There was more injury concerns for senior manager Mick O'Dowd ahead of the NFL Div 2 game against laois on Saturday as both Eamon wallace and Bryan McMahon sustained injuries in the Leinster u-21 FC 1-13 to 0-10 replay victory over Louth at Pairc tailteann tonight.
Meath u-21 manager Sean Barry will also have to wait until after this weekend before he can select his team for the trip to Parnell Park in Dublin next Wednesday night to tackle Offaly in the semi-final.
Tonight Meath missed a couple of early chances before Louth forged ahead through a brace of pointed frees from Ryan Burns, ulgedbut they didn't manage another score until Conor Grimes caimed the first point of the game from play in the 23rd minute.
Meath were deservedy ahead by that stage with three Bryan McMahon pointed frees and one from substitute Seamus Mattimoe who was a 10th minute replacement for Eamon Wallace.
The county senior player limped out of the action with a knee injury and that will pose some extra problems from Mick O'Dowd ahead of Saturday night's trip to O'Moore Park for an NFL Div 2 game against Laois.
Louth also lost Sean Thornton to injury and he was replaced by Robert Curran. The Wee County got back on terms when Burns converted a free, but the complexion of the game changed cose to the interval when Joey Wallace got in for a Meath goal.
Padraic Harnan started the move from a quickly-taken sideine when he found McMahon. From there it was real Ratoath move as McMahon combined with Bobby O'Brien who set up Joey Wallace and the net bulged.
Meath maintained an advantage after the resumption as Louth lost centre-back and captain Robert Brodigan for a black card challenge on Bobby O'Brien. Louth were also unlucky with two goal chances, one from Burns that skimmed the crossbar for a point and another from Grimes that looked destined for the net until it hit the foot of the post.
Points from Mattimoe (four, two frees), McMahon (three, one free), Neil Shortall and substitute Barry Dardis sustained Meath's challenge although Louth closed to within a point on three occasions. Louth stayed in touch during that period with points from Burns (three), Grimes (two) and Cian Doyle, but the hosts puled clear in the closing stages.
Meath – Andy Colgan (Donaghmore/Ashbourne); Simon Carty (Dunderry), Conor McGill (Ratoath), David McQuillan (St Patrick's); Brian Power (Ratoath), Shane Melia (Donaghmore / Ashbourne); Shane McEntee (Dunboyne); Conor Sheridan (Simonstown Gaes), Adam Flanagan (Clonard); Neil Shortall (Curraha 0-1), Bobby O'Brien (Ratoath), Padraic Harnan (Moynavey); Eamon Wallace (Ratoath), Bryan McMahon (Ratoath 0-6 four frees), Joey Wallace (Ratoath 1-0).
Subs – Seamus Mattimoe (Gaeil Colmcille 0-5 two frees) for E Wallace 10 mins, Harry Rooney (Skryne) for Sheridan 42m Cathal Finn (Dunboyne) for Power 52m,Barry Darids (Summerhill 0-1) for J Wallace 59m.
Louth – N Cooney; E afferty, D Campbell, K Lenehan; D McMahon, R Brodigan, S Thornton; P Reily, W Campbell; R Quigley, J Stewart, C McKeever; C Doyle 0-1), C Grimes (0-3), R Burns (0-6 five frees).
Subs – R Curran for Thornton 19 mins,R Carr for McKeever 49m, K Hearty for Doyle 59m.
Black card – R Brodigan (replaced by C Ward 32 mins).
Referee – Gareth Whelan (Wicklow).