DONAL LENIHAN KICKED a 75th-minute equaliser as a topsy-turvy Division 2 game finished level at Páirc Uí Rinn on Sunday afternoon.
Having trailed by nine points early in the second half, the Royals were still eight adrift after Paul Kerrigan’s point for Cork on 48 minutes, but an unanswered 1-6 from there by the visitors had them in front.
Coming off the back of a defeat to Clare a fortnight ago, Cork were reeling but came back to lead through Colm O’Neill and then Barry O’Driscoll. Chances for the Rebels to push further ahead were not taken though and when Graham Reilly was fouled close to the Cork goal, Lenihan ensured a share of the spoils with his fifth point.
With the wind behind them in the first half, Cork looked far superior. While they fell behind to Bryan McMahon’s point in the second minute, Peadar Healy’s side scored the next seven, with O’Neill and Collins impressing, though it took a good Ken O’Halloran save to deny Cillian O’Sullivan.
On 22 minutes, O’Neill might have opened up an eight-point lead but he dragged his low goal chance wide. Lenihan, Reilly and Alan Forde pointed as Meath reduced the gap, but once more Cork should have raised a green flag on 29, Peter Kelleher wide from close range this time.
By half-time, the home side were still comfortable as they led by 0-12 to 0-5 and two O’Neill frees extended that on the resumption after O’Halloran had again been called upon, denying Lenihan.
Meath kept plugging away though and points from Eamonn Wallace, Forde and Lenihan brought them to within five before corner-back Donal Keogan got on the end of Wallace’s pass to slot past O’Halloran.
They were level after points from Reilly and Lenihan and then sub Seán Tobin put them ahead with a huge effort. They couldn’t hold on for the win, but they did manage to take a point.
Scorers for Cork: Colm O’Neill 0-9 (0-6 frees), Mark Collins 0-3 (0-2 frees), Paul Kerrigan, 0-2, James Loughrey, Ruairí Deane, Peter Kelleher, Barry O’Driscoll 0-1 each.
Scorers for Meath: Donal Lenihan 0-5 (frees), Graham Reilly 0-3, Donal Keogan 1-0, Alan Forde, Bryan McMahon 0-2 each, Cillian O’Sullivan, Eamonn Wallace, Seán Tobin 0-1 each.
1. Ken O’Halloran (Bishopstown)
4. Kevin Crowley (Millstreet)
3. Tom Clancy (Clonakilty)
2. Michael Shields (St Finbarr’s)
5. Tomás Clancy (Fermoy)
6. James Loughrey (Mallow)
7. Stephen Cronin (Nemo Rangers)
8. Aidan Walsh (Kanturk)
9. Ruairí Deane (Bantry Blues)
10. Ian Maguire (St Finbarr’s)
11. Mark Collins (Castlehaven)
12. Kevin O’Driscoll (Tadhg Mac Cárthaigh)
13. Colm O’Neill (Ballyclough)
14. Peter Kelleher (Kilmichael)
15. Paul Kerrigan (Nemo Rangers)
22. John O’Rourke (Carbery Rangers) for Walsh (9, injured)
18. Colm O’Driscoll (Tadhg Mac Cárthaigh) for Maguire (20, black card)
19. Conor Dorman (Bishopstown) for Tomás Clancy (58)
17. Barry O’Driscoll (Nemo Rangers) for Kevin O’Driscoll (61)
23. Kevin Davis (O’Donovan Rossa) for Kerrigan (64)
26. Niall Coakley (St Jude’s, Dublin) for Kelleher (70)
1. Paddy O’Rourke (Skryne)
4. Donnacha Tobin (Blackhall Gaels)
3. Conor McGill (Ratoath)
2. Donal Keogan (Rathkenny)
5. Willie Carry (Drumbaragh)
6. Brian Power (Ratoath)
7. Pauric Harnan (Moynalvey)
8. Bryan Menton (Donaghmore-Ashbourne)
9. James Toher (Trim)
12. Ruairí Ó Coileánin (Navan O’Mahonys)
11. Cillian O’Sullivan (Moynalvey)
10. Alan Forde (Navan O’Mahonys)
13. Bryan McMahon (Ratoath)
14. Graham Reilly (St Colmcille’s)
15. Donal Lenihan (St Peter’s Dunboyne)
19. Eamonn Wallace for Ó Coileáin (23)
25. James McEntee (Curraha) for Power (half-time)
17. Séamus Lavin (St Peter’s Dunboyne) for Carry (53)
20. Seán Tobin (Simonstown Gaels) for O’Sullivan (53)
26. Shane McEntee (St Peter’s, Dunboyne) for Forde (63)
24. Joey Wallace (Ratoath) for McMahon (68)
Referee: Fergal Kelly (Longford)
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