Meath set up tie with Dublin after beating Louth

Meath set up tie with Dublin after beating Louth

Meath 0-20 Louth 1-13

Meath are through to another Leinster football championship glamour clash with Dublin at Croke Park and, in truth, there was little doubt about their progression at Parnell Park, writes Paul Keane.

Mickey Newman's seven-point haul, allied to four from speedy forward colleague Eamon Wallace, did the damage in front of a capacity crowd of 8,500.

Fans flocked to the Donneycarney venue hoping for fireworks between two sides who just love to hate each other but, unlike the infamous 2010 Leinster final, there was little controversy this time.

Meath's big guns all delivered with Graham Reilly and Andy Tormey kicking three points each, while Cillian O'Sullivan had a strong debut with two points from the half-forward line.

Meath will face old rivals Dublin in the semi-finals on June 26 at Croke Park, while Louth must travel to Derry in the All-Ireland qualifiers next weekend.

Louth came into contest with momentum on their side after claiming the Division 4 league title and beating Carlow by 10 points in the first-round.

Revenge was on their minds too having not beaten Meath in the Championship since 1975, while they were infamously robbed of the 2010 Leinster title by a refereeing error.

But it was clear from the off that a well drilled and highly fit Meath team would set the tempo in front of a full house.

Meath led 0-11 to 0-6 at half-time and should have been even further ahead with a couple of bad wides.

Wallace scored all his four points in the half and tortured Louth's defence with his probing runs, while O'Sullivan was excellent on his first Championship start kicking two early points and linking up the play.

Tormey was named at midfield but started in the full-forward line and contributed a point, while Reilly split the posts too.

Louth operated with a two-man full-forward line of Conor Grimes and Ryan Burns with Jim McEneaney lying a little deeper off the duo.

They have lots of potential but were well held by a strong Meath defence that was well marshalled by captain Donal Keogan.

Louth's forwards managed two points from open play in the first-half. One of those was from Bevan Duffy who was black carded just before half-time for a body check on Mickey Burke.

Louth got the margin down to two points early in the second-half with three points on the trot, but that was as good as it got for them.

Meath picked off the points at their leisure throughout the second-half and forged 0-18 to 0-11 clear in the run in before McEneaney sniped a 64th minute goal through a group of Meath defenders.

That brought the margin down to four points but Louth needed a second goal and it never arrived.

Scorers for Meath: M Newman 0-7 (0-6f, 1 45), E Wallace 0-4, A Tormey 0-3, G Reilly 0-3, C O'Sullivan 0-2, C O'Brien 0-1.

Scorers for Louth: J Califf 0-4 (0-3f), R Burns 0-4 (0-3f), J McEneaney 1-0, A Williams 0-2, D Byrne 0-2, B Duffy 0-1.

Meath: P O'Rourke; D Keogan, M Burke, D Tobin; P Harnan, D Smyth, A Douglas; H Rooney, C O'Brien; E Wallace, C O'Sullivan, G Reilly; A Tormey, D McDonagh, M Newman.

Subs: C Finn for Tobin (50), B McMahon for McDonagh (56), D Lenihan for Tormey (63), S Tobin for Reilly (67).

Louth: C Lynch; P Rath, P Reilly, K Toner; A Williams, D McMahon, D Maguire; J Stewart, J Califf; D Byrne, J McEneaney, B Duffy; C McKeever, C Grimes, R Burns.

Subs: R Moore for Duffy (BC, 35), E Lafferty for McMahon (45), A Reid for McKeever (53), J Bingham for Toner (58), G McSorley for Byrne (69).

Referee: P Hughes (Armagh).

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