Offaly clash at Pairc Tailteann part of a 'great opportunity' for Meath - O'Rourke

Story by Jimmy Geoghegan

Thursday, 29th November, 2018 4:47pm

Offaly clash at Pairc Tailteann part of a 'great opportunity' for Meath - O'Rourke

Colm O'Rourke played against Offaly in 1995.

Last night's decision by Leinster GAA to play the Leinster SFC clash between Meath and Offaly at Pairc Tailteann on Sunday 12th May next is part of a "great opportunity" for Meath to progress to a provincial final in 2019 claims Colm O'Rourke.  

The former Meath footballer says with Dublin and Kildare on the opposite side of the draw the chance is there for Andy McEntee's side to progress. 

"I think it's a great opportunity to get themselves into a Leinster final next summer and with Kildare and Dublin on the opposite side of the draw I think we should be pretty hopeful and confident we should at least get to a Leinster final where, I assume, Dublin will be waiting there," he said today. 

If Meath defeat Offaly they play Carlow and the winners of that take tie take on Laois or Westmeath. 

"We need to get into Croke Park for these high profile games, the players get a bit more confidence playing at such a venue but the big thing I would feel is to get into the first division of the league. 

"All the teams that are at the business end of the championship all play in the first division of the league and it would be great if we could get up and be competitive against them, that would be a big step forward.

"We have to be ambitious and be able to play against any of these teams."

Offaly and Meath last played in a Leinster SFC game at Pairc Tailteann in 1995. O'Rourke came on as a substitute to score 1-2 in a 1-15 to 1-5 victory. It was his last year in inter-county football. 

The Offaly match will probably be the last major game at Pairc Tailteann as plans were recently announced to kick start a €45 million redevelopment of the ground with work due to start in May. 

The Leinster GAA PRO Martin O'Halloran has confirmed that a home and away arrangement was made between Meath and Offaly at a meeting in Portlaoise last night with the Royal County winning the toss to host the first of these encounters. 

Meath's forthcominig game against Longford in the O'Byrne Cup has been fixed for Saturday 15th December, 5pm at Ashbourne.