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Dublin: 8°C Saturday 17 April 2021

Royal disaster! Meath's summer over as they collapse and cough up 7-point lead to Derry

Damian Barton’s side book their place in Round 3 with a superb second-half performance.

Emmett McGuckin gets out in front of Meath's Mickey Burke to win possession.
Emmett McGuckin gets out in front of Meath's Mickey Burke to win possession.
Image: Presseye/Lorcan Doherty/INPHO

Derry 1-14

Meath 1-11

DERRY PULLED OFF a brilliant second-half comeback to book their place in Round 3 of the qualifiers and dump Meath out of the championship.

Mick O’Dowd’s Royals led by seven points after the first half of this afternoon’s qualifier in Owenbeg.

But Derry took full advantage of the wind after the break and closed the gap before Niall Loughlin struck a late goal to send them through to the next round.

The visitors got off to a flyer and opened with four unanswered points from Pádraic Harney, Graham Reilly (2) and a Mickey Newman free.

Derry’s first score didn’t come until the 16th minute when Mark Lynch pointed but Meath seized control of the game when Donnacha Tobin struck the game’s opening goal on 25 minutes.

That eased them into a seven-point lead, 1-7 to 0-3, and that remained the margin between the sides as James Kielt and Cillian O’Sullivan traded points to make it 1-8 to 0-4 at the break.

Derry were not to be shrugged aside so easily though and stormed back with six unanswered points at the start of the second half, cutting Meath’s lead to the minimum at 1-8 to 0-10 when Kielt pointed a free on 44 minutes.

All of the momentum was with Damian Barton’s side but Meath clung on to their advantage until Loughlin struck late on to complete the comeback before Kielt added the insurance score deep into additional time.

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