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O'Rourke hits back as St Pat's march on

MEATH legend Colm O'Rourke hit back at ex-Dublin player and manager Tommy Carr after steering St Pat's through to the decider.

O'Rourke watched his side hold off Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne as they booked a Hogan Cup final showdown with St Pat's, Maghera, on April 13.

Carr recently claimed that Meath football is struggling because not enough former Royal stars are involved in coaching.

But O'Rourke countered: "There's a lot of good work going on at underage in Meath and I think the future is quite bright. It's not quite as bleak as some might think.

"It was pointed out that there are over 20 players from Sean Boylan's All-Ireland winning teams that have been involved with Meath at some level over the last 20 years. So it's actually not factually true."

Meanwhile, Kerry boss Eamonn Fitzmaurice jetted back to Portugal on Saturday evening, having flown in to take charge of Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne.

Unfortunately, his presence could not prevent a two-point loss.

The Dingle-based boys showed huge character, however, after falling 2-5 to 0-1 behind within 23 minutes. Barry Dardis and Robert McDonnell struck early goals for St Pat's and at half-time, the Leinster kingpins led by 2-5 to 0-4.

Chorca Dhuibhne dominated the second half, despite playing against the breeze at Nenagh, but could not find a way back.

Scorers – St Pat's: R McDonnell 1-3 (0-2fs), B Dardis 1-0, N O'Brien 0-2, J McEntee, N Lyons 0-1 each. Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne: T O Suilleabhain 0-4 (1f), T O Se 0-3, E O Conchuir 0-2, P Breathnach, S O Muircheartaigh (f) 0-1 each.

ST PAT'S – C Farnan; J O'Malley, N O'Reilly, D McGuinness; S O'Brien, N Kane, C Meade; D Ryan, J McEntee; N McCabe, R O'Coileain, R McDonnell; N Lyons, B Dardis, N O'Brien. Subs: C Keeleghan for O'Brien (h-t), E Sheridan for Ryan (39), S Monaghan for McEntee (46).

POBALSCOIL ChORCA DHUIBHNE – D O Conchuir; B O Beagloich, C O Luing, C O Suilleabhain; M O Flatharta, P O Conchuir, M O Conchuir; B O Suilleabhain, C O Beagloich; T O Se, P Breathnach, P O Dubhain; T O Suilleabhain, E O Conchuir, C O Bambaire. Subs: S O Muircheartaigh for O'Bambaire (41), C O Gairbhia for C O Beagloich (52), C O Muirthile for Breathnach (52), S O hUallachain for O Dubhain (56).

Ref – R Hickey (Clare).

Irish Independent

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