FL2: Rebels down Royals to stay in promotion picture

March 11, 2018

Meath's Seamus Lavin with Sean White Cork during the NFL Division 2 clash at Pairc Tailteann

Cork 2-16
Meath 1-15

Colm O'Neill struck for 1-6 as Cork kept their promotion hopes alive by consigning Meath to their third defeat in Division 2 this afternoon in Navan.

John O'Rourke's 12th minute goal helped pave the path for the Rebels victory early on as they saw off the hosts' second quarter revival to lead by five at the break.

Cillian O'Sullivan's four second-half points brought the Royals back into contention but scores from Mark Collins (0-7) and O'Neill at the other end made sure the visitors kept in front and the latter buried in his goal with a minute left in normal time to ensure the points went south.

The visitors had led by 0-4 to 0-2 when the broke past the home side's defence for O'Neill to force a smart save from goalkeeper David Gallagher before O'Rourke tucked in the rebound.

Meath responded well to that blow with Donal Lenihan hitting two of four answered points to erase the damage caused by O'Rourke's opportunist strike.

Lenihan's third left a point in it but it was the men from Leeside that finished out the half in more impressive fashion, as Collins and O'Neill really began to find their rhythm to leave it at 1-9 to 0-7 for the half.

Andy McEntee had introduced Harry Rooney to the fray four minutes prior to the interval, while Michael McSweeney and Conor Dorman were early introductions for Rebels boss Ronan McCarthy early in the restart.

Collins and O'Neill bumped up their personal tallies in the third quarter, with defender Matthew Taylor also getting in on the act, as O'Sullivan's accuracy helped keep the Leinster side in touch at the far end.

O'Neill's clinching goal would come off a mis-cued kick-out from Gallagher which O'Rourke gathered to feed the Ballyclough for all three points.

A melee injury-time saw Meath lose centre-back Brian Power before defender Seamus Lavin lashed home a goal which only proved consolation for the Royals.

Cork - Mark White; Kevin Flahive, Jamie O'Sullivan, Kevin Crowley; Tomas Clancy, Brian O'Driscoll, Matthew Taylor (0-1); Ian Maguire, Cillian O'Hanlon; Kevin O'Driscoll, Sean White (0-1), Ruairi Deane; Mark Collins (0-07, 4f), Colm O'Neill (1-6, 2f), John O'Rourke (1-1). Subs: Michael McSweeney for Deane (39), Conor Dorman for B O'Driscoll (39), Michael Hurley for Sean White (62), Cian Kiely for Crowley (66, black card), Donncha O'Connor for O'Neill (70), Peter Kelleher for Kevin O'Driscoll (70). Collins black card 76, not replaced.

Meath - David Gallagher; Seamus Lavin (1-0), Conor McGill, Donal Keogan; Mickey Burke, Brian Power, Shane McEntee; Bryan Menton, Brian Conlon; Graham Reilly (0-3), Ben Brennan (0-1), James McEntee (0-1); Cillian O'Sullivan (0-4, 2f), Thomas O'Reilly (0-2), Donal Lenihan (0-4, 4f). Subs: Harry Rooney for Burke (31), Eamon Wallace for Brennan (54), Sean Tobin for O'Reilly (62), Padraig McKeever for Lenihan (65), Bryan McMahon for Shane McEntee (69).

Ref: Sean Hurson (Tyrone)



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