All-Ireland SFC qualifier: Derry 1-14 1-11 Meath

Derry's Conor McAtamney is challenged by Harry Rooney of Meath
Derry's Conor McAtamney is challenged by Harry Rooney of Meath

Derry completed a rousing comeback to beat Meath at Owenbeg and move into the last 16 of the All-Ireland series.

They Oak Leafers trailed by seven points at the break, but, inspired by Mark Lynch, performed like men possessed in the second half.

They sealed the win with a late goal from substitute Niall Loughlin, giving them the lead for the first time in the 68th minute.

After the match Meath boss Mick O'Dowd announced he was standing down.

O'Dowd had been in charge for four years, succeeding Séamus McEnaney in 2012.

Wind-assisted Meath made a strong start, opening up a six points lead inside the opening six minutes.

It wasn't until the 16th minute that Eoghan Brown sent Mark Lynch in for Derry's opening score.

The Leinster men got the goal they had been threatening in the 26th minute. Graham Reilly charged through the middle to set up Donnacha Tobin for a shot, which was finished at the far post by Mickey Newman.

Derry are into round 3A of the All-Ireland Championship qualifiers
Derry are into round 3A of the All-Ireland Championship qualifiers

Meath were coasting at the break, ahead by 1-8 to 0-4, but Derry's strong start to the second half saw them hit a series of scores through Lynch, Christopher Bradley, Eoghan Brown and James Kielt.

And when Kielt thumped over a long range free in the 44th minute, just a point separated the sides.

Lynch's influence was restricted thereafter by a shoulder injury, but he still contributed a point from a free, after Mickey Bourke and Newman had hit back with Meath points.

The Leinster men were still clinging on to a slender lead until the 68th minute, when substitute Loughlin struck for a goal.

He collected from Kielt to turn his marker and slot the ball low to the net past Paddy O'Rourke.

What they said

Derry manager Damian Barton: "In the first half we looked a yard short, mentally and physically we were way behind Mayo and you don't expect that. I was shocked.

"We changed our system a bit and pushed up and the four points at the start of the second half gave us a bit of impetus.

"We wouldn't have won but for the goal. Niall was sublime in its execution."


Derry: T Mallon, G McKinless, C McKaigue (0-01), K McKaigue, C McFaul, B Rogers, C Mullan, C McAtamney, N Holly, D Heavron, C Bradley (0-1), E Brown (0-1), J Kielt (0-4, 3f), E McGuckin, M Lynch (0-6, 2f).

Subs: N Toner for McGuckin (27), N Loughlin (1-0) for Brown (47), E Bradley for Holly (47), E Lynn (0-1) for C Bradley (51), N Forrester for Rogers (BC 59), L McGoldrick for Mullan (63).

Meath: P O'Rourke, D Tobin, D Keogan, M Burke (0-01), D Smyth, P Harnan (0-1), A Douglas, H Rooney, C O'Brien, G Reilly (0-2), C O'Sullivan (0-2, 2f), B McMahon, D Lenihan, S Lavin, M Newman (1-4, 0-3f).

Subs: E Wallace for McMahon (41), D McDonagh for Newman (49), A Tormey (0-1, f) for Lenihan (55) S Tobin for Keogan (59)

Referee: P Neilan (Roscommon).

All-Ireland qualifiers results

Round 2A

Derry 1-14 1-11 Meath

Cavan 2-13 0-12 Carlow

Round 2B

Limerick 0-10 2-12 Cork

Mayo 2-14 1-12 Fermanagh

Kildare 1-22 2-14 Offaly

Monaghan 1-13 2-13 Longford