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Meath boss fury - 'I've just seen it on the cameras, there was a blatant penalty'

The Meath manager saw his side bow out after some controversial decisions in Navan.

A furious Andy McEntee after the game in Navan.
A furious Andy McEntee after the game in Navan.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

MEATH BOSS ANDY McEntee expressed his ‘devastation’ as they made their 2018 championship exit last night after extra-time against Tyrone and felt his side were the victims of poor decisions by referee Paddy Neilan.

McEntee was visibly irate when the final whistle sounded – the source of his fury lying in the Roscommon official’s decision not to award Meath a penalty in normal time and a free at the close of extra-time when James McEntee looked to have been fouled.

“You’d have to be very proud of the way lads performed and the effort and the honesty,” McEntee told Sky Sports after the match in Páirc Tailteann.

“Honesty is a rare thing these days. It’s something those lads have in abundance and they put in a fantastic performance. I heard somebody else talk about devastation being an overused word but it’s probably fairly accurate at the moment.

“You know the reason you’re asking me that question is because you know that there’s a lot of very unsatisfactory incidents out there. There was a penalty, I’ve just seen it on the cameras, there was a blatant penalty, the referee is what less than ten yards away.

“There’s a free on the stroke of full-time there and the referee is five yards away. That’s to mention just a couple of pretty obvious (decisions) and there’s only one reason you’re asking me that question is because you know what the answer is.”

Meath were pegged back at the death in injury-time when Cathal McShane nailed a point to rescue Tyrone.

“There was five minutes on the clock, five minutes of extra-time were up,” reflected McEntee.

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“He kicked the score in 30 something seconds extra. At that stage we felt we had held out for the five minutes that were mentioned and obviously that didn’t happen so that was disappointing.”

McEntee believes the type of strong performance Meath produced must be the launchpad for them going forward.

“That has to be the standard, that has to be a starting point, it can’t be a performance like that and then a performance like we threw in two weeks ago.

“You’ve got to be able to play like that all time and it wasn’t until we’re doing things like that and playing at that level on a regular basis, you probably don’t win as many close games as you’d like to.”

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Fintan O'Toole

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