Cork let slip nine-point lead as resolute Royals snatch draw

Cork let slip nine-point lead as resolute Royals snatch draw

Cork 0-18

Meath 1-15

Eoghan Cormican

Páirc Ui Rinn

A stirring second-half comeback by Meath earned the Royals a share of the spoils in this Division 2 encounter.

Cork’s advantage twice stretched to nine points early in the second-half, but Meath dug in and kicked 1-6 without reply between the 50th and 65th minute to move into a 1-14 to 0-16 lead – corner-back Donal Keoghan supplying the Meath goal.

A Colm O’Neill free ended their 19-minute scoring spell and although Barry O’Driscoll returned the Rebels in front, it was a lead they were unable to safeguard. Donal Lenihan kicked his fifth free in the fourth minute of stoppages to ensure stalemate at Páirc Uí Rinn.

Cork were backed by a strong wind in the opening period and were full value for their 0-12 to 0-5 interval lead. It could have been greater with both Peter Kelleher and Colm O’Neill sending their respective goal chances wide.

O’Neill was the outstanding figure in the Cork attack during the opening half, landing three from play and three from play. Cork lost Aidan Walsh to an injury on eight minutes, with Ian Maguire moving from half-forward to midfield to compensate for the loss. Maguire, though, soon joined Walsh on the line for a black card offence that he was none too pleased with.

Cork let slip nine-point lead as resolute Royals snatch draw

The home outfit had surged 0-8 to 0-1 clear before Meath enjoyed any bit of sustained pressure in front of the Cork goal. Alan Forde, Graham Reilly and Donal Lenihan. Peter Kelleher, Ruairi Deane and Mark Collins swiftly cancelled out this brace, however, to put Cork in a commanding position at the break.

Not commanding enough, as it transpired.

Cork let slip nine-point lead as resolute Royals snatch draw

Scorers for Cork: C O’Neill (0-9, 0-3 frees); M Collins (0-3, 0-2 frees); P Kerrigan (0-2); J Loughrey, R Deane, P Kelleher, B O’Driscoll (0-1 each).

Scorers for Meath: D Lenihan (0-5, 0-5 frees); G Reilly (0-3); D Keoghan (1-0); A Forde, B McMahon (0-2 each); S Tobin, E Wallace, C O’Sullivan (0-1 each).

Cork: K O’Halloran; K Crowley, Tom Clancy, M Shields; Tomás Clancy, J Loughrey, S Cronin; A Walsh, R Deane; I Maguire, M Collins, K O’Driscoll; C O’Neill, P Kelleher, P Kerrigan.

Subs: J O’Rourke for Walsh (8 mins, inj); C O’Driscoll for Maguire (bc, 20); C Dorman for Tomás Clancy (57); Barry O’Driscoll for K O’Driscoll (61), K Davis for Kerrigan (64); N Coakley for Kelleher (72)

Meath: P O’Rourke; D Tobin, C McGill, D Keoghan; W Carry, B Power, P Harnan; B Menton, J Toher; R Ó Coileain, C O’Sullivan, A Forde; B McMahon, G Reilly, D Lenihan

Subs: E Wallace for Ó Coileáin (23); J McEntee for Power (HT); S Lavin for Carry (52); S Tobin for O’Sullivan (52); S McEntee for Forde (62); J Wallace for McMahon (67)

Referee: F Kelly (Longford).

Also in Division 2, second placed Galway came from 0-4 down to beat Derry by 5-15 to 2-15 at Tuam Stadium.

And Fermanagh beat Clare by 0-18 to 1-10 at Brewster Park.

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