Unpleasant sideline atmosphere at kehoe cup final in trim

Story by Conall Collier

Sunday, 8th February, 2015 6:07pm

Unpleasant sideline atmosphere at kehoe cup final in trim

Meath retained the Kehoe Cup with a merited 0-17 to 0-7 victory over 14-man Wicklow at Trim this afternoon where there was a doubt about the game due to the mist and fog that shrouded the venue.

Hopwever, Louth referee Kevin Brady declared the conditions playable, but he may have been regretting his decision from as early as the 16th minute after he brandished a red card to Wicklow's Andy O'Brien.

The incident arose after a clash between O'Brien and Meath's Shane Brennan - the Meath player ended up on the ground and received attention.

Wicklow officials on the sideline were claiming that there was nothing in it or if there was that there was 'two of them' and while the referee and linesman didn't see the incident, the umpires did.

After a consultation, the Wicklow man received a straight red card.

That incensed the Wicklow officials and substitutes and the situation got worse when there was an exchange along the sideline with some Meath officials as the red-carded player made his way off the pitch. 

Fourth official Donal Smyth managed to keep the respective team officials apart although there was some very unpleasant verbal exchanges that continued until the interval - some 16 minutes later.

Up to the point of the dismissal it was an excellent game and Wicklow were ahead by 0-5 to 0-4.

That Wicklow only scored another two points for the remainder was a reflection on how they lost their concentration - on and off the pitch as they whinged at the referee, the Meath officials and Meath players for the majority of the remainder.

Meath were ahead by 0-6 to 0-5 at the interval and did enough to see out the game in the second-half. Anthony Healy was the top scorer with nine points while James Toher sent over four.

There is the mouthwatering prospect of the two teams meeting again in the Christy Ring Cup first round next May at Trim - perhaps both sides will be more composed by that?

As the teams made their way to the presentation area there were accusations of racism hurled in the general direction of the Meath players.

Meath will play Kildare in the first round of the NHL Div 2B next Sunday at Trim. 

Meath - Charlie Bird; Cormac Reilly, Shane Brennan, Shane Whitty; Keith Keoghan, Padraig Keogh, Eoin Marsh (0-1); Stephen Morris, Sean Heavey; Patrick Conneely (0-1), James Toher (0-4), Gary Kelly; Jack Regan (0-1), Anthony Healy (0-9 six frees), Willie McGrath. Sub - Sean Quigley (0-1) for Regan 55 mins.

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