Leinster MHC: Model too hot for Meath

April 26, 2014

Meath's Alex Walsh is under pressure from Wexford's Conor Firman and Mick O'Brien during the Leinster MHC game at Pairc Tailteann. TO VIEW A SELECTION OF PHOTOGRAPHS FOR THIS GAME CLICK HERE
WEXFORD 1-18
MEATH 2-10

Favourites Wexford could afford to hit a wasteful total of 17 wides and still win this Leinster MHC clash at Pairc Tailteann with five points to spare.

The home side battled all the way but lacked the scoring touch of their opponents with Charlie Bird being Meath's sole marksman in the second half during which they were favoured by the chilly breeze.

As in the opening win over Wicklow, notching points from play proved difficult for the Royals. Apart from Bird, who hit three, Ronan Ryan was the only other member of the losing side to manage the feat.

Meath only held the lead in the early stages with Boardsmill clubman and captain, Bird, shooting them ahead at the end of a solo run. Jake Firman soon levelled with the first of his eight points and Wexford held the edge after their skipper, gave them the lead on nine minutes.

With Firman hitting one terrific long-range score, his side went into a 0-7 to 0-2 lead before a Ross Ryan goal raised the home hopes at the start of the second quarter.

Full-forward Ryan finished to the net from close range but Wexford promptly responded with 1-3 in five minutes to leave the margin eight points. Throughout the game the visitors were able to reply to scores with Meath unable to run up a sequence.

Niall Hughes availed of defensive slackness to leave the board reading 1-10 to 1-2 and it was 1-12 to 1-4 at the halfway stage. Missed frees by Bird and Josh Wall near the end of the first period made matters more difficult for the home side.

Still they resumed positively with Bird putting over two of the first three scores of the second half. The difference was just four points when Bird blasted a 30-metre free to the net on 37 minutes.

But that was as close as Meath got with their opponents putting over three of the next four scores. Although keeping the game alive for most of the hour, Stephen Masterson's charges did not have enough fire power up front.

Bird saw a goal attempt from play whizzed outside an upright before only managing a point from a penalty.

Wexford: D Hughes; C Firman, M O'Brien, B Edwards; N Rossiter (0-1), A Maddock, I Carty; J O'Connor, C Dunbar; S Kelly. D Barden (0-2), K Poole (0-1); N Hughes (1-2), J Firman (0-8, 6 frees), D Pepper (0-3). Subs: R White for Carty (30), C O'Connor (0-1) for Poole (34), S Casey for Barden (55), B Cowman for Kelly (56).

Meath: N O'Sullivan; J Bird, L Moran, C Dempsey; D Brogan, L Swaine, J Payne; C Bird (1-7, 1-3 frees, 0-1 penalty), L Martyn; J Wall (0-2, 2 frees), Ronan Ryan (0-1), L Carey; A Walsh, Ross Ryan (1-0), C Kearney. Subs: D Douglas for Kearney (half-time), N Montague for Brogan (40), J Farrell for Martyn (43), R Healy for Walsh (60).

Referee: M Murtagh (Westmeath).


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