Andy McEntee up and running with Meath

Meath 2-22 Wicklow 0-9: There was a honeymoon start for new Meath boss Andy McEntee in this O’Byrne Cup tie at Páirc Tailteann yesterday.

Andy McEntee up and running with Meath

McEntee is Meath’s sixth new boss in 12 years and he received a warm reception from the Royal faithful but knows the task ahead will be much tougher than what he encountered against the Garden County.

The home side put up an impressive tally, with 2-19 of that coming from open play, but they were up against a very poor Wicklow outfit.

Afterwards, McEntee reflected on his tenure so far. “You are looking for certain things for this time of year and the effort and the tempo and physicality, all those sort of things.

“It was certainly good in the opening half but it all died a little bit in the second half.

“That is a mental thing rather than a physical thing and hopefully we can work on that, “ McEntee said.

“There are some good forwards out there who are very accurate and with good movement but you have to put in the graft as well.

“I thought defensively we looked solid. I don’t think there were any goal chances for Wicklow.”

Cillian O’Sullivan accounted for Meath’s opening goal following quick-thinking from Graham Reilly on eight minutes.

That left it 1-4 to 0-0 and the home side added a further three points before Paddy Byrne had Wicklow off the mark from a free.

The game was over as a contest by half-time with Meath leading 1-13 to 0-2. Opening half substitute John McGrath ended with six points of Wicklow’s tally, four of which came courtesy of frees.

Bryan McMahon claimed Meath’s second goal after getting a fist to Sean Tobin’s teasing delivery on 55 minutes.

Graham Reilly’s appointment as captain for the coming year was explained by McEntee afterwards.

“It is a relatively young bunch and Graham is one of the more experienced lads and we would like to think that taking on a position of responsibility like that will bring the best out of him,” McEntee concluded.

Scorers for Meath:

B McMahon (1-3), C O’Sullivan (1-2), F Ward (0-4, 3fs), S Curran, G Reilly (0-3 each), P Kennelly, K Ross, D Tobin, C O’Brien, C Downey, B Menton, W Carry (0-1 each).

Scorers for Wicklow:

J McGrath (0-6, 4fs), P Byrne (0-2fs), S Furlong 0-1.

MEATH:

J Hannigan; D Keogan, D Tobin, M Burke; C Downey, S McEntee, S Curran; B Menton, C O’Brien; C O’Sullivan, G Reilly, P Kennelly; K Ross, F Ward, B McMahon.

Subs:

S Tobin for Ward (48), A Flanagan for Kennelly, R O Coileain for O’Sullivan (both 55), D McQuillan for Burke, W Carry for Downey, D Lenihan for McMahon (all 62)

WICKLOW:

R Lambert; C Hyland, J Snell, B Kennedy; J Crowe, R O’Brien, D Hayden; A McLoughlin, D Boothman; R Finn, C fFrench, M Kenny; P Byrne, G Allen, M O’Connor.

Subs:

J McGrath for Allen (18), D Healy for McLoughlin, S Furlong for O’Connor (both ht), E Murtagh for Boothman (57), M Fitzsimons for fFrench (58), M Cullen for Crowe (59)

Referee:

Niall Ward (Westmeath)

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