Meath deliver in second-half to see off Down for Tailteann Cup glory

July 15, 2023

Meath's Conor Gray, Eoghan Frayne and Ciaran Caurlfield celebrate the win over Down ©INPHO/Bryan Keane

Meath are 2023 Tailteann Cup champions thanks to 2-13 to 0-14 victory over Down at Croke Park this afternoon.

Ronan Jones and Jack O’Connor supplied the key goals in either half for Colm O’Rourke’s men, as they sprung an upset against their fancied Ulster opponents to cement their Sam Maguire Cup status for 2024.

Down had made the better start at headquarters, running up a 0-4 to 0-1 lead after 13 minutes but Jones’ fortunate goal brought the Royals level two minutes later and they went ahead through a Jordan Morris point before Liam Kerr’s score left all square (0-6 to 1-3) at the break.

Two placed balls from Niall Kane (one a ‘45’) edged Down two in front early in the restart but Meath got motoring through the points of Cathal Hickey, Jones and Jack O’Connor.

‘Man of the Match’ Jack Flynn came up huge for O’Rourke’s men throughout the second-half, sailing over four points from play in total, with his last two helping to keep the Mourne at bay down the home stretch.

Flynn’s last score made to 1-11 to 0-11 with just over five minutes remaining and a Hickey point afterwards looked to have ensured the win for the Leinster side prior to Ryan Johnston and Andrew Gilmore making it a two-point game as it ticked into injury-time.

Matthew Costello and Kerr traded points in the added minutes ahead of O’Connor cutting through and putting a stamp on the Royals victory with the clinching goal.

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