Plenty of positives but the ten year wait goes on

Meath 0-19

Dublin 1-20

If one wanted to be straightforward about the meeting of the old rivals at Parnell Park tonight, already relegated Meath are still without a point in this year’s National League. And still a decade without a win over the boys in blue.

Donal Keogan is still the beat heart of this Meath team

However, when these two collide it’s generally anything but straightforward. One thing which always used to abide was that when green and blue faced off, the form book could go out the window. That said, since Meath last delivered a knockout blow to the navy corner a decade ago, they have been swatted away like annoying flies akin to the rest of the country.

Well, this time round, the pesky insects may eventually have been squashed into submission by the marauding monster. That, however, doesn’t disclose a fraction of the story. After trailing by 0-01 to 1-04 early on, Andy McEntee’s team displayed commendable anr trademark spirit to haul themselves back into contention (0-10 to 1-10) by half time.

When the inpressive Tomas O’Reilly registered the first score of the second half, it appeared as if the untinkable might be about to happen. In the end, the chasm caused by Dean Rock’s fortuitous early finding of Marcus Brennan’s onion bag couldn’t be eradicated.

That said, I’d be encouraged enough by tonight’s effort – and the contributions of newcomer Eoin Harkin, Shane McEntee, Donal Keogan, Bryan Menton, Ronan Jones, Cillian O’Sullivan and other newcomers Cathal Hickey and Jordan Morris particularly – to feel that they should take the blank look off their NFL record next week.

Not only that, if the newcomers blend in as well as it appears they will, and some other pivotal players return, this most emotionaly tumultuous of season may be an intriguing distraction for a good few weeks yet!

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