The last time Meath played the Garden County

January 05, 2018

Meath's Bryan Menton kicks at goal as Gary Allen of Wicklow tries to block.
©INPHO/Colm O'Neill.

Match report from the last time Meath and Wicklow met, January 8th 2017 in the opening round of the O'Byrne Cup.

Andy McEntee's first competitive outing in charge of the Meath senior football team ended in an easy win over Wicklow at Pairc Taileann on Sunday.

Meath 2-22  Wicklow 0-9

The Royals got off to a flyer when playing into the town goal in the opening half, opening up a 10-point gap in the first 15 minutes thereby flatlining the contest.

By the end 12 different players were on the scoresheet for the home side with Bryan McMahon leading the way on 1-3. New team captain complimented an industrious display with three points. Cillian O'Sullivan complimented work rate with 1-2.

All starting forwards scored from play while Sean Curran's first point might have been a goal but for the intervention of Wicklow 'keeper Robert Lambert.

Johnny Magee's fourth term at the helm of Wicklow saw only one of his starting players get on the scoresheet, with Paddy Byrne landing an 18th minute free, his side's first score.

John McGrath was introduced shortly after and finished with six points (three free). A brace of points (one free) from another replacement, Sean Furlong completed Wicklow's tally.

Having reached half-time 14 points off the pace, Wicklow resumed with a brace of McGrath points (frees). Meath managed just three points in the third quarter, but Wicklow were unable to make serious inroad into the deficit.

That was in the main due to the exemplary display by defender Donal Keogan. Wicklow registered seven second-half points, but they were outscored by the Royals, 1-9 to 0-7, following the resumption.

After a third-quarter 'lull', Meath closed out with a further 1-6 to Wicklow's 0-4. When Curran closed Meath's account in the 68th minute, 20 points separated the sides. A Sean Furlong free then closed the scoring.

Bryan McMahon fisted a Sean Tobin delivery to the Wicklow net for Meath's second goal and leave it 2-17 to 0-5 after 55 minutes.

On a dry and overcast afternoon, Meath sprung from the blocks posting 1-4 without reply in the opening eight minutes. By half-time the home side had eight different scorers from play.

Dunderry's Paddy Kenneally got the first score with Kevin Ross adding the second.

Fiachra Ward landed two frees for fouls on Graham Reilly. The new skipper turned provider for an O'Sullivan goal. The scoring rate slackened but Meath had 1-7 on the board before Wicklow opening their account midway through the half from a Paddy Byrne free.

It offered only temporary respite for Johnny Magee's men. Meath tagged on four more points with Bryan McMahon posting two before the break. Wing-back Sean Curran got off the mark when his shot was tipped over the bar by Wicklow 'keeper Robert Lambert.

Sub John McGrath sent over Wicklow's first score from play in the 32nd minute. Graham Reilly landed his first score of the year in the last action of the opening half to leave Meath leading 1-13 to 0-2 at the break.

Meath - Jack Hannigan; Donal Keogan, Donnacha Tobin (0-1), Mickey Burke; Conor Downey (0-1), Shane McEntee, Sean Curran (0-3); Bryan Menton (0-1), Cian O'Brien (0-1); Cillian O'Sullivan (1-2), Graham Reilly (C) (0-3), Paddy Kennelly (0-1); Kevin Ross (0-1), Fiachra Ward (0-4, 3fs), Bryan McMahon (1-3). Subs - Sean Tobin for Ward (48), Adam Flanagan for Kennelly (56), Ruairi O Coileain for O'Sullivan (56), Willie Carry (0-1) for Downey (62), David McQuillan for Burke (62), Donal Lenihan for McMahon (62).

Wicklow - Robert Lambert; Ciaran Hyland, Jamie Snell, Brendan Kennedy; John Crowe, Ross O'Brien, Darren Hayden; Anthony McLoughlin, David Boothman; Rory Finn, Conor Ffrench, Mark Kenny; Paddy Byrne (0-1 f), Gary Allen, Michael O'Connor. Subs - John McGrath (0-6, 3fs) for Allen (19), Sean Furlong (0-2, 1f) for M O'Connor (ht), Dean Healy for McLoughlin (ht), Eoin Murtagh for Boothman (57), Mark Fitzsimons for Ffrench (57), Martin Cullen for Crowe (60).

Referee - Niall Ward (Westmeath).



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