File photo: Luke MItchell takes aim. Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Meath survive determined Derry fightback to claim MFC semi-final spot

Derry battled from 10 points down to within a single point before Meath finished strong in Armagh.

Meath 1-15

Derry 1-10

MEATH HAD TO withstand a mighty Oak Leaf comeback attempt before claiming a place in the All-Ireland minor football championship semi-final.

The Royals were utterly clinical in their first-half attacks and they opened up a 0-13 to 0-4 half-time lead thanks to Luke Mitchell’s goal and two points. Meanwhile, Luke Kelly and Darragh Swaine were among a total of seven Meathmen to get on the score-sheet before the interval in Armagh.

Despite the gap rising to double figures at one point, with the wind at their backs Derry eyed parity in the second half. Powered by Conleth McGuckian’s penalty and three points from the boot of Enda Downey, they whittled the gap down to a single score on 51 minutes.

Meath dug deep against the momentum and the elements, however, booking a place in Croke Park by hitting back with four clutch scores to set up an 11 August All-Ireland semi-final clash against either Clare or Galway, who meet in Tullamore tomorrow (throw-in 13.30).

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