/ GAA

Meath 2-09 Tyrone 0-17

Updated: Saturday, 27 Jul 2013 23:17 | Comments

Meath's Joe Sheridan gets to grips with Tyrone's Conor Gormley
Meath's Joe Sheridan gets to grips with Tyrone's Conor Gormley

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Tyrone held on to win an absorbing All-Ireland football round four qualifier tie at Croke Park, scoring a first ever Championship win over Meath by 0-17 to 2-9, with Sean Cavanagh playing a starring role.

Eamonn Wallace rifled in an early Meath goal, but five Sean Cavanagh points, and three from Darren McCurry, helped the Red Hands to a 0-11 to 1-4 interval lead.

Michael Newman netted a Meath penalty, and Wallace put them back in front, but Cavanagh brought his tally to eight points to see the Red Hands through to the quarter-finals.

Meath stunned the Red Hands with a sixth minute goal. Mickey Newman slipped the ball inside to the flying Wallace, who darted away from marker Ryan McKenna to plant the ball in the bottom corner of the net.

The Ulster men responded with scores from Darren McCurry and Mattie Donnelly, but the Royals still held on to a narrow lead by the end of the opening quarter, after Mickey Newman had slotted a couple of frees.

But Tyrone began to move with purpose, and when Sean Cavanagh converted his third free, they led for the first time.

Cavanagh was in the mood, and two wonderful scores complemented the trademark side-step as the Red Hands slipped into a 0-08 to 1-02 led by the 28th minute.

Goalkeeper Pascal McConnell had to be alert to punch the ball away from Stephen Bray as he went to connect with a Joe Sheridan cross, with Neman converting the resultant ’45.

Bray landed a superb score, but Tyrone finished the first half strongly, with points from Mattie Donnelly and McCurry, from a ’45, to lead by 0-11 to 1-04 at the break.

Newman smashed home a 40th-minute penalty, awarded for Conor Gormley’s foul on Seamus Kenny, and Meath were right back in it.

Wallace brought them level five minutes later, and his second point regained the lead for the Leinster men for the first time since the 22nd minute.

Tyrone needed inspiration from somewhere, and not surprisingly, it came from that man Cavanagh, who rallied the troops, and set up a point for substitute Aidan Cassidy.

Cavanagh and McCurry added points as the Red Hand went back in front by three, but they had to deal with another Meath flourish, Wallace and Newman both on target.

Newman also saw an effort come back off post, and Wallace should have done better with a couple of scoring chances, while Stephen Bray was also wide with a decent opportunity.

Cavanagh landed his eighth score to make it an eight-point game, and Newman was forced to go for goal direct from a free in the closing stages, but Pascal McConnell dealt comfortably with the kick.

Tyrone: P McConnell, R McKenna, C Clarke, C McCarron, C McGinley, P Harte, C Gormley, C Cavanagh, S Cavanagh (0-8, 6f), Mattie Donnelly (0-2), Mark Donnelly, Joe McMahon, D McCurry (0-5, 3f, 1 ’45, S O’Neill (0-1), M Penrose.

Subs: A Cassidy (0-1) for Mark Donnelly, D Carlin for McKenna, K Coney for Penrose, P McNeice for C Cavanagh

Meath: P O'Rourke, D Keoghan, K Reilly, B Menton, P Harnan, M Burke, S Kenny, B Meade, C Gillespie, E Wallace (1-3), D Carroll, G Reilly, S Bray (0-1), J Sheridan, M Newman (1-5, 1-0 pen, 4f, 1’45).

Subs: B Farrell for Sheridan, P Byrne for Carroll, A Tormey for Meade, C Lenihan for Kenny

Referee: M Deegan (Laois).

Highlights and analysis of all the weekend’s action on The Sunday Game from 21:30 on Sunday 28 July on RTÉ Two and RTÉ.ie (Ireland only). Expert and fan reaction on Take Your Point from 18:00 on RTÉ Radio 1 and RTÉ.ie (Worldwide).

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