Meath 0-16 Carlow 1-9
A good start may be half the battle but back when Colm O’Rourke was in his playing pomp Meath teams thrived on a strong finish and in the Skryne mans first game in charge at Network Cullen Park last night they did so again.
The games stand out player was on the losing side, Darragh Foley scoring all bar a point of Carlows tally, the goal a close range flicked finish past debutant ‘keeper Sean Brennan.
The shot stopper, one of seven players making their bow, turned in a decent performance, his restarts were excellent if somewhat ponderous, he made a decent save near the end to deny Foley an equalising goal, but displayed a worrying tendency to spill high balls.
At the other end of the field two more first timers stood out for different reasons.
Trims Aaron Lynch appeared a little too keen to impress and snatched at a number of decent chances notching wides that will when he relaxes more become scores, as the saying goes he got into position to miss them.
Curraha man Diramuid Moriarity on the other hand played himself into the game with a steady enough opening period being improved on in the second half when he kicked four fine scores.
The Royals trailed by 1-5 to 0-3 at the break and it was only after the introduction of some experienced heads such as Cillian O’ Sullivan, Robin Clarke and Donal Lenihan that they assumed control, with another sub Keith Curtis putting his hand up for inclusion from he start next time out.
It was noticeable that Meath mixed the kick and hand passing much more than has been the case in recent seasons and the long direct ball that suited O’Rourke the player seems to suit him as manager too.
A curates egg of a performance then but as Shakespeare nearly said, ‘A wins a win for all that’
Meath; D Moriarty 0-4, M Costello 0-3, 0-1 free, J Scully, D McGowan, K Curtis (0-1 mark). C O’Sullivan 0-2 each, D Lenihan 0-1 free).
D Foley 1-8, 0-5f, 0-1 mark, C Crowley 0-1.
S Brennan; J O’Hare, B O’Higgins, S Refferty; E Harkin, D Keogan, C Hickey; D McGovern, B Conlon; C Moriarty, D Campion, J Scully; M Costello, D Moriarty, A Lynch. Subs: C O’Sullivan for C Moriarty (h/t); R Clarke for Hickey (h/t); D Lenihan for Lynch (47); K Curtis for Scully (60); M Flood for Rafferty (62); S McEntee for Keoghan (65); C Quigley for Harkin (65); H Hogan for O’Sullivan (70 + 5).
C Cunningham; D Curran, M Bambrick, J Dunne; S Clarke, J Morrissey, C Doyle; L Brennan, F Kavanagh; S Clarke, C Moran, E Molloy; C Crowley, D Foley, C Hulton. Subs: J Moore for S Bambrick (48); S Buggy for Morrissey (51) J Clarke for Molloy (55); P Deering for Hulton (55); P Hynes for S Clarke (58); L Connolly for Doyle (70 + 5).
D Byrne (Wicklow)