Despite slipping behind in the Leinster League Div 3 clash at Ardee on Sunday North Meath went on to record a 15-14 victory that keeps their title ambitions very much on track.
After a cagey start it was North Meath that struck first with Joe Carry slotting a tricky penalty. However it was Ardee who scored the game’s first try going over in the corner with Carry just missing from a penalty shortly afterwards.
North Meath were first to score in the second-half, regaining the lead when fly-half Carry’s chip into the corner was followed up by winger Michael McNamee. He was able to slip the ball to his fellow winger Adrian Sheridan and he got a clear run to the tryline. The conversion attempt was missed.
The visitors continued to apply the pressure, working the ball through the phases and were rewarded when prop Theo Chamberlayne-Daye went over for a try. Carry converted from in front of the posts to make it 15-7.
But the daylight between the two teams was short-lived when Ardee’s number 13 sliced through the North Meath defence for a superb solo score which was duly converted, bringing the gap down to a single point.
A tense finale saw both sides go close but some committed defensive work meant that neither was able to add to their tally and North Meath held on for an invaluable win. Strong carries from North Meath’s back row of Andrew Dowds, Kevin Dowds and Colm McDonagh, along with the defence of centres Chris McCartan and Eanna Finn and the steadying hand of scrum-half Conor Grey all proved influential.
The result now leaves North Meath on top by two points with just two games to play and second-placed Roscrea up next on 17th February at The Grange. Should North Meath win that game, the league title would be within their grasp but if North Meath followers have learned anything from this season, it is that nothing can be taken for granted.
North Meath - C Brogan, A Sheridan, C McCartan, E Finn, A Monaghan, J Carry, C Grey; C Donegan, C Galligan, T Chamberlayne-Daye, D Cannon, M Brogan, K Dowds, C McDonagh, A Dowds. Subs - M Giles, A Colgan, E Szymanski, M McNamee, J Yore, G McKay.