton notched two goals as Meath motored to a 3-13 to 0-11 victory over Laois at Croke Park to advance to the 2019 Leinster football final.
Goals from Menton and Michael Newman handed the Royals a 2-6 to 0-7 interval advantage, the former firing low to the net in the 30th minute after the first ten points of the match had been traded. James Conlon’s brace had the winners 0-3 to 0-1 ahead at the midway stage in the first half after Evan O’Carroll (free) cancelled out Seamus Lavin’s opener.
A late addition to the Meath starting XV, Conlon - making his first champonship start - grabbed the third of his superb five-point haul on 20 minutes but Laois drew level with a Colm Murphy brace before O’Carroll (free) replied to Conlon. Substitute Donie Kingston and Daniel O’Reilly pulled back points either side of one from Bryan McMahon but Newman’s excellently-despatched injury-time penalty – fired emphatically to the left of the net following a fould on Donal Keogan – propelled the Meath men into a five-point half-time advantage.
The busy Royal County registered five of the first eight points of the second half, Newman (free), Cillian O’Sullivan (2), McMahon and Conlon all on target while the O’Moore men replied with three Kingston scores.
Co-captain Menton’s second major - an excellent finish to the top left corner - arrived on the hour and ended the match as any sort of contest, Meath powering ahead by double scores, 3-11 to 0-10. Sub Graham Reilly and Keogan pointed either side of a Ross Munnelly consolation, Meath impressively progessing to their first provincial final in five years.
Meath - A Colgan; S Lavin (0-1), C McGill, S Gallagher; D Keogan (0-1), R Ryan, G McCoy; B Menton (2-0), A Flanagan; B Brennan, B McMahon (0-2), J McEntee; C O'Sullivan (0-2), M Newman (1-1, 1-0pen, 0-1f), J Conlon (0-5). Subs: G Reilly (0-1) for G McCoy, S McEntee for A Flanagan, S Tobin for B Brennan, T O'Reilly for M Newman, T McGovern for S Gallagher, E Devine for B Menton.
Laois - G Brody; S Attride, D Booth, G Dillon; S O'Flynn, R Pigott, P O'Sullivan; J O'Loughlin, K Lillis; D O'Reilly (0-1), C Boyle, D O'Connor; C Murphy (0-2), E O'Carroll (0-3f), P Kingston. Subs: D Kingston (0-4, 2f) for E O'Carroll, M Scully for C Boyle, T Collins for S O'Flynn, E Lowry for D O'Reilly, R Munnelly (0-1) for D O'Connor, B Quigley for K Lillis
Referee - J McQuillan.Tweet