Meath exit Leinster u-20 FC

Story by Conall Collier

Tuesday, 9th July, 2019 9:07pm

Meath exit Leinster u-20 FC

Connell Ahearne in action for Meath against Laois at O_Moore Park tonight. PHOTO JOHN QUIRKE.

Meath exited the Leinster u-20 FC tonight at the semi-final stage when they lost by 0-7 to 1-13 to Laois at O'Moore Park.

Meath struggled to cope with Laois full-forward Dan McCormack who was almost spectacular under the high ball.

Early promose from Meath's Cian McBride was stifled by a couple of meaty challenges, the second of which earned a yellow card for midfielder Robert Tyrell.

However, the Laois lads were gifted a lot of space by a loose-marking Meath defence and they made good use of it with good movement off-the-ball a crucial factor also.

Meath's kick-outs were towards the sideline mostly and they struggled in that area to win clean possession also as a dominant Laois side dictated.

All that translated into a merited 1-8 to 0-3 interval lead for Laois who found the net through Alan Kinsella in the 11th minute and he also claimed a point. 

A brace apiece from Ronan Coffey and Diarmuid Whelan and one each by Colin Slevin, McCormack and Mark Barry from a free completed the first-half Laois Tally.

Meath didn't score from play, but had a couple of goal chances that were well dealt with by the Laois rearguard. Luke Mitchell (two) and Daithi McGowan converetd the frees with Meath going 20 minutes without a score.

Meath also lost full-back Robbie Clarke to a black card in the 21st minute and he was replaced by Sean Bannon took 

Manager Barry Callaghan made a number of changes at half-time with McBride limping out of the action and Cian Swaine and Luke Mitchell also exiting. Cathal Finnegan, Danny Dixon and Aaron Lynch 

Laois did enough in the third-quarter to extend the margin to 1-10 to 0-4 as Michael Doran and Barry pointed while  Meath got off the mark from play Jordan Morris, but also were denied a goal when a Finnegan was smartly saved by Matthew Bryan.

The game was over as a contest and hosts Laois were going through the motions and added to their tally with 
points from Barry (two) and Jack Owens while Aaron Lynch (two) and Costello completed Meath's tally.

Soon after Meath lost Costello to a bad injury and he was stretchered off the pitch.  
- Aaron Lynch 0-2;Luke Mitchell 0-2 frees; Daithi McGowan 0-1 free; Matthew Costello 0-1 free, Jordan Morris 0-1.
Laois - Alan Kinsella 1-1; Ronan Coffey 0-2; Diarmuid Whelan 0-2; Colin Slevin 0-1; Dan McCormack 0-1; Mark Barry
0-4 three frees; Michael Doran 0-1' Jack Owens 0-1.

- Andrew Beakey; Sean Ryan, Robbie Clarke, Cathal Hickey; Eoin Harkin, John Keane, Oisin Martyn; Liam Byrne, Cian Swaine; Cian McBride, Matthew Costello, Connell Ahearne; Jordan Morris, Daithi McGowan, Luke Mitchell.  Subs - Danny Dixon for Swaine half-time; Sean Bannon for Martyn 45 mins, Aaron Lynch for
Mitchell 53m, Cathal Finnegan for Morris 56m, Darragh Nolan for Ahearne 59m. Subs - Cathal Finneagn for Mitchell,
Aaron Lynch for McBride and Danny Dixon for Swaine all half-time; Luke Kelly for Martyn 42 mins, Conor Frayne for 
Costello 55m;

Black card - R Clarke (Sean Bannon 21 mins).

Laois - M Byron; M Dowling, S Lacey, A Mohan; C Slevin, S O'Flynn, D Brophy; R Tyrell, E Dunne; M Barry, M Doran, R Coffey; A KInsella, D McCormack, D Whelan. Subs - Jack Owens for Doran 42 mins, N Dunne for Tyrell 47m; J Maher for McCormack 50m, M Dempsey for Coffey 55m, K BYrne for Dunne and B Wheatley for Barry both 59m.
Referee - Patrick Maguire (Longford).

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