Now it’ll be a happy Christmas

Meath…… 2-10

Laois……1-07

Meath has a fine and proud tradition of producing some of the finest full backs in the game. Just think of some of the names – Paddy O’Brien, Jack Quinn, Mick Lyons, Darren Fay, Kevin Reilly and Conor McGill. On the evidence of today’s game at Pairc Tailteann, that record seems well placed to be continued if the display of Liam Kelly in today’s game is anything to go by.

Every game is different. Every match gives another player a chance to come to the fore. Today, after in previous rounds the likes of Ciaran Caulfield and Aaron Murphy and Eoghan Frayne and John McDonagh had driven things forward, today, to this viewer at least, the contribution of full back Liam Kelly around which the victory was constructed.

Meath midfielder Sean Emmanuel from the St Patrick’s club.

Ratoath youngster Kelly excelled in the rudiments of full back play, with his high fielding, safe and accurate distribution and surging runs out from the back brought the mind back to the greats of yore. He was well supported by Sean O’Donoghue, Oisin Kelly, Sean Emmanuel, Ruairi Kinsella and Alan Bowden.

On this occasion, though, special mention must be afforded to the Meath substitutes. It is a vital component of any team harbouring genuine and justified ambitions of success to have sufficient strength in depth to withstand the challenges any lengthy campaign throws up. Therefore, today we laud the contributions Mossie Corbett and James Stafford in particular. One of whom scored one of the crucial first half goals, while the other played his part in creating the other three point score for Bowden.

They now face an Offaly team which is obviously fairly useful having defeated defending champions Kildare in Newbridge. Worrying about that can wait for another day though. Now it’s going to be a happy Christmas and we can look forward to the New Year with a bit of excitement.

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