Experimental Meath do just enough to edge their way past Longford
Meath 1-9 Longford 1-7:New Meath manager Mick O’Dowd’s side did just enough to get the better of Longford yesterday in a game watched by about 700 at Leo Casey Park, Ballymahon. Both O’Dowd and Longford boss Glenn Ryan fielded experimental teams that featured a number of newcomers but it was the experienced Joe Sheridan who figured most prominently in a new role at centrefield as Meath the visitors eventually came out on top by the narrow margin of two points.
Sheridan was particularly impressive in the first half as Meath recovered from the concession of a soft goal in the 14th minute to lead by 1-6 to 1-3 at the break, the decisive score of the half being Damien Carroll’s 22nd minute penalty.
The Meath points in the first half were registered by Peadar Byrne, Mickey Newman (2), Jamie Queeney (2) and prominent wing back Stephen Crosbie.
Donal McElligott grabbed the Longford goal when he flicked a Kevin Diffley pass to the net and McElligott also landed a point with the other scores in the first half coming from frees by Seán McCormack.
While Meath extended their advantage to four points following further scores from Gilsenan and Crosbie in the third quarter, Longford managed to remain in contention.
Both sides were guilty of kicking a number of bad wides during the course of the second half and while Longford added three more points to their tally through a brace from McCormack (play and free), with JJ Matthews also getting his name on the scoresheet, it was not enough to salvage the situation.
Although Meath only managed one more score through defender Cormac Rowe in the 63rd minute, they never really looked like letting victory slip from their grasp and ran out deserving winners of a scrappy game played in wet conditions.