O'Byrne Cup: Lenihan leads Royals to clearcut win

January 11, 2017

Meath's Donal Lenihan gets away from Kieran Gillespie DIT during the O'Byrne Cup game at Ashbourne

Meath 2-15
DIT 0-10

Donal Lenihan led the way with 1-5 as Meath proved too strong for DIT in this O'Byrne Cup Group 3 clash at Ashbourne on Wednesday night.

Meath's second win of the campaign was secured with a two-goal burst shortly after half-time.  Lenihan netted the first goal with aplomb with Sean Tobin providing the assist.

Bobby O'Brien bagged the second in the 38th minute with Stuart Lowndes providing the knock-down from Alan Forde's delivery.

That cushioned Meath until the 55th minute, at which point the board read 2-8 to 0-10 after points from Con Kavanagh and Dermot McLoughlin closed the Dublin-based students account.

Meath continued their preparations for Saturday night's trip to Stradbally with seven unanswered points. Seven different players got off the mark for Meath on the night including sub Ben Brennan.

Fifteen changes from the win over Wicklow in the opening game with six debutants selected including Meath's Ring Cup winning captain James Toher.

Robbie Burlingham from SFC winners Simonstown was in goals with Joe Sheridan on the bench. Full-forward Sean Tobin was the other player from the county champions to start here and captained the side.

DIT fell 11 points short of Laois in their opening Group 3 game. Eleven different counties were represented in the students' starting lineout including two Meath men, Conor McGill (Ratoath) and Thomas McGovern from the host club. Eleven points proved to be the margin here.

A strong wind blowing into the town goal was the most significant weather feature on a dry, cold night. It backed DCU in the opening half but didn't appear to do them any favours in the first 35 minutes.

The poor numbering on the students' jerseys wouldn't even muster a 'pass'. Their shooting wasn't great in the opening half during which they chalked up nine wides while Meath had two.

A Conor Madden free got DIT off the mark in the second minute. By the ninth minute they were 0-3 to 0-1 ahead. Andy McEntee's men responded with four scores on the spin with two in quick succession from Donal Lenihan in the 12th minute.

A Ruairi O Coileain effort left it 0-5 to 0-2 to the home side after 13th minute. Meath remained in front until half-time though DIT got the gap down to the minimum on two further occasions.

A point from play by captain for the night Sean Tobin was the pick of Meath's first-half scores. A Madden effort from play left DIT just one point in arrears, 0-6 to 0-7, at the break.

Next up for Andy McEntee's men is a trip to Stradbally on Saturday night to face Laois in the final group game. DIT take on Wicklow in their final round robin game.

Meath - Robbie Burlingham (Simonstown Gaels); Alan Douglas (Trim), David McQuillan (St Patrick's), David Toner (Curraha), Declan Smyth (Dunsany) (0-1), Willie Carry (Drumbaragh), Alan Forde (Navan O'Mahonys) (0-1); Brian Power (Ratoath), James Toher (Trim); Stuart Lowndes (Dunboyne), Bobby O'Brien (Ratoath) (1-1), Ruairí Ó Coileáin (Navan O'Mahonys) (0-2); Daniel Queeney (Na Fianna), Sean Tobin (Simonstown) (0-4, 2f), Donal Lenihan (Dunboyne) (1-5, 1f). Subs - David Larkin for O Coileain (22), Adam Flanagan for Toher (50), Ben Brennan (0-1) for Queeney (59), Paddy Brady for Smyth (60), Padraig Harnan for Carry (62), Kieran Lynch for Douglas (64).

DIT - Lorcan Molloy (Dublin); Kieran Gillespie (Donegal), Conor McGill (Meath), Thomas McGovern (Meath); Enda Flanagan (Cavan), Aran Waters (Dublin), Liam Hughes (Longford); Thomas Corcoran (Longford), Conor O'Shea (Mayo); Ruairi Scott (Antrim), Conor Madden (Cavan) (0-2, 1f), David Sheehy (Kerry); Ciaran Thompson (Donegal) (0-5, 2f), Martin Farragher (Galway) (0-1), Joseph Halligan (Westmeath). Subs - Glen O'Reilly for Halligan (30), Con Kavanagh (0-1) for Scott (ht), Dermot McLoughlin (0-1) for Farragher (ht), Thomas Clarke for Corcoran (55), Daniel Grehan for Thompson (59), Michael Stewart Byrne for McGill (62).

Referee - Gerry Hurley (Westmeath)

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