By Sean Ryan

MEATH……………………………………………… 0-9
KERRY ……………………………………………….2-18

Kerry are on top of the AlI-lreland SFC Group 4 table with a points
plus of 25 while while Meath are bottom with a minus of 25. That is
an indicator of the gulf that exists between the once close rivals.

The round two clash at Pairc Tailteann resulted in the home side’s
arrears in their last three outings spring up to an embarrassing 41
points,. The game followed a similar trend to the Leinster contest
against Dublin with Meath holding their own for a period before being
cruelly exposed by classier opponents.

In the latest game they were just two points (0-2 to 0-4) behind at
the end of the opening quarter and some erratic finishing prevented
them from being in a better position, Kerry then took control to
lead by 0-10 to 0-3 at the halfway stage with Eoghan Frayne the home
side’s only scorer before the break.

In a game which was not easy on the eyes and contained some of the
ills which is blighting Gaelic football, Kerry were not at their
best and yet strolled to a 15 points win. They were also wasteful in
scoring attempts in the first half. Corner-back Tom O’Sullivan, who
later got the Man of the Match award, put over two points and Briain O
Beaglaoich, Sean O Se and Tony Brosnan also made their mark.

Meath, who introduced Jordan Morris on the resumption, needed a bright
start to the second half and points from Sean Coffey and Matthew
Costello reduced the arrears to five, But it didn’t get any better for
the home side.

Fourteen minutes into the second period David Clifford popped up for
Kerry’s first goal -their first of this year’s championship. Although
not in the picture as much as usual, Clifford still scored. That was
nearly as much as Meath’s total.

The Royals put more emphasis on defence on this occasion but that ploy
only worked out for a while.  For the second successive weekend, their
scoring total was a miserable 0-9. Such a score was a winning one in
the 1986 Leinster final when Colm O’Rourke was one of the stars. But
the present day manager must be wondering how Meath have slipped so
far off the pacemakers in the intervening years.

Substitute Jack O’Connor, Frayne (free),Ciaran Caulfield and Costello
completed the losers’ total. More will be needed against Monaghan on
the weekend after next.

Finally, a gripe. The colours of the teams’ jerseys were very similar,
Kerry in dark blue and Meath in dark green. This is happening too much in
the GAA.

Meath: Billy Hogan; Ronan Ryan, Adam O’Neill, Donal Keogan; Ciaran Caulfield (0-01),

Brian O’Halloran, Sean Coffey (0-01); Cathal Hickey, Conor Gray; Michael Murphy,

Darragh Campion, Sean Ryan; Cillian O’Sullivan, Mathew Costello (0-02, 0-01f)

, Eoghan Frayne (0-04, 0-02f).

Subs: Ronan Jones for Gray h/t, Jordan Morris for Murphy h/t, Jack O’Connor (0-01)

for O’Sullivan 47, Cian McBride for Coffey 54, Ross Ryan for Campion 58.

Kerry: Shane Ryan; Tom O’Sullivan (0-02), Jason Foley, Dylan Casey; Brian O Beaglaoich (0-03),

Mike Breen, Gavin White; Diarmuid O’Connor (0-01), Joe O’Connor (0-01); Tony Brosnan (0-02),

Paudie Clifford (0-01), Cillian Burke; David Clifford (2-02, 0-01f), Sean O’Shea (0-03, 0-01 45, 0-01m),

Paul Geaney (0-01).

Subs: Dara Moynihan (0-01) for Burke 49, Killian Spillane (0-01, 0-01m) for Geaney 55,

Dylan Geaney for Brosnan 55, Adrian Spillane for Diarmuid O’Connor 61, Sean O’Brien for Breen 61.

 

Referee: Liam Devenney (Mayo).

Meath are guaranteed one more bit of the cherry in two weeks time when the

play Monaghan, a win would send them into the to the qualifiers given the current

state of play.

Louth and Monaghan went to a draw 2-10 each at the weekend.