Offaly U20 footballers fall just short against Meath
Offaly's U20 footballers suffered a cruel defeat last night after some wayward first-half shooting was punished with an early goal in the Leinster U20 Football quarter-final at Pairc Tailteann in Navan on Tuesday, July 2.
Meath raced into a four-point lead within the first two minutes of this game thanks to a John Keane point and a goal from Cian McBride.
One of Offaly's most influential forwards to date, Cian Farrell, began the fightback with two good points before Meath restored a three-point advantage through the boot of Luke Mitchell.
Cian Johnson put a further dent in the deficit before Jordan Morris and Daithi McGowan put four between the teams in the 25th minute, 1-4 to 0-3. Meath stretched that to five points before Offaly reacted.
They finally hit a scoring groove late in the half and points from Jack Bryant, Jack O'Brien, Shane O'Toole Greene and Cian Farrell brought the gap to the minimum before the break, 1-5 to 0-7.
Cian Farrell briefly levelled matters early in the second half before Luke Mitchell and Matthew Costello gave Meath a cushion once more.
Meath were in the groove again at this point and two more white flags from their forwards put them into a 1-9 to 0-8 lead with 42 minutes played.
Cian Farrell scored two more points to bring the gap back to two but Meath continued to stick their neck in front when it mattered.
Daithi McGowan and Connell Ahearne put them four in front again and late scores from Nathan Poland and Cian Farrell were not enough to catch the home team.
Offaly will be disappointed having gone into the game as favourites but can have no complaints having failed to take the lead on a single occasion throughout the game.
Meath advance to the Leinster semi-final stage.