Experienced Meath defender Mickey Burke acknowledged Louth should have been offered a Leinster final replay in 2010.
The sides meet again in the Championship on Sunday and Louth will inevitably be motivated by the perceived injustice of 2010 when the title was stolen from them.
Joe Sheridan’s illegal injury-time goal was infamously allowed to stand and pressure came on Meath to offer a replay.
The county board ultimately decided not to and while Burke believes that was the wrong decision, he insisted it shouldn’t have been left to Meath to make the call anyhow.
“I would have given them a replay, being honest,” said Burke, who began that Championship at full-back for Meath but broke his leg against Laois in their quarter-final replay win.
“It was a really weird situation. I don’t think we should have been put in that situation. I think the GAA should have said, ‘Boys, there has been a bit of a disaster here, we’re going to replay the game’.
“I don’t think it should have been put into the Meath county board or the players’ hands. They shouldn’t have had to make that decision, in my opinion.”
Many believe Louth were the real champions from 2010 though Burke said he views it as a legitimate Leinster win and values his medal.
“I do,” he said. “Okay we got the goal in the last minute but we walloped Offaly in the first-round, beat Laois after a replay, put give goals past Dublin.
“People forget about them games very quickly. Of course I’d like it in different circumstances. I would have liked to have won the final a bit more clearly alright.”
That semi-final win over Dublin, when Meath scored five goals, was the last time the current back to back All-Ireland champions were beaten in Leinster. It is their only defeat in the provincial championship since losing out to Westmeath in 2004.
They have consistently beaten Meath since though Burke, now under the management of Andy McEntee, said the Royals can spring a surprise if both Meath and Dublin meet in the Leinster final.
“I know you probably think this lad here is delusional but you have to think positively like that,” said powerful defender Burke.
“You’re giving up your life for this. This is my 12th or 13th year with the squad and I want to win things. You have to believe that.
“I know Donncha Tobin, Donal Keogan, Graham Reilly, we all believe that. I don’t want to be second, I want to win things.
“Dublin have won how many Leinsters in a row? Deep down, in the pit of their stomach, can they be as hungry for another Leinster if you got them on a good day and matched them? Time will tell. You have to aim, you want to be a winner.”
Recent form suggests Meath are some way off Dublin though. They were easily beaten by Jim Gavin’s men in last year’s Championship and failed to gain promotion from Division 2 of the league under McEntee during spring. Meath have also developed a worrying habit of coughing up big leads in major games in recent summer campaigns, prompting some fans to question if the players care enough.
“Think of the guys Meath produced over the years; Darren Fay, Trevor Giles, Graham Geraghty, Mark Reilly, the team of the ‘80s, maybe Meath standards dropped for a while,” said Burke.
“They probably did. But I would never accept someone saying, ‘you don’t care’ or ‘you’re not fit enough’. I would personally prepare to the absolute maximum.”
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