Sunday 12th February 2017
Meath opened their NHL Div 2B campaign with an impressive 4-21 to 1-10 victory over Down at windswept Pairc Tailteann today and they will return to the venue next Sunday to tackle Derry.
Meath turned up the heat on Down with a goal from Kevin Keena after only 30 seconds, but the advantage lasted only a couple of minutes as wind-assisted Down punished a defensive Meath lapse with a fourth minute Danny Toner goal.
The Mournemen enjoyed a brief period of dominance subsequently and added points from three Caolan Bailie frees and a Conor Mageean effort from play to lead by 1-4 to 1-1 after 10 minutes with Adam Gannon claiming Meath's first point.
However, Meath gradually wrestled the initiative away from the visitors and with some fine play eased into a 3-9 to 1-6 interval advantage with Sean Quigley and Gannon finding the net.
Meath's points arrived from the influential Steven Clynch (five, four frees), James Kelly, Anthony Forde and Keith Keogan.
Meath maintained their dominance after the break and added some impressive points from James Kelly (four), Clynch (three, two frees), Damien Healy, Quigley, substitute Neil Heffernan with Forde finding the net for a crucial fourth goal.
Another substitute, Peter Farrell, made an appearance for the final six minutes and completed Meath's tally with a brace of well-taken points, one from a free.
Meath - Shane McGann (Kiltale); Sean Geraghty (Kilskyre/Moylagh), Shane Whitty (Blackhall Gaels), Cormac Reilly (Navan O'Mahonys); Shane Brennan (Kilmessan), Damien Healy (Longwood 0-1), Keith Keoghan (Killyon 0-1); Joey Keena (Kilmessan), Anthony Forde (Kiltale 1-1); Sean Quigley (Dunboyne 1-1), Cathal McCabe (Kiltale), James Kelly (Kiltale 0-5); Steven Clynch (Kilmessan 0-8 six frees), Adam Gannon (Killyon 1-1), Kevin Keena (Kilmessan 1-0).
Subs - Neil Heffernan (Trim 0-1) for Gannon 46 mins, Padraig Kelly (Kiltale) for J Keena 50m, Gary Kelly (Kildalkey) for Clynch 60m, Niall Weir (Boardsmill) for Reilly 63m, Peter Farrell (Trim 0-2 one free) for McCabe 64m.
Down - S Smith; P McManus, C O'Neill, M Hughes; C Egan, R Branagan, S Ennis; C Bailie (0-6 five frees), D McManus (0-1); M Ennis, C Teggart, C Mageean (0-1); E Sands (0-1), P Sheehan, D Toner (1-0).
Subs - C O'Prey for Teggart 33 mins, P McCrickard (0-1) for O'Neill half-time, G Hughes for Sheehan 39m, M Magee for Egan 57m, M Turley for Toner 66m.
Referee - Patrick Murphy (Carlow).
NHL Div 2B
Meath 4-21, Down 1-10
Mayo 1-13, Derry 1-14
Roscommon 0-7, Wicklow 2-17