Goals the major difference as new tournament throws in

Lough Crew… 4-12

Bru Na Boinne… 0-12

At the outset here, an admission will be made that yours truly wasn’t in Dunganny this evening due to the inclement weather. Thus, players and scorers mentioned hereafter are courtesy of Fergal Lynch.

The first thing to note was that the novelty of the new Regional Championships has obviously gone down well with the Meath GAA public. Proven by the seemingly large crowd who braved the wind and rain at the perennially bleak and desolate venue.

Oldcastle’s Colin Hawdon

Despite the poor climatic conditions, there were plenty of scores, with the old adage about goals winning games ringing true. Jason Scully, Robbie Farrelly, Harry Ryan and Kevin Gilsenan netted for those represent St Brigid’s, Ballinlough, Moylagh and Oldcastle.

Those being looked after by Davy Nelson, Vinny Ryan, Gerry Gibney, Paddy Gilsenan and Martin Blake led by 2-05 to 0-06 at the break.

Though unable to be at as many games until recently as was the case in years past, I would still pride myself on being fairly well attuned to the club scene in the county.

Hence, it was no surprise to observe that players like Colin Hawdon (pictured), Jason Scully, Sean Reilly, Harry Ryan and Pearse Sheridan – all of whom have represented the county with aplomb at various levels – make good cases for themselves in the first audition for the 2023 season.

Lough Crew’s dominance was even more impressive given they played most of the game with 14 men after Dylan Garrigan was dismissed in the 14th minute.

However, it must be to the credit of the north county amalgamation that they saw the job out. That said, their opponents from the east side had some fine performers in their ranks too like Evan Connor between the posts, Conor Harford, Sam Victory and Donal and Shane Landy. With the latter duo in particular having been among the most consistent forwards in the county for quite some time.

In several interviews since taking up the role, Meath manager Colm O’Rourke has spoken of the merits of giving players a series of games in which to put their best boot forward.

So even outside of those who shone under the lights on the Trim road tonight, there will be other chances for all concerned to catch the eyes of the incoming mentors.

Here’s hoping plenty of good prospects put their hands up across all the teams over the next few weeks.

SCORERS Lough Crew Jason Scully 1-2; Robbie Farrelly 1-1; Harry Ryan 1-0; Kevin Gilsenan 1-0; Colin Hawdon 0-3 one mark; Sean Reilly 0-3 frees; Oisin McDermott 0-1 ’45’; Joseph Blake 0-1; Pearse Sheridan 0-1.

Bru na Boinne Donal Landy 0-5 two frees; Shane Landy 0-2 one free; Jamie Flaherty 0-2 one mark; Mark Crawley 0-1; Jamie Crosby 0-1; Leo Corry 0-1.

Lough Crew Oisin McDermott (Ballinlough); Dylan Garrigan (Oldcastle), Michael Flood (St Brigid’s), Kevin Gilsenan (St Brigid’s); Ronan Maguire (Oldcastle), Stephen Lawless (Oldcastle), Darren Gibney (Moylagh); Sean Reilly (Moylagh), Sean Geraghty (Ballinlough); Pearse Sheridan (Oldcastle), Jason Scully (Oldcastle), Harry Ryan (Ballinlough); CJ Healy (Oldcastle), Robbie Farrelly (Oldcastle), Colin Hawdon (Oldcastle). Subs – Thomas O’Reilly (Moylagh) for Healy 45 mins, Joe Blake (St Brigid’s) for Farrelly 48m, Oran Mulvaney (Oldcastle) for Geraghty 53m, Oran O’Reilly (Oldcastle) for Ryan 60m, Rory Gibney (Moylagh) for Hawdon 63m. Pakie Kevin (Oldcastle), Conor McHugh (Oldcastle), Shane Gibney (Moylagh), Luke Blake (St Brigid’s), Dylan Briody (St Brigid’s), Tom Shine (Ballinlough), Daire Shine (Ballinlough), Daragh Caffrey (Ballinlough), Cian McPartland (Oldcastle).

Bru na Boinne Evan Connor (St Vincent’s); Mark Crawley (St Vincent’s), David Tallon (St Vincent’s), Graham Tully (St Mary’s); Conor Harford (St Vincent’s), Ryan Hand (St Vincent’s), Cian Ryan (Duleek/Bellewstown); Shane Crosby (Duleek/Bellewstown), Barry Mooney (St Patrick’s),; Jamie Crosby (Duleek/Bellewstown), Jamie Flaherty (Duleek/Bellewstown), Leo Corry (St Vincent’s); Ciaran Flynn (Duleek/Bellewstown), Liam O’Neill (St Mary’s), Donal Landy (St Patrick’s). Subs – Shane Landy (St Patrick’s) for Mooney 29 mins, Sam Victory (St Mary’s) for Flaherty 41m, Gary Tuite (St Vincent’s) for O’Neill 48m, Dylan McCready (St Patrick’s) for J Crosby 58m. Ryan Lynch (Duleek/Bellewstown), Ciaran Sullivan (St Patrick’s), Nigel Hand (St Vincent’s), Barry O’Sullivan (St Vincent’s), Adam Byrne (St Patrick’s), Conor White (St Vincent’s), Robbie Lynch (St Vincent’s), Martin Fox (St Vincent’s), Kevin Cassidy (St Patrick’s), Ben Loughran (St Mary’s), Sean Hackett (St Patrick’s), Johnny McDonnell (Duleek/Bellewstown), Shane Dowling (St Patrick’s).

Referee – Andrew Smith (Dunshaughlin).

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