John Sugrue admitted that missed chances cost his Laois team dearly as they kept pace with Meath for 50 minutes or so before being badly burned.
Last season’s Leinster finalists kicked 10 wides and had four gilt-edged goal opportunities in the second half, all of which they failed to take.
Paul and Donie Kingston were both thwarted by Meath goalkeeper Andy Colgan in the second half, while Colm Murphy smashed a shot off the crossbar and Kieran Lillis dragged a kick just wide of the upright.
Taking on the Division 2 finalists, Laois needed at least a couple of those opportunities to go in to have a chance.
The lack of scores in the first quarter when Laois were in control frustrated
Sugrue too and he admitted: “We were a little bit toothless with the ball and lacked penetration. Meath were well set up and tackled well but in saying that, we could and should have been a lot better in that phase.
“We had goal chances then in the second half, two very good ones, and with just a little more luck, we might have got them.
“Murphy cut in along the endline for one and had a good shot which just came back off the crossbar and then we had another good one, but just didn’t execute them.
“Those things all make a difference. Meath had a goal from a penalty from a speculative enough shot in the first place. It turned into a goal out of very little. They’re the margins you’re dealing with at this level.”
He said there will be no hiding places from the
defeat which will go down in the record books as a heavy loss.
“Yeah, absolutely, we can’t hide from that,” he said.
“We’ve got to take it on the chin and try to get ourselves back to the training ground and see can we go on a bit of a run in these qualifiers.
“We’re in a round or two earlier this year which is disappointing. But that’s the way of it, that’s life, when you step up the gears you get to learn where you are in the grand scheme of things.
“Meath have proven to be better than us, and we’ve got to go and see what we can do now in the qualifiers.”
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