Saturday 18 November 2017

O'Dowd happy to finish on a positive note

Sean Wall

IT wasn't one of their better displays of the campaign. Indeed apart from the mauling at the hands of Monaghan, Meath's performance at the Gaelic Grounds on Sunday was probably their poorest.

However, they still managed to eke out the victory to make it the third win on the bounce and a positive ending to the league.

'It was hard earned but these games over the last number of years have been like that, but we still dug out the win and that was very pleasing,' manager Mick O'Dowd said afterwards.

'It was a typical local derby Louth were already relegated but they were determined to go out with a win, but we didn't want that happening. We worked hard and prepared well and I'm glad that we got the victory. I had no doubt it was going to be a tough match, Louth in Drogheda what else would you expect.'

O'Dowd expressed himself happy enough with his sides position at half-time, just a point in arrears after playing into the strong breeze.

'We kicked on after the break but credit to Louth they came back at us and were in the match for the full 70 minutes,' O'Dowd continued. 'We have been saying throughout, this is a very competitive league and everyone is very well prepared, every side is going to have dominant spells and it's a matter of how well you can weather them. Then when you get a bit of dominance yourself it's about how much you can put on the scoreboard. It's no surprise when a team comes back at you, I thought we dealt with it pretty well though.

'Our score difference meant that it was not realistic for us to get promotion, but we're still glad to get the win. Dalton McDonagh's goal was the important score, Kevin Reilly played a great ball in and Dalton still had a bit to do, but it was a great finish.'

Overall it has been a successful league for the Meath men, after a horrendous start which saw them defeated twice in their opening three games.

It was something that O'Dowd acknowledged as he now looks ahead to the Leinster championship, starting with a quarter final clash against Carlow in Dr Cullen Park on June 15th.

'We're a developing team and squad and we can take a lot of positives from this campaign. We've a lot more to do, of course, but this has been good preparation for us.

'It's been a brilliant league for us. We've finished third in Division 2 so what more could you ask for other than promotion? It has been real consolidation, at times we've been without 10 of our squad, but we've learned a lot and that is really positive.'

'It has also been an attritional league for us and we have had a lot of injuries but hopefully Eamon Wallace is the only long term casualty. The players go back to their clubs now for the club championship and when they come back we will prepare for the Leinster championship,' the Meath boss concluded.

Drogheda Independent

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