Offaly 4-23 Meath 0-13
A strong second half showing from Offaly was enough to seal this comfortable 22 point win over Meath in the opening round of the Leinster MHC played in ideal conditions at Lomans Park Trim.
The visitors got the perfect start and were 1-5 to 0-1 up after ten minutes. Corner forward Danny Flanagan accounted for 1-1 of that opening salvo. The impressive Ian Birmingham got the home team back into the game with two fine points but Offaly extended their lead soon after with a brace from influential captain Cathal Kiely and Cillian Sampson. Meath took control for the remainder of the half and outscored Offaly 0-6 to 0-4 with fine points from Cathal Sherlock, Birmingham, and free taker Mikey Cole. Offaly took a 1-11 to 0-9 lead to the dressing room.
The second half was all Offaly. Substitute Ciaran Teehan got his first point before Kiely booted the ball to the Meath net to open up a nine point gap. Meath found the target just three times after that and were reduced to 14 men with 8 minutes remaining when referee Thomas Gleeson showed a red card to captain Cian Kelly. Eunan Martins charges added 2-10 before the final whistle. Meehan and DJ McLoughlin got in for the goals as the Midlanders ran out comfortable winners.
Offaly: Stephen Loughnane; Aaron Flanagan, Bill Egan, Shane Mulrooney; Luke Egan, Dara Maher 0-1, Luke Nolan; Evan Houlihan, Emmet Curley; Cathal Kiely 1-7, Cillian Sampson 0-6, DJ McLoughlin 1-3; David Molloy, Cathal Donoghue 0-1, Danny Flanagan 1-2. Subs: Ciaran Teehan 1-2, Aaron Brazil, Andrew Walsh, Jack Screeney, Eoin Gleeson 0-1.
Meath: Conor Ryan, Ben Holden, Garry Fleming, Darragh Finlay, Dylan Farrell, Cian Kelly, Conor Quigley, Darragh O'Sullivan 0-1, James Murray, Conor Fitzgerald, Cathal Sherlock 0-3, Conor Leavy, Kevin Bawle 0-2, Ian Bermingham 0-4, Mikey Cole 0-3. Subs: Niall McNally, Conall Bird, Conor McGovern, Liam Gough.
Referee Thomas Gleeson