Meath are rocked by a Bradley masterclass
Meath 0-10 Derry 0-13
Paddy Bradley was once again the star attraction as Derry moved out of the relegation zone with an easier than expected NFL Division Two victory over Meath at Pairc Tailteann.
With just a win over Monaghan to their name, Derry travelled south as underdogs, but were vastly superior to their hosts as Bradley led the charge with four points and a dominant display that ensured the Oak Leafers triumphed.
Meath rarely looked capable of rising above mediocrity as Derry’s three-point burst between the 42nd and 48th minutes was enough to ensure they claimed the spoils.
The visitors started brightly with Bradley giving an early glimpse of his obvious class with a point inside 30 seconds.
Two minutes later the Glenullin man doubled his and Derry’s tally.
Graham Reilly galloped forward from his wing-back position to open Meath’s account and Stephen Bray made it 0-2 each after just five minutes.
Bray converted a free to give Meath the lead for the first time, but Derry struck back with Bradley and Enda Lynn closing the opening quarter with points to edge their side 0-4 to 0-3 ahead.
When Cian Ward converted a free, the Royals moved ahead for the second time but Bradley levelled it up from a free.
Derry finished the half on the front foot and points from Brian McCallion and Blaine Gormley gave them a 0-7 to 0-6 interval lead.
After the break Derry’s purple patch yielded points for Conleth Gilligan (two frees) and Gormley as they moved 0-10 to 0-7 clear and marched on to victory.
Derry: B Gillis; B McCallion (0-1), C McKaigue, A McAlynn; M Craig, C Kielt (0-1), SL McGoldrick; M Friel, PJ McCloskey; Patsy Bradley (0-1), C Gilligan (0-2 frees), B Gormley (0-2 ‘45s’); C O’Boyle, Paddy Bradley (0-4 two frees), E Lynn (0-2). Subs: E Scullion for McCallion 60 mins, N Forester for Gilligan 65, E Browne for Friel 70.
Meath: D Gallagher; M Burke, K Reilly, C O’Connor; G Reilly (0-1), B Menton, C King; T Walsh, M Ward; S Kenny, S Bray (0-5 three frees), D Tobin; P Gilsenan, C Ward (0-2 frees), S McAnarney. Subs: G O’Brien for O’Connor 18, A Forde for King 50, C Gillespie for Gilsenan 60, B Farrell (0-1 free) for C Ward 67.
Referee: Padraig Hughes (Armagh).