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'Meath have gone backwards': Nigel

NIGEL CRAWFORD looks to have moved a step closer to inter-county retirement after delivering a stinging critique of Meath's development under manager Seamus McEnaney this season.

"I think we have gone back a lot from where we were. We were in the perfect position to build on our Leinster success and getting to two All-Ireland semi-finals in three years, but instead of improving upon those performances we have gone backwards," said the veteran midfielder, currently the only surviving link to Meath's last All-Ireland triumph in 1999.

"I think the change of management has had a lot to do with it. Under Eamonn (O'Brien), Bob (O'Malley), Seán (Kelly) and Donal (Curtis), we were going places and they had a very good relationship with the players. We were building a team and going in the right direction."

There was intense speculation last week that Crawford, Anthony Moyles and 'keeper Brendan Murphy were poised to retire following their non-attendance at a post-season debrief held by McEnaney.

FIXTURES

SATURDAY

ALL-IRELAND IHC FINAL

(Extra-time if necessary)

Semple Stadium: Kilkenny v Clare, 7.0, D Kirwan (Cork).

ALL-IRELAND MINOR 'B' HC FINAL

(Extra-time if necessary)

The Downs, Westmeath: Meath v Roscommon, 6.45, C Browne (Galway).

ALL-IRELAND MINOR 'C' HC FINAL

(Extra-time if necessary)

The Downs, Westmeath: Wicklow v Sligo, 5.0, D Hughes (Carlow).

SUNDAY

ALL-IRELAND SFC SEMI-FINAL

Croke Park: Dublin v Donegal, 3.30, M Deegan (Laois) (Live RTE2).

ALL-IRELAND MFC SEMI-FINAL

(Extra-time if necessary)

Croke Park: Dublin v Galway, 1.30, R O'Donnell (Donegal) (Live RTE2).

LADIES FOOTBALL

SATURDAY

SENIOR C'SHIP SEMI-FINAL

Cashel: Cork v Laois, 6.0, Gavin Corrigan. (Live TG4)

INTERMEDIATE C'SHIP SEMI -FINAL

Cashel: Cavan v Leitrim, 4.15, S McIntyre. (Live TG4)

JUNIOR C'SHIP SEMI-FINAL

St Peregrine's: Wicklow v Louth, 5.0, Michael Henry.

JUNIOR C'SHIP QUARTER-FINAL

Eire Og: New York v Carlow, 5.0, J Murray.

ALL-IRELANDU-16'A'SHIELDFINAL

Banagher: Cork v Mayo, 4.0, Y Duffy.

ALL-IRELAND U-16 'B' SHIELD FINAL

Nenagh: Kildare v Limerick, 3.0, J Flood.

ALL-IRELAND U-16 'A' C'SHIP FINAL

Nenagh: Dublin v Kerry, 5.0, S Duane.

ALL-IRELAND U-16 'B' C'SHIP FINAL

Banagher: Longford v Tipperary, 2.0, T Lennon.

CAMOGIE

SUNDAY

ALL-IRELAND JUNIOR 'B' C'SHIP FINAL

Donaghmore Ashbourne: Monaghan v Wicklow, 2.30, David Carroll.

ALL-IRELAND MINOR 'C' C'SHIP FINAL

Neutral venue: Armagh v Meath, time tbc, Justin Heffernan.

p DONEGAL supporters keen to get into the All-Ireland semi-final mood early can trip along to the Harcourt Hotel this Friday night where legendary Donegal footballers and heroes of 1992 -- Martin McHugh, Declan Bonner, Brian Murray and Anthony Molloy (captain in '92) -- will be voicing their opinion on Sunday's big clash. There will also be two Hogan Stand tickets raffled on the night. The action gets underway at 8pm.


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