Meath do it the hard way to make a winning return
After a 13-year absence Meath made a winning return to the Leinster SHC as they upset the odds in this qualifier group round one game at Páirc Tailteann.
The Royals had to do it the hard way though, conceding a goal after just 14 seconds and then they were forced to fight a rearguard battle in the closing stages to preserve their lead.
Shane Nolan hit that early goal for the Kingdom who operated two divisions above their opponents in t his year’s league. Despite losing captain Damien Healy to injury after 13 minutes Meath fought back and deservedly led 1-10 to 1-7 at the break.
Their goal came from a Sean Quigley sideline cut which de- ceived Kerry keeper Aidan McCabe on 11 minutes.
With Stephen Clynch in fine form, the hosts strengthened their grip on proceedings in the third quarter. They were boosted by a goal from substitute Kevin Keena and they went nine points clear.
Kerry staged a rally and with Shane Nolan and substitutes Michael O’Leary and Jack Goulding making a difference they gradually trimmed the deficit.
Just a goal separated the sides after Mikey Boyle found the net in added time and Meath keeper Shane McGann had to come to his side’s rescue on two occasions in the last 90 seconds as Kerry went in search of an equalising goal. But Meath’ s Cathal McCabe netted goaled in the last action of the match. SMcGann; SWhitty, DHealy, CReilly; SBrennan, JKeena; JKelly; SGeraghty for Healy (13 mins), for Quigley (55 mins), for McGowan(63 for JKelly (45mins), mins), PKelly for Gannon (68mins). AMcCabe; RHorgan, TMurnane, SWeir; JBuckley, O’Connor; PKelly, KCarmody; for Kelly (35mins), for Casey (h-t), Carmody(47 mins), BO’Leary for Lucid (55 mins), CHarty for Conway (67mins). SCleere (Kilkenny). DDineen; TCasey, P for
Sean Quigley: scored a goal direct from a sideline cut after 11 minutes