Sport Gaelic Football

Wednesday 21 February 2018

It's only fair to give us an extra day off, pleads Banty

Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Seamus McEnaney's appeal for an extra day's grace to recover from this Leinster final defeat is likely to fall on deaf ears later today.

The Central Competitions Control Committee will meet to fix dates and venues for the Round 4 qualifiers, with a triple-header involving Meath and Laois, Sligo against Kildare and Tipperary versus Down being mooted at Croke Park.

McEnaney is adamant that Meath will have the resolve to overcome the dreaded six-day turnaround that has seen every provincial final loser since Dublin in 2001 exit the championship when they have been forced to play the weekend after they have lost

"I think it is only fair that they at least give us an extra day," he said. "I think it is fair to say that Meath and Dublin almost packed the stadium to capacity because of the rivalry that is there. There is no reason why we cannot get an extra day."

If they don't get that grace, McEnaney insists Meath will be prepared anyway. Within minutes of the defeat he was delivering fighting talk.

"There's a myth out there about the six-day turn-around, but I can tell you that we're going to test it," he said.

"There's serious spirit in that dressing-room, there's character in it and we are going to fight. I can tell you one thing -- we are going to fight tooth and nail to get back here in two weeks time. Take that from me. We will fight."

And then something much more profound.

"History is one thing. We can't live in yesterday but we can live in tomorrow," he declared.

The fight will go ahead without Kevin Reilly, it seems, who has compounded an ongoing Achilles injury. And McEnaney acknowledged there would need to be improvement.

"We'd be very disappointed with some parts of our performance. We kicked away a lot of ball. We probably gave away more ball than we've given away the last two or three games. That part of our game was disappointing."

The victorious manager Pat Gilroy accepted some responsibility for Dublin's failure to kill this game as they should have when 10 points clear at the three-quarter mark.

"I thought we pushed on fairly well at the start of the second half," he said. We probably made a lot of changes together and that disrupted our rhythm a bit, but lads were out on their feet, physios were coming back saying these guys needed to be changed.


"So, we made them fairly close together and that disrupted the team a good bit and we nearly suffered for it.

"I think from the start Meath were trying to run at us and we had worked really hard to stop that and repel it early on, and right up to probably the 50th minute, we hadn't really let them through.

"Whether it was the changes we made or whatever it was, we started to let them get that run on us and it was simply running straight at us.

"We didn't cope with it well, particularly then in the last five minutes," he concluded.

Irish Independent

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