HL2A: First-half showing central to first Meath win

February 17, 2019

Meath's Keith Keogan is fouled by David Nolan London as Shane Whitty looks on during the NHL Div 2A game at Trim

Meath posted their first win in the current league campaign when fending off a London rally at Trim early on Sunday afternoon.

Meath ....... 3-16

London ......3-10

To view photos from this game click here

Two Fionn Ferguson goals and Padraig O'Hanrahan's placed balls in addition to a wonderful Jack Regan sideline cut boosted Meath to a 14-point interval lead, 2-13 to 0-5. 

Meath looked set for the win that would put a considerable deposit on their league placing for next year. Their remaining games are away to Westmeath and Kerry. London are now looking over their shoulders having failed to manage a win from either of their outings to date. However, they have a rearranged round two fixture with Mayo to play.

The Royals resumed on the front foot despite playing into the wind. Sub Eamon O Donnacha made his mark with a 39th minute goal. When James Kelly pointed from 65 metres the board read 3-14 to 0-6. 

London had lost top freetaker Aaron Sheehan to a second yellow card in the 43rd minute. Despite this setback the visitors outscored Meath by 3-4 to 0-3 in the time remaining. 

Before their rally clicked into gear, Meath 'keeper Shane McGann made an excellent save from Mark O'Dwyer. The home side led by 3-14 to 0-6 heading into the final quarter. 

O'Dwyer got the London rally going with the first of his two goals. Colin Nelson's 58th minute effort was the pick of the Exiles trio of goals. Placed by Killian Burke, Nelson went on a run before firing to the net. 

Meath led by 10 points heading into the final five minutes. O'Dwyer's second goal revived fading London hopes. Trimming the deficit to six points was as good as it got for the men in white and green. 

A number of London goal attempts in the latters stages were denied by dogged Meath defending. It was left to London's Conor Allis (free) to close the scoring.  

Backed by strong and often diagonal wind, Meath took the game to London from the off. Fionn Ferguson netted the first of two first-half goals when an O'Hanrahan free broke to him in the opening minute. 

Nick Fitzgerald's men continued to dominate. The highlight of Padraig O'Hanrahan's first-half tally of six points came courtesy of a free from his own 65 in the 14th minute. 

By this stage Eamon MacDonncha had replaced Quigley and the delay was reflected in the amount of added time at the end of the half. 

Ferguson's second goal highlighted additional time. The Gaeil Colmcille man pounced when an O'Hanrahan sideline broke to him.

Meath - S McGann; G Murphy, S Brennan, S Morris; K Keoghan, S Whitty, J Kelly (0-1); A Douglas (0-3), P O’Hanrahan (0-6, 5f); D Healy, J Regan (0-4, 1sl), D Kelly; F Ferguson (2-1), K Keena, S Quigley. Subs: E O Donnacha (1-1) for S Quigley, J McGowan for S Whitty, C O'Shea for S Morris, C O'Sullivan for F Ferguson, D Regan for P O'Hanrahan.

London - P Buckley; C Hickey, K Reid, C McSweeney; P Muldoon, C Allis (0-2, 1f), K Burke; J Kennedy, O Royston; D Nolan, C Nelson (1-1), S Lohan (0-1); B Hickey, A Sheehan (0-4, 3f), M O'Dwyer (2-0). Subs: S Lawless (0-1) for D Nolan, F Collins for O Royston, J Lawlor for C Hickey, D Glynn (0-1f) for B Hickey.

Referee - D Hughes.

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