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'Relieved' McEnaney ready for Championship battle

It’s full steam ahead for Meath’s Leinster Championship opener after Banty dodged the sack in Navan last night.

Image: ©INPHO/Donall Farmer

“I FEEL VERY relieved.” That was all Seamus McEnaney had to say after he survived the Meath county board’s attempts to oust him as Royals manager.

The Monaghan man was not in attendance in Navan last night when a motion to sack him was backed by a majority of club delegates, 43-31, but not by the two-thirds needed to carry it into action.

Sources close to Banty said today that his focus is now on getting back to work with the players ahead of Meath’s Leinster Championship opener with Wicklow on 27 May.

“He has complete confidence in his own sides ability to come through the test. Results have been mixed to say the least in the league and he knows nothing but a decent championship run will satisfy Meath fans.

As Banty said when he faced down the county chairman’s demands for his resignation, he’s a fighter. Right now his back is to the wall and that’s when you see the best of him.

The players backed him against the wishes of some of the county board so they all have a point to prove.

Pressure

Meanwhile, under-pressure Royals chairman Barney Allen may well face a vote of no confidence in his own position at next month’s county committee meeting.

Allen is in the last few months of his role as chair, a fact that may work in his favour according to one source.

“There is a mood to get rid of him. There was plenty of evidence of that last night, and now clubs are definitely concerned as to whether he can work in the required manner with Banty. After all, Barney pretty much went on a solo run on this one, he didn’t even have the full backing of the executive.

“What might save him is if clubs feel that he is coming to the end of his tenure in December, but I wouldn’t bet on it.”

That’s the second motion brought by Barney that has been defeated and I never recall any other Meath chairman being in such an embarrassing position. The May meeting could well be hot and heavy, and I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if there were calls for Barney’s head, but he won’t go quietly that’s for sure.

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About the author:

Gerry Hand

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