Meath Clynch draw in thriller
Meath 1-20 Armagh 2-17
Armagh were on the verge of a causing a massive shock in the NHL Division 3A at Pairc Tailteann yesterday, but their brave front-running bid was foiled by a late Stephen Clynch point which forced them to share the spoils with hot-favourites Meath.
Clynch sent the last puck of the game sailing between the upright from a dubiously awarded free to force a dead-heat and it was the Royals who were happier when the final whistle blew.
On what was a bitterly cold afternoon, the umpires had no problems keeping warm in the opening period as they were continuously reaching for their flags. There were 23 scores before the change of ends as Armagh led 2-10 to 1-10 and they fully deserved to take that lead into the interval.
Kiernan McKernan netted their first goal after 16 minutes, but that was cancelled out by Meath’s Peter Durnin who fired to the roof of the net nine minutes later to level the scores at 1-7 apiece.
It was the visitors who edged in front at the break thanks to a fine goal from Ger Enright.
The second-half wasn’t as exciting as the first, but the closeness of the scoreline kept the small crowd entertained.
Points from John Corvan and Enright looked like sending Armagh home with two points safely tucked away, but Meath kept plugging away with Neil Hackett on form from placed balls and their blushes were spared by that last-gasp Clynch effort.
Meath: Quinn, Coughlan, Fitzgerald, Foley, Horan, Fagan, Lynch, Clynch, Boyle, Durnin, Hackett, Garvey, J Keena, Horan, Mullally. Subs: K Keena (for Garvey 21), Donoghue (for Lynch 62), Nestor (for Hackett 66), Muldoon (for Nestor 69).
Armagh: Burke, Mallon, McArdle, McMullan, Curry, McCormack, Breen, McCann, Carvill, Enright, Corvan, Gaffney, McKernan, P Breen, Bradley. Subs: McCann (for Gaffney 37), Lennon (for Breen 48).
Referee: Ciaran Groome (Offaly).