Meath 0-6 Cork 0-3
DISAPPOINTMENT for Cork as visitors Meath carved out a hard-earned victory in a low-scoring Littlewoods Division 2 National League clash in Castle Road on Saturday.
Appalling conditions made it hard on players and mentors alike, with driving wind and rain.
Cork, playing against the elements in the opening half, would have been reasonably happy at the interval to trail by three points. They did exceptionally well over the 30 minutes as they worked hard to contain Meath.
It was their inability to make any headway upfront in the second half that will be a cause of concern to Mark McMcCarthy and his backroom team as they failed to gain any ground and, in fact, all their scores came from placed balls over the hour.
Through the opening half Cork created as many chances as Meath and with their defence superbly closing down the Meath attack it looked as if they were in with a great chance. All credit to Meath who dug deep and carved out a valuable win that puts them in top spot with two wins out of two.
Insides three minutes of the start Jane Dolan had Meath in front opening the scoring with a point from play and she converted a 45 to put them two in front. Twice Cork had what looked like points not allowed as the umpires disagreed and ref Mike Ryan deemed both a free and a 45 wide.
Fifteen minutes in Hayley Ryan converted a free and with their defence soaking up and dealing well with a lot of Meath pressure Cork looked comfortable. Jane Dolan pointed two frees in a row to edge Meath into a 0-4 to 0-1 interval lead.
Applying a lot of early second-half pressure Cork found it hard to break down a Meath defence that was dominant and despite playing with the howling wind it was 13 minutes into the second half before Cork pointed from a free.
Hayley Ryan again pointed a free to cut the lead to just a point but an Amy Gaffney point and one form a Jane Dolan free four minutes into injury time ensured Meath took the points.
All credit to the Cork defence and midfield who battled hard all through but time out of number the Cork attack failed to build on possession and failing to score from play will be a huge concern going forward.
Scorers for Meath: J Dolan 0-5 (0-3 f, 0-1 45) A Gaffney 0-1.
Cork: H Ryan 0-3 f.
MEATH: M Randal; L Donoghue, C Coffee, M Clinch; C O’Brien, A Maguire, A Keogh; A Slattery, K Troy; J Dolan, A Minogue, S Hackett; M Thynne, A Gaffney, S Payne.
Subs: C Foley for S Payne(46), M Keogh for A Keogh (46), A Thompson for S Hackett (54).
CORK: S Aherne; G Hannon, N O’Leary, A Crowley; A Maloney, C Daly, L Cunningham; L Dorgan, R Harty; M Murphy, K Wall, Moira Barrett; H Ryan, K O’Keeffe, K Dooley.
Subs: R O’Regan for K Wall (h-t), Mollie Barrett for K Dooley (41), N O’Riordain for K O'Keeffe (41), D Carroll for M Murphy (46), K Walsh for Moira Barrett (54).
Referee: Mike Ryan (Tipperary).