Royals hold off late rally from Saffrons for Tailteann Cup final spot

June 25, 2023

Meath's Cathal Hickey with Ronan Boyle of Antrim ©INPHO/Evan Treacy

Meath survived a late scare from Antrim at Croke Park this afternoon to earn a 2-16 to 2-14 victory and book a place in the Tailteann Cup final.

Colm O’Rourke’s men looked to have their ticket for the decider stamped as they led by 2-13 to 1-11 with under 10 minutes to go. However, Paddy McBride’s punched goal brough the Saffrons right back into it and they’d the tie before injury-time points from Matthew Costello and Jordan Morris got the job done for the Royals.

Morris fired in the game’s opening goal on 16 minutes, levelling the sides, before the Ulster side earned a penalty seven minutes later for Dominic McEnhill to convert.

It meant that Mick Byrne’s point late in the half would be all that separated the sides at the half, with the Glensmen taking in a 1-7 to 1-6 lead and Ruairí McCann would increase the advantage to two in the early stages of the resumption.

Meath eventually got motoring after that, sending over back-to-back points to level within two minutes prior to Morris coolly stroking in a goal and more points from James McEntee, Cathal Hickey and Morris (2) would see them opening up an eight-point lead.

Andy McEntee’s side got their deficit down to five before McBride made the most of a point effort that came down off the post, but they couldn’t get over the line though as Meath held their composure to book a return to Croker against either Down or Laois in three weeks’ time.

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