Meath negotiated DIT in the opening round of the O'Byrne Cup today with a 4-11 to 1-14 victory in Navan. The Royals were ahead by 2-6 to 0-6 at the interval following a slow-paced opening half during which Michael Newman and Dalton McDonagh found the net with opportunist goals.
Eamon Wallace's burst of speed made the opening for Newman's goal while the Kilmainham man provided the centre from which McDonagh made the opening for his goal.
Newman also converted three frees with Graham Reilly (two) and a superb Shane O'Rourke effort completing Meath's first-half tally. O'Rourke's point was the highlight of his first-half display, but he also made some wayward passes that gifted possession to the opposition.
For all their possession DIT only managed one point from play, a Conor Grimes score in the fourth minute that opened their account while Bernard Allen (three) and Niall Scully (two) converted frees.
Meath also lost Wallace to injury after 24 minutes and he was replaced by Cillian O'Sullivan.
David McQuillan started at wing-back 24 hours after he helped the u-21s to victory in the Hastings Cup while McDonagh took Damien Carroll's place at centre-forward.
McQuillan was replaced at half-time by Seamus Kenny and Conor Sheridan also replaced Newman and went to midfield with O'Rourke moving into Newman's position in the corner.
Meath laboured through the second-half, but remained in the ascendancy due to a smashing David Larkin goal at the three-quarter stage for a 3-9 to 0-11 lead, but a penalty converted by Scully for DIT with 10 minutes remaining left it a three-pont game (3-10 to 1-13).
McDonagh added a late goal in the final minute to secure a Royal victory.
Meath – Paddy O'Rourke; Caolan Young, Sean Curran, Michael Burke; David Dalton, Eoghan Harrington, David McQuillan; Conor Gillespie, Shane O'Rourke (0-1); David Larkin (1-2), Dalton McDonagh (2-0), Graham Reilly (0-5); Eamon Wallace, Stephen Bray, Michael Newman (1-3). Subs – Cillian O'Sullivan for Wallace 24 mins, Seamus Kenny for McQuillan and Conor Sheridan for Newman both half-time, David Bray for O'Rourke 57m.
Wicklow 1-9, IT Carlow 0-11 (Meath's group).
DCU 1-15, Louth 0-9 (Sat night)
Wexford 2-13, Laois 0-11
Offaly 0-13, UCD 0-12
Longford 1-19, Carlow 2-7
Kildare 4-24, Athlone IT 0-12
Dublin 0-12, Westmeath 0-11
NEXT UP FOR MEATH
Meath v IT Carlow at Pairc Tailteann next Wednesday night, 7.30pm