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Late Lenihan goal brings Meath back into promotion hunt as Galway suffer first league defeat

A good day for Andy McEntee’s side in Navan.

Donal Lenihan struck 1-5 for Meath while Barry McHugh fired 0-5 for Galway.
Donal Lenihan struck 1-5 for Meath while Barry McHugh fired 0-5 for Galway.
Image: INPHO

Meath 1-13
Galway 0-15

Paul Keane reports from Navan

DONAL LENIHAN NETTED late on in Navan to seal victory for battling Meath and return the Royal County to the thick of the Division 2 promotion battle.

Meath started the day locked on two points at the foot of the table but victory at Pairc Tailteann leaves them just a point behind Galway who arrived as table toppers.

Meath trailed by three points with 10 minutes to go but reduced the deficit to one before Lenihan netted in the 66th minute, taking his tally to 1-5 for the day.

It was a strong response from Andy McEntee’s side after losing to Down in Newry a week earlier, a result that saw the Mourne men end a 14-game losing streak.

Cillian O’Sullivan was taken off in that game but was much improved here and scored two points as well as playing in the pass for Lenihan’s crucial goal.

There were big displays from Padraic Harnan and Donal Keogan too as Meath maintained their up and down form in the campaign ahead of a Round 5 clash with Cork.

Galway led 0-2 to 0-0 early on but seven Meath points in a row at one stage saw them take a 0-8 to 0-4 lead at the interval.

Lenihan and O’Sullivan contributed five of those points between them while there was an inspirational score from ex-captain Keogan too.

Galway were better after the restart and outscored Meath by 0-9 to 0-2 in the third quarter to take a strong lead themselves.

Paul Conroy, Barry McHugh and captain Gary O’Donnell were all on the mark with important scores as they forged 0-13 to 0-10 clear.

But they were unable to hold Meath late on and points from skipper Graham Reilly and Lenihan left just one in it before Lenihan was picked out by O’Sullivan and shot to the net from close range.

There was further drama at the death as Meath trio Eamonn Wallace, Willie Carry and Donnacha Tobin were all black carded in separate incidents.

Scorers for Meath: Donal Lenihan 1-5 (0-1f), Cillian O’Sullivan, Graham Reilly 0-2 each, Sean Tobin (0-1f), Alan Forde Donal Keogan, Willie Carry 0-1 each.

Scorers for Galway: Barry McHugh 0-5 (0-1 ’45, 0-3f), Paul Conroy 0-3 (0-1f), Michael Daly 0-2, Shane Walsh, Liam Silke, Gary O’Donnell, Thomas Flynn, Johnny Heaney 0-1 each.

Meath

​​1. Paddy O’Rourke (Skryne)

2. Donal Keogan (Rathkenny)
3. Conor McGill (Ratoath)
4. Donnacha Tobin (Blackhall Gaels)

5. Willie Carry (Drumbaragh)
6. Brian Power (Raotath)
18. Padraic Harnan (Moynalvey)

8. Bryan Menton (Donaghmore-Ashbourne)
9. James Toher (Trim)

10. Ruairi Ó Coileain (Navan O’Mahony’s)
11. Cillian O’Sullivan (Moynalvey)
12. Alan Forde (Navan O’Mahony’s0

13. Bryan McMahon (Ratoath)
14. Graham Reilly (St Colmcille’s)
15. Donal Lenihan (St Peter’s Dunboyne)

Subs

25. Sean Tobin for McMahon (48)
23. Eamonn Wallace for Forde (51)
20. Adam Flanagan for Toher (55)
24. Joey Wallace for O Coileain (57)
21. Cian O’Brien for E Wallace (64, black card)
17. Mickey Burke for Carry (69, black card)
Tobin black card, 74

Galway

1. Rory Lavelle (Renvyle)

2. Declan Kyne (Clonbur)
3. David Walsh (Killanin)
19. Cathal Sweeney (Killanin)

5. Gary O’Donnell (Tuam Stars)
6. Gareth Bradshaw (Moycullen)
17. Liam Silke (Corofin)

8. Paul Conroy (St James)
9. Fiontan O Curraoin (Michael Breathnach’s)

10. Thomas Flynn (Athenry)
11. Michael Daly (Mountbellew-Moylough)
12. Eamonn Brannigan (St Michael’s)

13. Shane Walsh (Kilkerrin-Clonberne)
14. Barry McHugh (Mountbellew-Moylough)
15. Michael Lundy (Corofin)

Subs

22. Danny Cummins for Lundy (28)
7. Johnny Heaney for Daly (61)
25. Gary Sice for McHugh (68)
Cummins black card, 74

Referee: Maurice Deegan (Laois)

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Paul Keane

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