Laois pay penalty as Meath progress in O’Byrne Cup
Andy McEntee’s Meath team have made a promising start to the preseason
Meath goalkeeper Joe Sheridan in action against Laois. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho
Laois 1-16 Meath 2-13
Meath progressed in the O’Byrne Cup via scoring difference, after an entertaining draw with Laois at Stradbally on Saturday evening.
Meath started the stronger and by the tenth minute were three points in front - Gary Walsh had slotted an early point for the hosts from a free, but at the other end Graham Reilly was causing havoc which led to points for Kevin Ross, Cillian O’Sullivan and one from the team captain himself.
Laois hit back with another point from Walsh and Donie Kingston’s first of the afternoon - but Meath then took control and with 25 minutes played led 1-9 to 0-4.
The goal arriving in the 18th minute from O’Sullivan, via a deflection off a Laois defender. Laois though responded by producing a storming finish to the half, hitting six unanswered points - two of them from substitute Sean Ramsbottom who inspired the comeback. Colm Begley, Kevin Meaney and Niall Donoher accounting for the others and at the interval the visitors led 1-10 to 0-10.
Laois came out the more determined side on the resumption and after an early exchange of points Donie Kingston struck a well taken goal to level proceedings. The same player then edged the home team in front for the first time after 43 minutes.
A low scoring second half would however have a dramatic ending. Meath were awarded a penalty that led to a yellow card for defender Kieran Lillis. Full forward Kevin Ross hammered the spot kick to the Laois net.
Begley then hit back with a point to level matters again, but as score difference applied Laois needed the win to progress in the competition. But that final score never arrived, and so it was the Royal County who progressed to the last four.
Laois: G Brody; D Strong, D Booth, K Lillis; S Attride, A Farrell, C Begley (0-2); K Meaney (0-1), J O’Loughlin; C Murphy (0-1), P Kingston, G Walsh (0-4 3f); R O’Connor, D Kingston (1-4 3f), N Donoher (0-1); Subs: D Conway (0-1) for R O’Connor 18m, Sean Ramsbottom (0-2) for C Murphy 26m. C Lennon for K Meaney 51m, R Munnelly for P Kingston 55m, S Moore for G Walsh 57m, S Nerney for D Booth 57m, J Farrell for A Farrell 58m, D Luttrell for N Donoher (BC) 61m.
Meath: J Sheridan; D Keogan, D McQuillan, M Burke; C Downey, B Power, S Curran; B Menton, C O’Brien (0-2); C O’Sullivan (1-1), G Reilly (0-3), P Kennelly; B McMahon (0-1), K Ross (1-3), D Lenihan (0-1); Subs A Forde for B Power h/t. A Flanagan for D McQuillan 40m, F Ward for C O’Sullivan 53m, S Tobin (0-1) for D Lenihan 54m, B O’Brien (0-1) for P Kennelly 54m, D Toner for B McMahon 56m.
Referee: Fergal Smyth (Offaly)