Meath slumped to a heavy NHL Div 2B defeat this afternoon against hosts Armagh as they lost by 13 points (1-10 to 0-26) after trailing by 0-6 to 0-13 at the interval.
However, Meath can still make it to the final if they can defeat Down next Sunday by three points or more, but there must also be a winner between Armagh and Mayo.
Today, Wind-assisted Meath created plenty of early chances, but tallied three wides and also had a 'goal' dsallowed for a square ball before a scoring burst from each side.
Meath could only muster a brace of Steven Clynch points (one free) in the opening quarter as hosts Armagh surged into a 0-8 to 0-2 lead with some fine approach play and well-taken scores.
Two Ryan Gaffney frees and points from play by Stephen Renaghan, Cahal Carvill, Conor Corvan and Declan Coulter gave Armagh the initiative.
Meath raised a bit of challenge in the second-quarter with a brace of Ronan Sherlock points from distance and one each by Adam Gannon and Clynch which countered Armagh points from Cahal Carvill, Conor Devlin and Corvan.
The Ulster side finished the half strongly and strengthened their grip on the game with further points from Gaffney (two frees), David Carvill and Cahal Carvill for a substantial 0-13 to 0-6 interval advantage.
James Toher and Gaffney exchanged early second-half frees as Meath lost Clynch through injury soon after the resumption following a hefty challenge.
The remainder was a lifeless second-half display by the Royal County who only mustered two more points – Joey Keena and Neil Heffernan as Armagh scored with ease.
Joey Keena's late goal was hardly even a consolation.
Meath - Shane McGann; Cormac Reilly, Shane Brennan, David Donoghue; Damien Healy, Ronan Sherlock (0-2), Keith Keoghan; Sean Heavey, Sean Geraghty; Tom Clarke, James Toher (0-1 free), Joe Keena (1-3 two frees); Adam Gannon (0-1), Steven Clynch (0-2 one free), Stephen Morris. Subs – Kevin Keena for Clarke 28 mins, Neil Heffernan (0-1)for Clynch 43m, Sean Quigley for Geraghty 50m, Barry Slevin for Morris 61m, Luke Martyn for Healy 68m.
First round - Down 2-16 Armagh 2-14; Mayo 1-14 Donegal 0-13; Meath 0-22 Wicklow 0-13.
Second round - Armagh 2-14 Donegal 1-8; Down 4-12 Wicklow 0-11; Mayo 0-19 Meath 2-9.
Third round - Armagh 2-17 Wicklow 2-15; Mayo 0-20 Down 0-16; Meath 2-35 Donegal 0-9.
Fourth round - Armagh 0-26, Meath 1-10; Mayo 0-13, Wicklow 2-13; Donegal 0-14, Down 3-22,
SUNDAY 20th MARCH
Armagh v Mayo; Down v Meath; Wicklow v Donegal.
NHL DIV 2 B
P W D L F A Pts
Down 4 3 0 1 93 65 6
Mayo 4 3 0 1 69 43 6
Armagh 4 3 0 1 89 67 6
Meath 4 2 0 2 91 67 4
Wicklow 4 1 0 3 64 82 2
Donegal 4 0 0 4 47 109 0