HomeFootballMeath take full control in action-packed final at Parnell Park

Meath take full control in action-packed final at Parnell Park


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EirGrid Leinster U-20 football championship final: Meath 3-13 Louth 0-12

Another action-packed performance from Eamonn Armstrong propelled Meath to a rare Leinster U-20 FC title success, their first in 23 years. Wing back Armstrong finished with 1-2, netted for the third game running and generally inspired the Royals to their ninth title at the grade.

Jamie Murphy was terrific for the Cathal Ó Bric-managed side too and struck 1-5 while substitute Tadhg Martyn sniped a third goal in stoppage time.

Ó Bric managed Meath to All-Ireland minor success in 2021 and has now guided much of the same group to a rare provincial title at the next grade up. Meath will attempt to push on now for another All-Ireland title and will take on the Munster champions – Cork or Kerry – at the last-four stage on May 11th/12th.

Louth, who beat Dublin at Parnell Park last week, opened up an early 0-4 to 0-2 lead and hinted that another famous win in north Dublin was on the cards. But things suddenly went south for Fergal Reel’s side, who didn’t score again until the 25th minute.

In the meantime, Meath reeled off 1-4 without response to take firm control of the game with their aggressive press on Louth’s kick-out proving effective. Hughie Corcoran, Jack Kinlough, Rian Stafford and Murphy pointed for Meath before Armstrong struck his crucial goal. Louth were aware of his attacking threat but couldn’t prevent him from bursting forward, getting on the end of a Conor Duke pass and slipping a low finish to the net.

Louth’s response was impressive, back-to-back points from Maguire, to leave the score between the teams at half-time 1-6 to 0-6. Pearse Grimes-Murphy cut the deficit further with a point after the restart before Meath drilled their second goal. Armstrong was the provider again with a blistering run through the centre before offloading to Murphy, who could have taken his point but went for goal and was rewarded.

Meath dominated the final quarter, outscoring their neighbours by 1-7 to 0-3 in the last 20 minutes or so to take the U-20 silverware.

MEATH: O McDermott; S O’Hare, L Kelly (0-2), K Smyth; E Armstrong (1-2), J O’Regan, C Ennis; J Kinlough (0-1), C O’Connor; C Duke, R Stafford (0-1), S Leonard; H Corcoran (0-2, 1f), J Murphy (1-5, 0-2f), R McConnell.

Subs: C McWeeney for Stafford 34, T Martyn (1-0) for Leonard 47, J Harkin for Corcoran 57, S Byrne for O’Hare 62, J Mannion for Smyth 65.

LOUTH: C O’Donoghue; C McKeown, K Martin, F Tipping; T McDonnell, A McGlew, C Maher; D McDonnell, S Callaghan; J Maguire (0-3, 2f), L Flynn, D Dorian; P Grimes-Murphy (0-4), S Reynolds, K McArdle (0-5, 3f).

Subs: R Deery for Tipping 18, J Rogers for Dorian 46, C McGinty for Flynn 50, F Cummiskey for Callaghan 52, S Halpenny for Maguire 59.

Referee: D Stynes (Dublin).

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