Meath swat Clare aside
Royal county find their range in second half
Meath 0-21 Clare 0-7
After labouring throughout the opening half, Meath turned on the style after the break to brush aside Clare’s feeble challenge in this Division 2 tie at Pairc Tailteann on Sunday.
The Royals squandered two goal opportunities and dropped seven efforts short of the target during a low key opening half performance at the end of which they led 0-6 to 0-4.
They eventually found their rhythm in the second half and seven points in a 14-minute spell had them out of sight of a Clare team that struggled in most sectors of the pitch.
Graham Reilly might have had a goal within five seconds but he lost control of the ball after collecting the throw-in from Bryan Menton. Adam Flanagan’s handling also let him down with a goal for the taking on 11 minutes.
However, Reilly proved Meath’s liveliest forward in that opening half, scoring three points.
Jamie Malone was the only Clare forward to contribute to his sides tally and he shot one of their two opening half points from play, with wing back Pearse Lillis getting the other.
The second half proved a one-sided affair as Padraig McKeever crowned his first start at this level with six points. Opening half substitute Eamon Wallace contributed three while another sub, Sean Tobin, also hit a hat-trick of points.
Captain Gary Brennan, who never gave up the fight, accounted for two of Clare’s second half scores, the other one in added time came from a David Tubridy free.
The visitors finished with 14 men after Cian O’Dea was sent off in the closing stages on a black card having earlier received a yellow.
Meath: A Colgan; S Lavin, C McGill, D Keogan; B Conlon, B Power, S McEntee; B Menton, A Flanagan; J McEntee (0-3), P McKeever (0-6, 0-3f), G Reilly (0-4); J Wallace, C O’Sullivan, B McMahon (0-2). Subs: E Wallace (0-3) for J Wallace (32 mins), D O’Neill for Power (h/t), S Tobin (0-3, 0-1 ’45, 0-1f) for McMahon (53), C Halligan for Reilly (60), B Brennan for O’Sullivan (62), S Glynn for Keogan (65).
Clare: K Roche (0-1, ’45); C O’Dea, C Brennan, G Kelly; A Fitzgerald, C Russell, P Lillis (0-1); G Brennan (0-3, 0-1f), C O’Connor; J Malone (0-1), E Cleary, G O’Brien; C Finucane, K Sexton, E Courtney. Subs: E Collins for Brennan (15 mins) A Sweeney for Finucane (22), S O’Donoghue for Courtney (45), D Tubridy (0-1f) for O’Brien (58), M O’Leary for Cleary (66).
Referee: S Hurson (Tyrone)