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Minor footballers perform miracle comeback to defy Meath

Minor footballers perform miracle comeback to defy Meath

Sun, 23rd April 2017

DUBLIN 1-15 MEATH 1-13 (After extra-time)

Dublin’s minor footballers staged the most remarkable of comebacks in Saturday’s Electric Ireland Leinster MFC first round at Parnell Park.

The young Dubs trailed by ten points (1-10 to 0-3) at half-time after a nightmare opening half yet heroically turned the game around in the second period to force the contest into extra-time.

In extra-time Ciarán Archer kicked three points as Dublin progressed to the provincial quarter-final.

The Royals dominated the opening half with early points from Paddy Conway, Seán Martin, Jordan Morris and Shane Walsh preceding an excellent goal by Conor Freyne in the 17th minute.

Dublin were struggling in many sectors of the field yet had created a lot of chances but were struggling to find their range and accuracy.

Dublin could have had a goal in the fifth minute but Ross McGarry’s shot rebounded off the butt of the upright.

The comeback started early in the second half with Archer clipping two early points to give his side encouragement.

But all over the park Dublin were playing with greater determination and drive while Meath soon elected to move full-forward Walsh to midfield – a move which played into Dublin’s hand as full-back Peadar Ó Cofaigh Byrne followed his man out there and proceeded to have a positive influence for the Dubs alongside Donal Ryan and Mark Tracey.

James Doran, at centre-forward, continued to drive his side on with endless energy while at the back Dublin’s defence were superb as they kept Meath scoreless for the opening 24 minutes of the second half.

In a pulsating finish to normal time Doran's 56th minute goal, a stunning finish, and a late Mark Tracey point left the counties deadlocked at 1-11 each at full-time.

In extra-time both teams understandably tired but Ross McGarry and Archer got the important scores to see Tom Gray’s side into the next round.

SCORERS – Dublin: J Doran 1-5, C Archer 0-6 (0-1f), R McGarry 0-2 (0-1f), D Ryan, M Tracey 0-1 each. Meath: S Walsh 0-6 (0-3f), C Freyne 1-1, J Morris 0-3, A Murphy, S Martin, P Conway 0-1 each.

DUBLIN: D O’Hanlon; L Flatman, P Ó Cofaigh Byrne, A Lynch; K Kennedy, N Matthews, E O’Dea; D Ryan, M Tracey; N O’Leary, J Doran, D Brennan; R McGarry, S Hawkshaw, C Archer. Subs: K Lynch Bissett for Brennan (ht), D Lacey for Hawkshaw (ht), A Byrne for O’Leary (41), D Conlon for Tracey (67), G Nangle for Kennedy (73).

MEATH: A Beakey; S Ryan, D Devine, R Clarke; J Hetherington, J Keane, A Murphy; C Swaine, L Byrne; C Ahearne, S Martin, P Conway; J Morris, S Walsh, C Freyne. Subs: R Smyth for Conway (41), S Ó Fionnagáin for Morris (50), C Ward for Hetherington (53), L Shaw for Ahearne (57), N Mulvey for Clarke (60, BC), J Donnelly for Keane (61), D Comiskey for Swaine (71), Morris for Donnelly (75), Conway for Murphy 76, BC).

REF: P Maguire (Longford).

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