Meath coast to Kehoe Cup win

January 14, 2008
Neil Hackett scored ten points as Meath hurlers coasted to a Kehoe Cup first round win over a poor Athlone IT side at Pairc Tailteann on Sunday. Meath 1-16 Athlone IT 0-3 John Andrews charges didn't have to be anywhere near the best to dispose of the poor students who had five Meath men in their starting line-up. One of those Rathmolyon's Kevin Fagan opened the scoring from a free but Athlone IT didn't register again until the same player landed another placed ball coming up to half-time. Despite failing to register in the second quarter, Meath led by 0-6 to 0-2 at the break after an opening half that produced just one score - a Hackett point - from play in the opening 35 minutes. The only goal arrived within two minutes of the restart when Athlone IT 'keeper Eoin Price saved well from Stephen Clynch and Joey Keena slotted the sliotar to the net at the O'Mahonys end. Meath opened up and the introduction of Mickey Cole boosted their front line that wasn't firing on all cylinders and despite shooting 14 wides (the same as their opponents) they finished with 16 points to spare. Newcomer David Raleigh was the best of the rest of the forward finishing with three points to his name while Clynch was the only member of the starting full-forward line to raise a white flag. Substitute Aaron Ennis announced his arrival with a point but the home side finished with just 13 players and after he and fellow replacement Neil Heffernan picked up knocks in the latters stages after all five permitted substitutes had been introduced. Another pleasing aspect of this Meath win was the performance of the defence with full-back Enda Fitzgerald showing fine form. Corner-back Padraig Donoghue and Paul Gannon also showed will while John Donoghue had a good outing at centre-half-back on his return to the side. Athlone IT's only score from play (and of the second period) arrived in the 68th minute courtesy of Gerry Murphy but by then Meath had long booked a second round berth against Trinity College Dublin. Meath - S. Quinn; P. Donoghue, E. Fitzgerald, P. Gannon; M. Horan, J. Donoghue, S. Donoghue; D. Crimmins, A. Ryan; D. Raleigh (0-3), N. Hackett (0-10, 8 frees), P. Durnin; G. O'Neill, S. Clynch (0-2, 1 free), J. Keena (1-0). Subs - A. Ennis (0-1) for Durnin (half-time), M. Cole for Keena (42 mins), K. Dowd for Crimmins (49 mins), N. Heffernan for O'Neill (52 mins), J. Canty for Ryan (55 mins). Athlone IT - E. Price; R. O'Shaughnessy, I. Creavin, J. Briscoe; G. Daly, P. Madden, T. Murphy; M. Lundy, K. Coen; K. Fagan (0-2, frees), G. Murray (0-1), D. Kennedy; M. Larkin, R. Massey, A. Feeney. Subs - R. Monaghan for Feeney (42 mins), C. Cooney for Kennedy (60 mins). Referee - F. Deveraux (Kildare).

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