Seamus McEnamy’s Meath side got off to a winning start to their 2012 campaign with 1-13 1-10 victory over Wexford in the O Byrne Cup.
Playing with a strong breeze, Meath got off to a flyer and scored seven unanswered points in the first quarter of an hour with Tom Walsh and Graham Reilly doing most of the damage.
The duo combined for 1-8 of Meath’s scores with Reilly accurate from dead ball situations and Walsh taking advantage of the Wexford backs offering too much space in the first half.
P J Banville’s goal after 20 minutes gave Wexford a spark but the Royals were still able to cruise to a five point half time lead at the half 0-11 1-3.
Jason Ryan’s side fought back hard in the second half but ultimately left themselves too much to do. Eric Bradley and Kevin O Grady got them within three points just after the half but it was Walsh who sealed it for Meath with a well taken goal thirteen minutes after the restart.
Wexford continued to fight back but any scores they mustered were matched by Reilly and although they conceded a late run of points Meath were fairly comfortable in the end and will now go on to face Louth in the next round.
MEATH: D Gallagher; G O’Brien, B Menton, M Burke (0-1); C McGuinness, S McAnarney, C Lenehan; M Ward, C Gillespie (0-1); B Meade, G Reilly (0-5, 0-4 frees), D Tobin; P Gilsenan (0-2), T Walsh (1-3, 0-1 45), A Forde (0-1). Subs: C O’Connor for Lenehan (28 mins), D Smyth for Forde (46 mins), B Hanlon for Meade (59 mins), J Carry Lynch for Gillespie (68 mins), C O’Dwyer for Reilly (69 mins).
WEXFORD: T Hughes; N Murphy, F Lancaster, S Culleton; L Chin (0-1), G Molloy, B Malone; D Watters, A Shore; E Bradley (0-1), B Brosnan (0-3, 0-1 free), PJ Banville (1-0); P Byrne, K O’Grady (0-1, free), K Rowe. Subs: P Kelly (0-1) for O’Grady, A Flynn (0-2) for Chin (both 50 mins), R Quinlivan (0-1) for Shore (55 mins), S Banville for Rowe (52 mins), A Doyle for Bradley (68 mins).
Referee: P Kneel (Louth).