Paul Keane reports from Pairc Tailteann, Navan
EXPERIENCED MEATH FORWARD Mickey Newman gave a timely reminder of his talents with seven important points to help the hosts claim the Division Two spoils in Navan.
The Kilmainham attacker, who sat out 2018 to recover from injuries after being sidelined for much of 2017, was the top scorer of a dour encounter.
Cillian O’Sullivan had a strong impact also for the Royals, coming on at half-time and setting up three points before winning a free late on and converting it himself.
Former captain Graham Reilly was also introduced and scored as Meath finally broke free from determined Tipp to outscore Liam Kearns’ side 0-5 to 0-1 in the last 15 minutes or so.
Meath had led by four points in the first-half and again in the third quarter but on both occasions were pegged back.
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Tipp, crucially, were unable to take the lead at any point and those late Meath scores from Reilly, James McEntee, Newman and O’Sullivan secured two important points.
Tipp finished with 13 men following the 66th minute dismissal of ex-underage star Steven O’Brien while sub Josh Keane was black carded and sin binned in injury-time.
The result sets Meath up nicely for next weekend’s trip to Donegal, arguably their most difficult game in the campaign.
They strode 0-5 to 0-1 clear initially here but a 32nd minute Tipp goal from Conor Sweeney amounted to a lifeline for the the 2016 All-Ireland semi-finalists.
It came from a penalty after Sweeney’s initial free came back off the post and was gathered up by Dan O’Meara who was fouled.
Meath led 0-7 to 1-2 at the break and stretched the gap to four points by the 47th minute.
But they couldn’t push on and a Tipp side without Michael Quinlivan, Robbie Kiely and Bill Maher did well to level it up with four points in a row.
Three of those four points were Sweeney frees and they only managed three points from play in the entire game as Meath came good with that late surge of scoring to win it.
Scorers for Meath: Mickey Newman 0-7 (0-6f), Thomas O’Reilly 0-2, Graham Reilly 0-1, Cillian O’Sullivan 0-1 (0-1f), Shane McEntee 0-1, Ben Brennan 0-1, Bryan Menton 0-1, Jams McEntee 0-1.
Scorers for Tipperary: Conor Sweeney 1-3 (1-0 pen, 0-3f), Liam McGrath 0-3 (0-2f), Liam Boland 0-1, Brian Fox 0-1.
1. Andrew Colgan
4. Ronan Ryan
2. Seamus Lavin
3. Conor McGill
5. James McEntee
6. Donal Keogan
7. Niall Kane
8. Bryan Menton
19. James McEntee
10. Ethan Devine
11. Ben Brennan
12. Mickey Burke
13. Darragh Campion
14. Michael Newman
15. Thomas O’Reilly
SUBS: 17. Cillian O’Sullivan for Burke (h/t), 22. Sean Tobin for Devine (48), 20. Graham Reilly for Campion (55), 25. Bryan McMahon for Brennan (58), 21. Eoin Lynch for O’Reilly (74).
1. Evan Comerford
2. Alan Campbell
3. John Meagher
4. Emmett Moloney
12. Brian Fox
20. Daire Brennan
7. Jimmy Feehan
8. Steven O’Brien
9. Liam Casey
5. Kevin Fahey
11. Liam McGrath
10. Liam Boland
19. Dan O’Meara
14. Conor Sweeney
15. Jack Kennedy
SUBS: 13. Philip Austin for O’Meara (46), 17. Josh Keane for Boland (55), 6. Colm O’Shaughnessy for Feehan (64), 18. Kevin O’Halloran for Kennedy (70)
Referee: Niall Cullen (Fermanagh).
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