Meath boss hits back at Ryan

Meath manager Mick O’Dowd has taken a thinly-veiled swipe at Jason Ryan for his criticism of Kevin Reilly’s tackle on Paddy Brophy in last Sunday week’s Leinster semi-final.

The Kildare boss again this week took issue with the first-half challenge, which was deemed a legitimate one by referee Rory Hickey.

Ryan said: “It was a very strong hit and Kevin certainly put himself in there to make sure he was going to make an impact on Paddy.

Brophy had to retire from the field of play as a result of the back injury and Ryan revealed he has had difficulty sleeping and is a concern ahead of their qualifier against Down on Sunday.

“He’s not great, but he’s progressing,” said Ryan.

However, O’Dowd remarked about Ryan’s comments: “Ah, we don’t really pay much heed of it, to be honest with you.

“We lost a fella ourselves (Brian McMahon) after three minutes with concussion.

“We’re all just focused on Dublin now and the great thing about the Meath-Dublin games anyway is you just get on with it and there’s no whinging afterwards one way or another.”

O’Dowd confirmed McMahon, Kevin Reilly (knee) and Mickey Newman (hamstring) will all return to full training this weekend ahead of Sunday week’s Leinster final at Croke Park.

A call will be made on Newman next week after he is assessed by management. “He’s a lot of work done throughout the year and a lot of work done over the last three weeks even when he was injured.

“We’ll monitor it and make a decision, based on what we’re seeing this weekend and next week.”

Reilly hurt his knee in the game against Kildare and was substituted for Mickey Burke with seven minutes of normal time remaining.

He has been nursing it since. “It was a bang to his knee and we had him scanned and there’s a lot of bruising more than anything,” said O’Dowd. “He hasn’t trained with us since but he has trained with the physios and the rehab team.”


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