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3-11 in two games, much more to come - Meath have unearthed a gem in Nobber youngster Morris

20-year-old Jordan Morris has really announced himself on the senior inter-county stage.

JORDAN MORRIS IS a name that has been on the lips of many Meath football fans over the past few weeks.

In two games alone, the young forward has recorded a remarkable haul of 3-11 — having just come off the bench in the 24th minute of one.

jordan-morris-and-eoin-murtagh Meath ace Jordan Morris facing Wicklow. Source: ©INPHO

20-year-old Morris has long outlined his potential on the club scene, most notably playing a central role as Nobber landed the intermediate county championship title last year. In that final, he accounted for 2-6 to bring his north Meath village club back to the senior ranks, alongside former county ace Brian Farrell.

Master and student, the torch shared and the feat achieved made all the more impressive by the fact that Morris — named Meath Young Footballer of the Year in 2017 — had overcome a knee injury just weeks beforehand.

Recently, he grabbed the chance to really establish himself on the senior inter-county scene with both hands, and he has certainly jumped out as as a star for the future on the national stage.

Still only U20 having lined out for the Royals at that level and been involved in the senior set-up before the Covid-19 layoff, Andy McEntee handed Morris a real chance off the bench in their final Division 1 league meeting against Monaghan.

This came after a cameo against Dublin, in which he landed two excellent late points:

Against the Farney, he stood up and delivered accordingly, finishing with 0-7 to his name — three from play, three frees and one well-taken mark. He ran the show as the clock ran down, reeling off three unanswered points to secure a draw. Indeed, it was Morris who levelled matters in Clones with a stunning effort off his left boot with the last kick of the game.

The scorer-in-chief’s late rally delivered Meath their first point in the top-tier, though it couldn’t stop the drop to Division 2 for 2021.

Morris was then handed his championship debut ahead of their Leinster quarter-final clash with Wicklow at Aughrim. After bursting onto the inter-county scene two weeks beforehand, Morris grabbed the game’s opening score and again, started as he meant to go on alongside other rising youngsters like Dunshaughlin’s Mathew Costello and Brian Conlon of Simonstown Gaels.

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Just before the 10-minute mark, he had the ball in the back of the net as the Royals’ onslaught began. Two second-half penalties saw Morris hit a huge personal tally of 3-4, the icing nicely on top of a dream debut as Meath were 7-14 to 0-4 winners.

jordan-morris On the ball in the O'Byrne Cup. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO.

Stepping up to take those spot kicks was no big ask for the Nobber man, his strong background in soccer coming in handy. Morris is also hugely talented in that code, having lined out for neighbouring Cavan club Kingscourt Harps AFC through his teenage years. Fond of notching a goal or two from midfield, his outstanding efforts from set-pieces also caught the eye on that front.

He played basketball in school too, winning an U16C All-Ireland Schools League final with O’Carolan College, Nobber, in 2014, before playing MacRory Cup football with Patrician High School, Carrickmacross.

With his home patch near the borders of Cavan, Monaghan and Louth, he could be seen as one who got away for other clubs around the area, one of those 2020 Breffni senior finalists Kingscourt Stars.

But Morris is delighted to fly the Nobber flag with the distinction, and the Royals have certainly unearthed a gem here.

One who they’ll hope will again lead the scoring charge against Kildare in their Leinster semi-final on Sunday. No better man to grace the hallowed turf of Croke Park and do so.

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Emma Duffy

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