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Meath survive second-half comeback to see off Armagh in Navan

The Royals were nine points to the good at half time, but had their lead cut to just one with 10 minutes to go.

Meath 2-13

Armagh 0-13

Fergal Lynch reports from Páirc Tailteann

AFTER SEEING THEIR nine-point interval lead whittled down to one with 14 minutes remaining, Meath showed remarkable resilience to kick on again and claim the NFL Division 2 spoils against Armagh in Páirc Tailteann today.

Trailing by 0-3 to 1-9 at half-time Armagh quickly set about eating into that deficit and closed the gap to 0-12 to 1-10 57th minute.

However they failed to score again until Rian O’Neill’s 75th minute free as Meath bagged a second goal from substitute Ethan Devine to steady the ship and seal the win.

Meath used the strong wind to good effect early on with Shane McEntee, Mickey Newman, James McEntee and Darragh Campion firing them into a 0-4 to 0-0 lead inside five minutes.

However Armagh defended well for the next 14 minutes and managed to register a point from Stephen Sheridan to close the gap, but in the 20th minute Newman converted a penalty after Tomas O’Reilly was fouled to give the hosts a 1-4 to 0-1 advantage.

James McEntee James McEntee was on target for Meath this afternoon. Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Newman and Cillian O’Sullivan stretched Meath’s lead before Rory Grugan pulled one back for Armagh, but Meath continued to use the wind well with Campion and O’Reilly on target.

Rian O’Neill added Armagh’s third point from a free, but on the stroke of half-time Ben Brennan converted a free to ensure a 1-9 to 0-3 advantage for the Royals.

Two frees from Grugan and points from Stefan Campbell and O’Neill dragged Armagh back into the game and even a Newman free could help Meath break the momentum as O’Neill and Ryan McShane made it 0-10 to 1-10.

After Bryan McMahion was denied a goal chance Armagh countered with points from Grugan and Campbell to make it 0-12 to 1-10, but two more frees from Newman helped steady Meath’s nerves.

Armagh ran out of legs and ideas and after O’Reilly made it 1-13 to 0-12, Devine palmed the ball to the net from close range to ensure Meath’s victory.

Scorers for Meath: James McEntee 0-1, Shane McEntee 0-1, Cillian O’Sullivan 0-1, Ben Brennan 0-1 (1f), Darragh Campion 0-2, Mickey Newman 1-5 (1 penalty, 5f), Thomas O’Reilly 0-2, Ethan Devine 1-0.

Scorers for Armagh: Stephen Sheridan 0-1, Rory Grugan 0-4 (2f), Ryan McShane 0-1, Stefan Campbell 0-2, Rian O’Neill 0-4 (3f).

Meath

1. Andy Colgan

2. Seamus Lavin
3. Conor McGill
4. Ronan Ryan

5. James McEntee
6. Donal Keogan
7. Niall Kane

8. Bryan Menton
9. Shane McEntee

10. Cillian O’Sullivan
11. Ben Brennan
12. Darragh Campion

13. Bryan McMahon,
14. Mickey Newman
15. Thomas O’Reilly

Subs:

Eoin Lynch for Niall Kane (53)
Graham Reilly for Ben Brennan (53)
Ethan Devine for Bryan McMahon (64)
Mickey Burke for Cillian O’Sullivan (67)
Gavin McCoy for Ronan Ryan (70)

Armagh

1. Blaine Hughes

2. Mark Shields
3. Aaron McKay
4. James Morgan

5. Aidan Forker
6. Greg McCabe
7. Connaire Mackin

8. Stephen Sheridan
9. Niall Grimley

10. Jemar Hall
11. Rory Grugan
12. Ryan McShane

13. Stefan Campbell
14. Rian O’Neill
15. Ryan Kennedy

Subs:

Joe McElroy for Stefan Campbell (61)
Jarly Og Burns for Jemar Hall (64)
Aidan Nugent for Ryan McShane (67)
Paul Hughes for Ryan Kennedy (67)

Referee: Rory Hickey (Clare).

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About the author:

Fergal Lynch

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