Replay would be a mistake, insists Louth’s Rooney

LOUTH forward JP Rooney insisted that last night’s decision not to replay the Leinster senior football final is the right one.

Rooney stated that he was “delighted” that Meath have not offered the Wee County a rematch following last Sunday’s controversial ending to the provincial showpiece at Croke Park.

Rooney said: “I’m delighted there’s no replay. It would have been an anti-climax. What’s done is done and we will try forget it now. It will be hard to get it out of our heads but we were training this evening and there was a big group there again. We’ll look forward to the next game and life goes on. When you see what happened in Donegal over the weekend, it puts everything into perspective.

“That was a real tragedy.”

Rooney added: “What would we have gained from a replay? It was a lose-lose situation for Louth. If we went out and beat them, it would take away from the day that was in it last Sunday and if we lost, we’d be in a worse situation.

“We’ll get the heads down, you don’t want to be seen as babies, cribbing and crying about it.”

Rooney was extremely critical of referee Martin Sludden’s role in the late drama at GAA HQ, when the Tyrone whistler allowed Joe Sheridan’s late goal to stand. Sludden has since admitted he made a mistake and Rooney said last night: “We still feel we were blatantly robbed but we have to get over it.

“If we get a win, we’re in the All-Ireland quarter- finals, which is where we would have been had we won last Sunday.”

Rooney, who scored a blistering late goal last Sunday, concluded: “It’s an awful pity for the GAA, for young kids to see what happened last Sunday.

“But we can’t blame Meath — they’ve done nothing wrong.

“Croke Park should have had a say; the Leinster Council or whoever makes the decisions but they were passing the buck and putting pressure on Meath. They should have made the call.”

Meanwhile, Louth county board are considering legal action to force a replay.

The GAA has washed its hands of the issue at central level by stating that it could not order a re-fixture.

The Louth board said in a statement that it would consider “all avenues available in light of events to date” in relation to the Leinster final.

The statement confirmed that a copy of the referee’s report had been received and that they would be seeking “clarification of its contents”. The board has already sought legal advice. If Louth do choose to go the legal route, the championship could be thrown into disarray, with the probability that fixtures could be held up.


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