True blue with Royal roots
Success has been a stranger for the Meath senior football team in recent years and to make that famine all the more galling our fiercest rivals and near neighbours Dublin are riding the crest of a golden wave that has swept them to four successive All-Ireland titles and eight Leinster SFC crowns in-a-row.
Next Sunday the all-conquering All-Ireland champions will visit Navan to lend their support to the Support Sean Cox fundraising efforts by taking on Meath in a SF challenge in front of what is expected to be a huge crowd.
Sitting in the back row watching the Dublin blockbuster has been painful for Meath supporters, but one player does offer something for the Meath fan to cling to. Eric Lowndes is a Meath man - kind of!
His mother is a Maguire from Kilmessan, he lives on the border of the two counties and plays for St Peregrine's in Clonsilla.
He also has a couple of brothers on the Dunboyne team that swept most before them in football championships this year, but no matter how much his Royal roots are brought up Lowndes insists he is a happy Dub that is keeping a close eye on Meath
“I was at most of the Dunboyne games this year with my two brothers playing and my dad involved as a selector as well, it was just me and my mother that weren't playing with Dunboyne this year,” said the three-time All-Ireland SFC winner.
“I went to watch them every chance I could if I wasn't training or playing myself I was down watching their games, as a result of that I got to see other lads who play for Meath involved with their clubs as well.
“Dunboyne had a fantastic year, they were unlucky to come up against Crokes and things didn't go their way, but I'm sure they're more than happy with their year, it was a fantastic year and it was great to see them pick up a
championship medal after going so close a couple of times.
“The standard of club football in Meath is really high, I've watched a good few senior championship games and Dunboyne are a fantastic team. They didn't do themselves justice against Kilmacud.
“I've never been in the green and gold, maybe as a kid, but I wouldn't call it going back to Meath. I'm happy enough playing club football in
Dublin and playing with Dublin.”
While Meath have slipped down the pecking order and aren't seriously considered as major opposition to Dublin in their bid for five-in-a-row Lowndes admits there is still something special about the Meath-Dublin rivalry and he is looking forward to Sunday's game.
He is also hopeful that a big crowd will descend on Pairc Tailteann for what is a great cause and like everyone else in the countery he was shocked when he heard the news about the injuries suffered by Sean Cox in Liverpool in April.
“Everyone throughout the country knows the story and whether you are from Dunboyne or not everyone is hoping for the same result for Sean and we want to raise as much money as possible to get him started down his
road to recovery, however long that may be,” said Lowndes.
“I remember hearing about the attack at the time and, knowing a lot of people from Dunboyne even though I didn't know Sean personally, I was absolutely shocked, that was the same reaction everybody had all over the country I suppose.
“We were all in shock that a guy can go to a football game and get seriously hurt, it makes you really question some things. It is great to be involved in this fundraiser.
“My family also look forward to games like this too, my extended family wouldn't be supporting the Dubs during the year so it's a chance for them to get out and watch a Dublin game under the guise of supporting Meath,” concluded the St Peregrine's player.