Three goals in 60 seconds helped Meath to a 6-13 to 0-7 victory against Wexford in the Leinster MFC at Pairc Tailteann this evening.
Shane Smyth, Eoghan Frayne and Niall Finnerty blitzed the Wexford netminder Tommy Kennedy and possibly added an unwarranted gloss to the scoreline although Meath deserved the victory.
The victory also earned a quarter-final position for the Royal County on Saturday 1st June.
The hosts started positively and Eoghan Frayne's point got Meath off the mark a minute after Niall Finnerty was denied a goal by the crossbar.
Finnerty had another goal attempt cleared soon after as Wexford got back on terms through Rory O'Connor.
Finnerty's next effort, a point attempt, also rebounded off the woodwork, but he eventually split the posts in the 13th minute as Meath laboured into a 0-2 to 0-1 first-quarter advantage.
Wexford had carved out a couple of good chances during that period, but were guilty of some poor finishing.
Frayne claimed his second point from play in the 16th minute as Meath eventually made the most of a prolonged period of possession.
Shane Smyth saw his rasper skim the top of the Wexford crossbar for a point before Frayne showed a nice piece of skill and split the posts again with David Bell converting a 13-metre free.
Finnerty's battle with the woodwork continued and Wexford were also denied points by the woodwork on two occasions in the opening half.
Wexford rallied towards the end of the half with a brace of Jack O'Leary points (one free) and one from Louis Doyle, but when Bell provided the defence-splitting pass in the 30th minute Evan Corrigan finished to the net for a 1-6 to 0-4 Meath advantage at the interval.
The Wexford lads were smartly out of the traps for the second-half with point from Paul Deeney and Doyle, but Meath countered promptly through Josh Carolan and Bell (free) before play was held up due to an injury to a Wexford player.
When play resumed Finnerty converted a free and then that three-goal salvo in 60 seconds pushed Meath into a dominant position with later goals from Bell and Barry Thomspon adding the gloss.
Meath – Eoghan Frayne 1-3; Evan Corrigan 1-0; David Bell 1-4; Shane Smyth 1-1; Niall Finnerty 1-2, Josh Carolan 0-1, Aaron Chinchilla 0-1, Aitzol King 0-1, Barry Thompson 1-0.
Wexford – Jack O'Leary 0-3; Rory O'Connor 0-1; Liam Doyle 0-2; Paul Deeney 0-1;
Meath – Dean Pluck; Jamie Fagan, Jamie McGovern, Harry Corscadden; Sean O'Donoghue, Aaron Chinchilla, Ciaran Caulfield; Josh Carolan, Endi Ehichoya' Evan Corrigan, Cillian Hegarty, Shane Smyth; David Bell, Niall Finnerty, Eoghan Frayne. Subs – Aitzol King for Ehichoya 54 mins, Barry Thompson for Finnerty 55m, Adam McDonnell for Fagan, Harry Ryan for O'Donoghue, Jamie O'Shea for Corrigan all 60m.
Wexford – Tommy Kennedy; Leigh Newport, Brian Cushe, Eamon Doyle; Paddy Darcy, Jason Bolger, Leigh Whelan; Tom Kavanagh, Paul Deeney; Ryan Connolly, Ciaran Reagan, Joe Curtis; Liam Doyle, Jack O'Leary, Rory O'Connor. Subs – Shane Kehoe for Cushe and Liam Crowley for Curtis both half-time, Jason Murphy for Newport 37 mins, Tiarnan Malone for Connolly 60m.
Black card – P Darcy (replaced by Oisin Watters 66m).
Referee – Keith O'Brien (Westmeath).