DCU fightback rolls over Royals

DCU’s recent love affair with the O’Byrne Cup grew yesterday thanks to an impressive last quarter against Meath that takes them into their second final in successive seasons.

Louth ultimately put paid to their ambitions this time 12 months ago and it will be a repeat pairing in this year’s decider after the Wee County pulled off an excellent win over Kildare in Newbridge.

Leinster Council chairman Seamus Howlin confirmed late last night that Louth will have home advantage for the game, to be played on February 21 during a break in the NFL and a week before the Sigerson Cup decider.

Meath manager Eamon O’Brien was not exactly overwrought by the defeat.

“Our focus is not on the O’Byrne Cup in January,” he said.

DCU begin their Sigerson campaign with a tie against UCD this week and it was with that in mind that Niall Moyna made 14 changes from the side that defeated Offaly seven days earlier.

Dublin’s Kevin Nolan was the only man to start both fixtures.

But they lined out here with talent like Dublin’s Peadar Andrews, Cavan’s Micheal Lyng and Wexford’s Shane Roche in their forward line.

Meath cantered into an early lead and could have added two goals to their first-half tally, from Cian Ward and Niall Mooney, were it not for a defender’s leg and a post.

Roche’s free-taking was all that separated DCU from an imposing deficit but they found their feet and trailed 0-8 to 0-7, at the break. By that stage, Meath were a man down after Brian Meade’s clash with Conor Raferty and the Louth student followed Meade to the line with 16 minutes left, as did Meath’s Barry Regan towards the end.

The third quarter was the game’s best. DCU’s hold on play was increasing incrementally and Meath managed just one point in the last 25 minutes.

DCU hit six points in the same period, five inside the last five minutes, and there only looked like being one winner as soon as Roscommon’s Cathal Cregg put them in front for the first time five minutes from time.

Scorers for Meath: C Ward 0-8 (5f, 1 45’), O Lewis 0-2, S Bray 0-1, N Mooney 0-1, S Kennedy 0-1.

Scorers for DCU: S Roche 0-8f, C Cregg 0-2, P Andrews 0-2, S Shorthall 0-1, R Cullivan 0-1f, C Raferty 0-1, B Sheridan 0-1f.

MEATH: P O’Rourke; S McAnarney, J Macken, N McKeigue; G O’Brien, B Regan, S Sheridan; N Crawford, B Meade; D Sheridan, N Mooney, O Lewis; S Bray, C Ward, S Kennedy.

Subs: C O’Connor for S Sheridan (48), M Burke for McAnarney (53), C Gillespie for D Sheridan (53), P Byrne for Kennedy (60).

DCU: M Boyle (Donegal); L Bree (Sligo), N Collins (Roscommon), E Culligan (Dublin); S Shorthall (Laois), C Raferty (Louth), H Gill (Dublin); R Cullivan (Cavan), H McGrillen (Kildare); C Cregg (Roscommon), M Lyng (Cavan), D Bishop (Monaghan); K Nolan (Dublin), P Andrews (Dublin), S Roche (Wexford).

Subs: D Mooney (Monaghan) for Collins (25), C Dunleavy (Dublin) for McGrillen (43), W Mulhall (Offaly) for Lyng (54), L O’Donovan (Dublin) for Roche (58), B Sheridan (Meath) for Bishop (62).

Referee: D Fahy (Longford).

More in this section

CourtsGaaFootballPlace: NewbridgePlace: RoscommonPlace: DublinPlace: LouthPlace: CavanPlace: MonaghanPlace: MeathPlace: LongfordPerson: Seamus HowlinPerson: Eamon O’BrienPerson: Niall MoynaPerson: Kevin NolanPerson: Peadar AndrewsPerson: Micheal LyngPerson: Shane RochePerson: Cian WardPerson: Niall MooneyPerson: RochePerson: Brian MeadePerson: Conor RafertyPerson: MeadePerson: Barry ReganPerson: C WardPerson: O LewisPerson: SPerson: N MooneyPerson: S KennedyPerson: S RochePerson: CPerson: CreggPerson: PPerson: ShorthallPerson: RPerson: CullivanPerson: RafertyPerson: B SheridanPerson: O’RourkePerson: S McAnarneyPerson: J MackenPerson: N McKeiguePerson: G O’BrienPerson: B ReganPerson: S SheridanPerson: N CrawfordPerson: B MeadePerson: D SheridanPerson: S BrayPerson: C O’ConnorPerson: M BurkePerson: McAnarneyPerson: C GillespiePerson: P ByrnePerson: KennedyPerson: M BoylePerson: L BreePerson: N CollinsPerson: E CulliganPerson: S ShorthallPerson: C RafertyPerson: H GillPerson: R CullivanPerson: H McGrillenPerson: C CreggPerson: M LyngPerson: D BishopPerson: K NolanPerson: P AndrewsPerson: D MooneyPerson: CollinsPerson: C DunleavyPerson: McGrillenPerson: W MulhallPerson: LyngPerson: L O’DonovanPerson: BishopPerson: D FahyEvent: O’Byrne CupEvent: Sigerson CupOrganisation: DCUOrganisation: RoyalsOrganisation: MeathOrganisation: LouthOrganisation: Wee CountyOrganisation: KildareOrganisation: Leinster CouncilOrganisation: SigersonOrganisation: UCDOrganisation: OffalyOrganisation: DublinOrganisation: WexfordOrganisation: Roscommon
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