MEATH attacker Joe Sheridan insisted that his controversial goal which decided yesterday’s Leinster decider against Louth was legitimate.
Despite television replays showing Sheridan carrying the ball over the line in injury-time before dropping into the net, the player was adamant after yesterday’s Croke Park clash that referee Martin Sludden made the correct decision in awarding the goal.
He said: “It was a definite goal. People can say I threw it, but I was in the net. I just dropped the ball and it was in the net, simple as that.
“A lad just pushed me, I tried to do what I could. I tried to hit it and the goal was given. It was as simple as that.
“It was well-worked up the pitch and we were glad to get the chance. I was pushed over the line. It was a penalty if he wasn’t giving a goal. I think it was a perfect goal.
“But as far as I’m concerned we won today. On other days, we’ve had the luck against us. If we felt it was gone, we should’ve given up.
“We kept on pushing, brought in a few lads with fresh legs and never gave up. We’d missed a few chances before that and we finally got the one that we needed.”
Sheridan dismissed suggestions that the nature of the win took the gloss off Meath’s first Leinster title in nine years and is against any suggestions of holding a replay.
“You can’t take it all away from us. I know we didn’t play well on the day but games are won and lost on decisions like that. If you’re going to go like that, you’ll go back over every decision in a game. In games gone by, we’ve lost games like that. It’s hard luck on Louth but we’ve had enough days like that.
“We’re happy to take the win. It doesn’t take away from it at all. I’m the happiest man here. It’s a long time coming for Meath football. We’ve put in a lot of hard work in getting to here.”
Sheridan’s forward colleague Graham Reilly also voiced his belief that it was correct to award the goal but admitted that the referee made several questionable decisions during the second-half.
“I was going for a point with the last shot but thankfully Joe managed to catch it. Seamie was blocked well but thankfully we managed to get it over the line anyway. I didn’t see the video but it just looked like it was over the line and then Joe pushed it in. The referee could just as easily have awarded a free out.”
Reilly did have sympathy for the Louth players who were devastated at the final whistle.
“But we’ll take the win. We were very lucky to get the win and we know that. If we’re going to go further in the championship, we have to play better than that and we know that ourselves.”
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