/ GAA

Massive support for Wee County

Updated: Tuesday, 13 Jul 2010 09:39

After a number of controversial goalmouth incidents at the World Cup, the All-Ireland Championship has now rocked by a decision that cost Louth dear
After a number of controversial goalmouth incidents at the World Cup, the All-Ireland Championship has now rocked by a decision that cost Louth dear

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A groundswell of public support for Louth’s footballers in the wake of their unsatisfactory defeat in Sunday’s Leinster SFC could lead to victors Meath offering their vanquished opponents a replay.

Large numbers of analysts and commentators have also called for a replay to be arranged.

An injury-time goal that never was, or rather never should have been, from Joe Sheridan earned the Royals a 1-12 to 1-10 win over a profligate Louth side at Croke Park on Sunday. Sheridan clearly threw the ball into the net in the dying seconds of the match.

Referee Martin Sludden has been roundly criticised for both failing to spot that Sheridan violated the rules by carrying the ball over the line and for his minimal use of the umpires behind the Louth goal.

Louth manager Peter Fitzpatrick described himself as ‘devastated’ after the game.

Speaking to RTE Sport’s Martin Kiely he said: ‘I’m absolutely devastated about the decision the referee has made. I just think it is wrong what happened.’

He added: ‘If the CCCC (Central Competitions Control Committee) or (GAA President) Christy Cooney have any decency at all they will have to do something. That was just daylight robbery. For the referee to do that to us, it is totally out of order.’

The issue of a potential replay will be thrashed out at a meeting of the Meath county board this evening.

Meath officials have confirmed to RTE that no statement will be made prior to the meeting.

A magnanimous gesture from Meath would appear to be Louth’s best hope of redemption as there’s nothing in the GAA’s rules that would allow the Leinster Council to call for a replay.

Meanwhile, members of the GAA hierarchy will meet with Croke Park stadium officials to discuss the security breaches that marred the aftermath of Sunday’s final.

The GAA and the Gardaí will also review footage of the ugly scenes at the end of the match. Angry Louth fans jostled referee Sludden while a steward was struck by a bottle thrown from the stands and required treatment.

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