Leinster Minor Football Championship 2011
Louth 1 - 13
Meath 1 - 11
This was a terrific match and it was as close as the scoreline suggests.The game started at whirlwind speed, Niall Shortall had his first point to put Meath ahead but Louth hit the front after three minutes with superb points from Ciaran Byrne and Paddy Reilly. They never lost the lead subsequenty, Meath did draw level with ten minutes to go and they had a chance to take the lead but Louth held firm and managed two points to give them a great win.
Both teams were good today and they served up a highly entertaining match, Louth are in the quarter finals and Meath are good enough to make thme via the qualifiers and when they get to the last eight with an open draw anything can happen. The sure thing is that neither side will be easily beaten if they can get all their players match fit.
Louth held the edge for the first half, three times they led by a point in the first ten minutes, they stretched it to two after fifteen and were five ahead after twenty five minutes. Meath got two points before the break and they started the second half in determined fashion. But a John Horan goal after eight minutes rocked them back and Louth were six points clear. We saw the real Meath in the next twelve minutes when they got 1 - 3 without reply and were level with ten minutes to go. Meath had two chances to go ahead the best one fell to Declan Smyth who over carried with the goal at his mercy. It was a case of sink or swim for Louth in the last ten minutes, cave in and take an honourable defeat or go for it. They were good enough and showing admirable character they stretched their tired bodies to the limit and pushed on to win by two points.
Ciaran Byrne scored nine points for Louth, eight of them were from frees and many of the fouls were on himself as he proved to be a problem time and again. The forwards played well and it was from good play that many of these frees cresulted. John Horan is always a danger around goal and his goal was very well taken and came at a crucial stage. Conor Grimes had a good game, his point was from a very acute angle and he was an extra danger when played on the square near the finish. Paddy Reilly returned from injury did very well on the forty, Conor Smyth is a striong player and he and Keith Ryan kept the backs busy and they were well involved in the Louth moves up front.
Dermot Campbell will be very happy with his performance at full back and corner backs Niall McCabe and Robert Brodigan held their men scoreless. The half back line got through a huge amount of work despite being under some pressure at times. Sean McAuley and Darren McMahon, who was ill coming into the game, worked extremely hard and Daniel Grimes showed his value to the team with a powerful finish. Robert McCabe and Martin Breen are a strong mid field pairing and they won some vital primary possession as well as working themselves to the limit. Jamie Mulholland was composed in goal and he had no chance with the one that got past him.
It was a big test for Louth when Meath hit them with their customary drive in the second half and it will be a learning experience as they coped well and managed to stop them going ahead and they had a little left in the tank to surge ahead at the finish. Robert Farrelly coming into full forward at half time made a big difference to Meath and he scored 1 - 1. Cathal Smyth was a verl tricky forward and he got two points from play to go with three frees. Niall Shortall was their top scorer from play with 0-3.
Louth; Jamie Mulholland, Naomh Mairtin; Niall McCabe, St Fechins; Dermot Campbell, Dreadnots; Robert Brodigan, Oliver Plunketts; Sean McAuley, Na Piarsaigh; Donal Grimes, Glen Emmets; Darren McMahon, St Mochtas; Robert McCabe, 0 - 2 ( F & 45) St Mary's Ardee; Martin Breen, St Patrick's; Conor Grimes, 0 - 1 Glen Emmets; Patrick Reilly, 0 - 1 St Bride's; Conor Smyth, Naomh Mairtin; Keith Ryan, O'Connell's; John Horan, 1 - 0 Wolfe Tones; Ciaran Byrne, 0 - 9 (8F) St Mochta's.
Substitutes; Fiachra Sheridan, Glyde Rangers for D. McMahon; James McConnon, St Patrick's for P. Reilly; Machael Kane, Cooley Kickhams for K. Ryan; Darren McMahon for S. McAuley.
Meath; Robet Burlingham; Anthony Forde, Conor McGill, Cathal Finn; Declan Smyth, Shane McEntee, Oran Fitxzpatrick; Conor Sheridan, Adam Flanagan; Niall Shortall 0-3, Cathal Smith 0-5 (3F), Padraig Harnan 0-1; Bobby O'Brien, Cillian O'Sullivan, Liam McGrath.
Substitutes; Cathal Brogan for A Flanagan, Robert Farrelly 1-2 for C O'Sullivan.
Referee; Brendan Hickey, Kildare.