Meath captain Liam Kelly lifts the Tom Markham Cup after the Electric Ireland GAA Football All-Ireland Minor Championship Final match between Meath and Tyrone at Croke Park in Dublin.
Meath captain Liam Kelly lifts the Tom Markham Cup after the Electric Ireland GAA Football All-Ireland Minor Championship Final match between Meath and Tyrone at Croke Park in Dublin. 

Meath crowned Electric Ireland All-Ireland Minor Football champions


Electric Ireland All-Ireland minor football final

MEATH 1-12 TYRONE 1-11

By Paul Keane at Croke Park

Shaun Leonard held his nerve in the 64th minute to kick a dramatic winner for Meath, securing the Royal County their first Electric Ireland All-Ireland minor football title in 29 years.

A dramatic underage decider that was level on eight occasions looked destined for extra-time with the scores locked on 1-11 apiece at Croke Park.

But Meath corner-back Conor Ennis capped a powerful game with a storming run upfield and Leonard was eventually played in on the right, holding his nerve to kick a memorable winner.

Tyrone rued a series of wides late on and had the chance to level it in the 66th minute but were unable to convert a free from around 25 metres out.

Full-back and captain Liam Kelly was the Man of the Match while Ennis next to him impressed too with big performances further out the field from Tomas Corbett and midfielder Jack Kinlough.

Oisin O Murchu top scored for Meath with 1-2 and kicked the crucial Meath goal in the first-half.

Tyrone cruised through the Ulster championship with 53 points to spare and hammered Cork by 14 in the All-Ireland semi-finals last weekend.

That strong form, and their considerable support ahead of the senior tie between Tyrone and Kerry, left them as slight favourites.

They enjoyed a strong start and led by 1-3 to 0-2 after nine minutes with captain Cormac Devlin, wearing number 11 but playing at full-forward, pouncing for a well taken eighth minute goal.

He beat Meath goalkeeper Oisin McDermott to a long delivery in and from the right of goals squeezed a shot by a despairing defender to the net.

Yet just six minutes later Meath were back on level terms at 1-04 piece. Meath manager Cathal O Bric claimed before the game that Tyrone hadn't faced a team of Meath's ability and work rate yet and he was proven correct.

The back to back Leinster champions refused to yield and O Murchu's 13th minute goal after a turnover on the Tyrone kick-out was a huge boost.

It was O Murchu's second score of the game following an earlier point and settled the St Colmcille's forward after his dismissal for two bookings against Sligo last weekend.

In a cagey encounter with both teams dropping men back into defence, Meath led for the first time in the 21st minute and took a narrow 1-7 to 1-6 lead at half-time.

Tyrone responded by bringing on super sub Conor Owens at half-time. He'd scored 1-10 as a sub in his previous four games including 1-1 in the Ulster final and 0-4 against Cork last weekend.

An Owens point from a free tied it up again at 1-08 apiece but Meath finished the third quarter well on top at 1-11 to 1-08 following points from goalkeeper McDermott, O Murchu and Hughie Corcoran.

Tyrone were on top in the final quarter and three points in a row from the powerful Ruairi McHugh, Ronan Cassidy and Owens tied it up again at 1-11 apiece.

In truth, Tyrone should have been ahead as they hit four wides in a row at one stage late on and Meath capitalised with Leonard holding his nerve to make a little bit of history for the Royals.

Meath scorers: Oisin O Murchu 1-2, Hughie Corcoran 0-3 (0-1f), Shaun Leonard 0-2, Oisin McDermott 0-2 (0-2 45), Jack Kinlough 0-1, Conor McWeeney 0-1, Sean Emmanuel 0-1.

Tyrone scorers: Cormac Devlin 1-1, Ronan Cassidy 0-3 (0-2f), Eoin McElholm 0-2, Ruairi McHugh 0-2, Conor Owens 0-2 (0-2f), Hugh Cunningham 0-1 (0-1f).

MEATH: Oisin McDermott; Conor Ennis, Tomas Corbett, Liam Kelly; Sean O'Hare, John O'Regan, Killian Smyth; Paul Wilson, Jack Kinlough; Shaun Leonard, Sean Emmanuel, Conor McWeeney; Christian Finlay, Oisin O Murchu, Hughie Corcoran. Subs: Andrew Moore for McWeeney 53, James Foley for Corcoran 58, Brian O'Halloran for Kelly 61.

TYRONE: Niall Robinson; Matthew Mallon, Callan Kelly, Michael Rafferty; Hugh Cunningham, Ronan Fox, Shea O'Hare; Ronan Donnelly, Ruairi McHugh; Gavin Potter, Ronan Strain, Paddy McCann; Ronan Cassidy, Cormac Devlin, Eoin McElholm. Subs: Conor Owens for Potter h/t, Jack Martin for Donnelly 32-f/t, blood, Noah Grimes for McCann 47, Brian Hampsey for McHugh 57-59, blood, Ronan Molloy for Cunningham 57.

Referee: Derek O'Mahoney (Tipperary).