Banana skin. What banana skin?
Meath strolled around the Garden yesterday and took the win as effectively as if they were stealing apples from an orchard when the farmer was on holiday.
This Leinster quarter final was effectively over when Wicklow goalkeeper Mark Jackson, who proved far more effective at free kicking than ball handling, was turned over by Thomas O’Reilly to allow Jordan Morris tap in the first goal of his hat trick, the other two being late penalties, in the ninth minute.
The scoreline can be viewed in two ways.
Firstly it could be taken to suggest that it only served to emphasize the gulf in class between league division 1 where the Royals ran this season and division 4 from where Wicklow won promotion.
On the other hand it could be viewed through a line of thought that looks at what would be said if it was the Dubs had run up such a big total in a game against fourth division opposition.
Then the popular view would be to praise the All Ireland champions for the ruthlessness they displayed and turn up the heat to make them even warmer favourites to retain their crown.
Perhaps the best way to look at it is to adopt a mixture of both, yes there was a gulf in class, but at least Meath didn’t underestimate lower league opposition as Kerry did against Cork, and they were certainly ruthless in the execution of their duties.
Does it make them Dublins toughest obstacle in Leinster?
That’ll be decided next week when the Royals face off in the semi final against Kildare, who it must be noted kicked 0-20 themselves when beating Offaly.
For the moment it is a case of job done and move on
While Morris danced roud defenders his fellow debutant Matthew Costello was also among the goals, with Bryan Menton and subs Joey Wallace and Cathal Hickey raising the other green flags.
Granted two of those goals were defensive errors, Jacksons early gift compounded by him colliding with a defender to allow Joey Wallace a tap in and two were late penalty kicks conceded when Wicklow were out on their feet.
There’s a sense the net won’t be found as easily from here on in.
However as confidence boosters go this was a big one seeing the Royals get their first win in sixteen games.
Overall they came saw and conquered and there’s not much more to be said.
Sterner tests await.
Meath – M Brennan; S Lavin, C McGill, D Toner; D Keogan, Ronan Ryan, M Costello (1-0); B Menton (1-1), R Jones; C O’Sullivan (0-1), B McMahon (0-2), S McEntee (0-1); J Morris (3-4, 0-1f), S Walsh (0-3, 1f), T O’Reilly. Subs: J Wallace (1-0) for T O’Reilly, E Devine for B Menton, J Scully for B McMahon, J Conlon (0-2) for C O’Sullivan, C Hickey (1-0) for D Keogan, E Harkin for D Toner.
Wicklow – M Jackson (0-2f); E Murtagh, J Snell, P O’Keane; D Devereux, N Donnelly, D Hayden; P O’Toole, D Healy (0-1); R Finn, M Kenny, A Maher (0-1); C Byrne, S Furlong (0-2f), E Darcy (0-1). Subs: S Kearon for D Devereux, R O’Brien for J Snell, C Healy for C Byrne.
Referee – C Branagan.(Down)