Thursday 21 November 2019

Royals suffer huge blow as Reilly ruled out of league

Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Meath have been dealt a significant blow in their battle to avoid relegation from the Allianz League Division 2 with the loss of Graham Reilly for the remaining games.

He underwent a groin operation on Monday to repair damage that has been bothering him all season. It is understood that the recuperation period could be eight to 10 weeks and that has effectively ended his interest in the league.

Graham Reilly was an All Star nominee at half-forward last year and impressed during his debut season in the championship, hitting 1-15 from play.

Meath manager Seamus McEnaney may also have to contemplate being without full-back Kevin Reilly for the upcoming games against Donegal, Derry, Tyrone and Kildare.

The Royals boss said after Saturday's defeat to Antrim, that it had left them "in a hole" and that they would have liked to have had four points from six at this stage.

Kevin Reilly withdrew from that game with a hamstring injury and depending on the degree of the tear, he could be out for up to six weeks.

With no sign of Stephen Bray returning from honeymoon in the immediate future -- he is not expected home until mid to late- March -- Meath are now facing an uphill battle to preserve their Division 2 status following defeats on the road to Laois and Antrim.

Elsewhere, former All-Ireland minor-winning captain Craig Rogers has quit the Laois senior football panel just two months into the competitive reign of new manager Justin McNulty.

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Rogers -- a member of the Laois senior set-up since 2007 -- said it wasn't a decision he took lightly.

Meanwhile, the AIB All-Ireland club hurling final between O'Loughlin Gaels and Clarinbridge is the curtain-raiser in Croke Park on St Patrick's Day. The match throws in at 2.0 and will be refereed by Tipperary's Johnny Ryan.

Meath's Cormac Reilly will referee the football final between Crossmaglen Rangers and St Brigid's. Throw-in time for the second match is 3.45.

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