Meath's Christian Finlay celebrates at Kingspan Breffni.
Meath's Christian Finlay celebrates at Kingspan Breffni.

Electric Ireland MFC SF: Meath march on

Electric Ireland All-Ireland minor football championship semi-final

MEATH 2-14 SLIGO 2-9

A late speed wobble aside, Meath turned in an impressive performance at Kingspan Breffni to secure their first Electric Ireland All-Ireland minor final place in almost a decade.

Leading by seven points with six minutes remaining, the Leinster champions conceded a goal to Sligo sub Jack McGovern but responded with a second goal themselves through John Mannion to advance to their first decider since 2012.

They will face Tyrone in next weekend's final and were full value for their semi-final win in Cavan with Christian Finlay helping himself to 1-3.

Meath were reduced to 14 players early in the second-half following Oisin O Murchu's dismissal though took the reduction in numbers largely in their stride.

O Murchu and the excellent Shaun Leonard struck two points for the Royals while Oisin McDermott, Tomas Corbett and key defender Conor Ennis were also on the mark to keep alive their hopes of a first title at the grade since 1992.

Cathal O Bric's Meath endured a slow start and trailed 0-2 to 0-1 though Finlay's 10th minute goal settled them and they led from there until full-time.

Leonard and Hughie Corcoran split the posts to stretch their advantage and an O Murchu point from an advanced mark would leave Meath sitting pretty with a 1-11 to 1-4 half-time lead.

Brian Duffy scored the Sligo goal from a penalty but they couldn't add to it in the crucial third quarter and while McGovern eventually struck a second Sligo goal in the 54th minute, giving them some hope, it was cancelled out shortly after by that Mannion Meath goal when the Royals capitalised on a mistake in the Sligo defence.

Sligo, for whom Luke Marren struck six points from placed balls, will reflect on a positive year overall following a breakthrough Connacht championship win.