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Dublin: 18 °C Tuesday 23 July, 2019
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Dubs deny any trickery as Meath fume over U21 final venue

Dublin have been “held up to ridicule throughout the years for being semi-afraid to go outside our comfort zone,” chairman Andy Kettle said.

Parnell Park: Dublin say Donnycarney venue is unavailable due to maintenance work.
Parnell Park: Dublin say Donnycarney venue is unavailable due to maintenance work.
Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

CHAIRMAN ANDY KETTLE has stood over the Dublin county board’s official explanation as their bizarre U21 football row with rivals Meath rumbles on.

Meath were left “dumbfounded” last week when Dublin refused a coin toss for home advantage and then rejected their offer to play next Wednesday’s Leinster final in Parnell Park, insisting on neutral venue Portlaoise instead.

The Royals feel they are being duped as Dublin want take advantage of O’Moore Park’s bigger pitch but Kettle insisted again that Parnell Park is not an option due to maintenance work on the floodlights and pitch.

“Why they wanted to come to Parnell Park so badly, I don’t know,” he said yesterday.

“Why would we be looking for a reason not to play it there when Parnell Park is our home ground? If it was played at Parnell Park there would probably be a more partisan Dublin support there.

We are held up to ridicule throughout the years for being semi-afraid to go outside our comfort zone. This was an opportunity to prove that theory was unfounded.

He added: “What it comes down to is that there’s going to be two panels of players out next Wednesday night, 15 Meath guys starting against 15 Dublin guys.

“Meath need no bigger incentive to play good football than to see a blue jersey. That’s been proved down through the years. No matter where Dublin and Meath play, Meath are going to put it up to Dublin. We expect that.

“There’s talk of them being 5/1 against which I think is totally, totally ridiculous. I think it will be quite a close game.”

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Niall Kelly

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