GAA Editor @BrianGBarry
Meath 2-16 Clare 1-18: Royals edge Banner to Super 8s berth
Last Updated: 07/07/19 7:57pm
Meath are through to the Super 8s after beating Clare 2-16 to 1-18 in Portlaoise.
The Royals were battling against history on Sunday afternoon, as no defeated Leinster finalist had won their following game this decade. However, they recovered from their provincial final defeat to Dublin with a hard-fought one-point victory over Clare.
They now look forward to a Super 8s date with Donegal next Sunday, a game live and exclusive on Sky Sports.
The first-half was an end-to-end affair. Andy McEntee will have been pleased with his side's shooting accuracy with a marked improvement from the Leinster final. However, the Royals were still wasteful, kicking a number of shots short into the hands of Banner goalkeeper Stephen Ryan.
Jamie Malone led the Clare charge, kicking four eye-catching points in the first-half. Mickey Newman brought his kicking boots for the frees, nailing four and adding another from play.
As the sides traded scores, the first goal came in the 35th minute. Donal Keogan was played into the Banner goalmouth, and while his low shot beat the onrushing Stephen Ryan, it was cleared off the line. However, Bryan Menton was on hand to finish it off, firing it into the net.
Nonetheless, the Banner responded positively, as points from Gordon Kelly and Malone ensured it was level at the break, 1-9 to 0-12.
After the interval, it was the Royals who started the brighter as Newman and James Conlon gave them a two-point lead.
Although Gavin Cooney rose highest under a high ball to palm it into the net, the Royals quickly replied with a goal of their own. The onrushing Padraic Harnan drew out keeper Ryan, before hand-passing to Newman who guided it into the open goal. However, it did come at a cost as Newman collided with the post, and was forced ashore.
From there, the tempo was reduced, with injuries and stoppages stalling the pace of the game.
Try as they might, the Banner couldn't real in the Leinster side. Eoin Cleary, Cathal O'Connor and David Tubridy kept the umpires busy, but ultimately it proved too great a deficit as Meath progressed by the minimum winning margin.
Scorers for Meath: Mickey Newman 1-6 (0-5 frees), James Conlon 0-3, Bryan Menton 1-0, Thomas McGovern 0-1, Cillian O'Sullivan 0-1, Ethan Devine 0-1, Shane Walsh 0-1, Thomas McGovern 0-1, Ben Brennan 0-1, Bryan McMahon 0-1, Donal Keogan 0-1.
Scorers for Clare: David Tubridy 0-6 (0-3 frees), Jamie Malone 0-4, Gavin Cooney 1-0, Eoin Cleary 0-2 (0-2 frees), Cathal O'Connor 0-2, Gordon Kelly 0-1, Gary Brennan 0-1, Dermot Coughlan 0-1, Cian O'Dea 0-1.
Referee: Derek O'Mahony (Tipperary)
1. Andrew Colgan
2. Seamus Lavin
3. Conor McGill
4. Shane Gallagher
5. Donal Keogan
6. Padraic Harnan
7. Gavin McCoy
8. Bryan Menton
9. Shane McEntee
19. Ethan Devine
11. Bryan McMahon
13. Cillian O'Sullivan
26. Thomas McGovern
14. Mickey Newman
15. James Conlon
Thomas O'Reilly for Mickey Newman (43rd minute - temporary)
Graham Reilly for Thomas McGovern (45th minute)
Shane Walsh for Thomas O'Reilly (54th minute)
Seán Curran for Shane Gallagher (60th minute)
Ben Brennan for Ethan Devine (63rd minute)
Seán Tobin for James Conlon (72nd minute)
Thomas O'Reilly for Bryan McMahon (76th minute)
1. Stephen Ryan
2. Dean Ryan
3. Cillian Brennan
4. Gordon Kelly
5. Kevin Hartnett
6. Aaron Fitzgerald
7. Sean Collins
8. Gary Brennan
9. Cathal O'Connor
10. Sean O'Donoghue
11. Eoin Cleary
12. Jamie Malone
13. Gavin Cooney
14. David Tubridy
15. Cian O'Dea
Kieran Malone for Sean O'Donoghue (47th minute)
Dermot Coughlan for Gavin Cooney (54th minute)
Einne O'Connor for Gordon Kelly (black card - 62nd minute)
Gearoid O'Brien for Dean Ryan (65th minute)
Eimhin Courtney for Eoin Cleary (72nd minute)