Four goals in the opening half gave Meath a platform for victory in this senior football challenge with Down to mark the official opening of the grounds of Kilmainham GFC.
Meath 5-13 Down 0-12
Kilmainham's Mickey Newman made a big impact in the opening half scoring a goal and four points. Newman and Mickey Burke put Meath ahead with the first two scores of the game before Conor Maginn put Down on the scoreboard. Meath were 0-4 to 0-1 ahead when the games first goal arrived courtesy of a fine individual effort from midfielder Ronan Jones.
Maginn and two pointed frees from top scorer Darragh O'Hanlon kept Down in touch. Newman raised two white flags before Donal Lenihan got Meath's second goal. This was quickly followed by Newman's three pointer and minutes later the Royals were in for their fourth when Cillian O'Sullivan was on hand to punch the ball to the Down net. Meath went in at the break 4-6 to 0-5 in front.
The second half saw both teams run in a host of subs. One of those Sean Tobin hit four points for the home county while half back Darragh O'Hanlon sent over four points from frees for Eamon Burns' charges. Meath closed out the game when Cian O'Brien got their fifth goal with five minutes remaining.
Meath scorers: Mickey Newman 1-4, Ronan Jones 1-1, Sean Tobin 0-4, Cian O'Brien, Cillian O'Sullivan and Donal Lenihan 1-0 each, Thomas O'Reilly 0-2, Mickey Burke and Shane McEntee 0-1 each.
Down scorers: Darragh O'Hanlon 0-7, Conor Maginn 0-3, Barry O'Hagan and Ryan Johnston 0-1 each.
Meath: Paddy O'Rourke, Donal Keogan, Mickey Burke, Donnacha Tobin, Shane McEntee, Cian O'Brien, Padraic Harnan, Bryan menton, Ronan Jones, James McEntee, Cillian O'Sullivan, Ruairi O'Coileain, Bryan McMahon, Michael Newman, Donal Lenihan. Subs: Thomas O'Reilly, Sean Tobin, Seanie Curran, Breen Conlon, Kevin Ross, David McQuillan, Joe Sheridan, Bobby O'Brien.
Down: Michael Cunningham, Ryan McAleenan, Brendan McArdle, Darren O'Hagan, Darragh O'Hanlon, Niall Donnelly, Caolan Mooney, Jonathan Flynn, Peter Turley, Kevin McKiernan, Conor Maginn, Alan Davidson, Connaire Harrison, Barry O'Hagan, Ryan Johnston. Subs: Sean Dornan, Conaill McGovern, Cathal Magee, Gerard Collins.