Four Late Unanswered Points Helped Meath Record A Rare Win Over Dublin.
An early Christmas present arrived this afternoon for Meath football as Andy McEntee’s men enjoyed a rare win over Dublin.
The meeting of Leinster’s two great rivals in Pairc Tailteann was part of the ongoing fundraising efforts in aid of Sean Cox, who sustained serious injuries when he was attacked at a Liverpool game earlier this year.
The 4000 supporters in attendance were treated to a hard fought encounter and were entertained at the half time break to a penalty shoot-out involving some legendary sports stars from both counties, Alan Brogan, Johnny Murtagh, Niall Quinn, Charlie Redmond and Graham Geraghty.
Meath fielded more first choice players in their starting team than Dublin, only four players that started this year’s All-Ireland final for the Dubs were in from the start, they were Eoin Murchan, Brian Fenton, Brian Howard and Niall Scully.
A pair of scores from exciting up and coming prospect Stephen Smith gave Dublin the lead inside the opening seven minutes, but the Royals took charge from there to the break and four points from the returning Mickey Newman gave the home side an 0-08 to 0-05 lead at half time.
Both teams ran their respective benches in the second half and for most of the period it looked like Dublin would claim the bragging rights over their great rivals.
Meath stretched their lead 13 seconds after the restart with a point from Graham Reilly.
But a goal from Robbie McDaid and two fine points from substitute Conor McHugh looked to set Dublin up for victory as they led by 1-11 to 0-12 with just nine minutes left on the clock.
But McEntee’s men raised their game and roared on by the large home support they four unnanswered points in the final minutes.
Two points in a row from Bryan McMahon in quick succession brought the scores level. And late scores from Niall Kane and top scorer on the day Michael Newman settled matters in favour of Meath.
All in all though today wasn’t about the result, rivalries or Gaelic football but about to counties coming together to raise vital funds for a man with strong links to both counties and it’s estimated that today’s challenge game will have raised around €80,000 for the Sean Cox Fund.
Meath Scorers: M Newman 0-6 (4f), G Reilly 0-3, B McMahon 0-2, N Kane, D Quinn, E Devine, J McEntee, B Menton 0-1 each.
Dublin Scorers: R McDaid 1-0, C McHugh, S Smith (1f) 0-2 each, C Mulally, S Bulger, E Lowndes, R Basquel, B Fenton, D Gavin, P Small (1f) 0-1 each.
Dublin: A Bunyan; R McDaid, S McMahon, E Murchan; E Lowndes, B Howard, C Mullally, B Fenton, D Gavin; N Scully, R Basquel, S Bulger; P Small, E O’Gara, S Smith
Substitutions: 25 CJ Smith for Murchan, C Howley for Scully, A Byrne for O’Gara (all HT), R Gaughan for Howard (41), C McHugh for Smith (45), D Monaghan for Lowndes (50), S Boland for Bugler (53), O Lynch for Small (54), J Hazley for Howard (60), C Murphy for Mullally (63), I Reilly for Bunyan (65).
Meath: A Colgan; S Lavin, C McGill, R Ryan; J McEntee, D Keogan, N Kane; A Flanagan, S McEntee; B Menton, G Reilly, E Devine; B McMahon, M Newman, T O’Reilly
Substitutions: M Burke for Ryan, 24 Danny Quinn for Menton (both 41), S Tobin for Reilly (44), Thomas McGovern for Devine (54), 25 Shane Glynn for McGill (59), M Brennan for Colgan (65), G McCoy for S McEntee (65)
Referee: N Mooney (Cavan)