Royals rocked as stalwart trio signal intent to quit county scene
Published 17/08/2011 | 05:00
THREE of Meath's most experienced stars -- Nigel Crawford, Anthony Moyles and Brendan Murphy -- may have played their last game for the Royal County.
The trio did not take part in the post-season debriefs Seamus McEnaney held with his squad last week, which has led to strong speculation that their inter-county careers may have come to an end.
Goalkeeper Murphy was first choice for McEnaney throughout the championship, though both Crawford and Moyles saw their game time limited under the Monaghan man.
The versatile Moyles featured twice from the bench in Meath's four championship outings.
Crawford started the Leinster championship defeat to Kildare in Croke Park and featured off the bench against both Louth and Galway.
But he didn't see action as Meath's interest in the championship ended at the hands of the Lilywhites, as Brian Meade and Shane O'Rourke became Meath's first-choice centrefield partnership.
Crawford (31) is the only player in the Meath dressing-room with an All-Ireland medal, having partnered John McDermott in midfield during the triumphant 1999 campaign under Sean Boylan.
Moyles (34) made his Meath debut in 2000 and was part of the side that lost the All-Ireland final to Galway a year later.
Trim 'keeper Murphy (35) had a delayed start to his Meath career after joining Bradford City as a 17-year-old before spending five seasons with Wimbledon FC.
Any decision by Murphy to step down could see Paddy O'Rourke return to goals. The Skryne clubman played outfield this term but had spent 2010 as the Royals' goalkeeper.