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Page last updated at 07:43 GMT, Tuesday, 13 July 2010 08:43 UK

Louth hopes of replay fade after Meath players say 'no'

Referee Martin Sludden was struck at least three times at Croke Park
Martin Sludden was attacked after the final whistle at Croke Park

The prospects of Meath offering Louth a Leinster SFC final replay appear to have receded after the Royals squad reportedly voted against a rematch.

Meath officials also discussed the fall-out from referee Martin Sludden's incorrect decision to award the Royals a last-gasp winning goal.

Sludden was then assaulted by Louth fans as made his way off the field.

Meath players' vote was reportedly overwhelming although the final decision rests with the county board.

A number of Meath players were also struck by Louth fans after the game and it's not clear what influence this may be having on the Royal squad.

Meath officials are expected to discuss the issue with the team management and players on Tuesday.

We will provide full co-operation with the relevant authorities to deal with the offenders

Louth county board statement

The Meath county board met for over two hours on Monday evening but officials said that "more time" was needed to discuss the issue before any decision would be taken.

The Louth GAA board did release a statement on Monday night which "condemned the unsavoury incidents after the match".

"We will provide full co-operation with the relevant authorities to deal with the offenders," said the Louth statement.

"We are also seeking a copy of the referee's report for clarification purposes to enable the Louth executive committee to consider all options available."

On Monday, Tyrone referee Sludden admitted he made a mistake in awarding Meath a goal which gave them victory over Louth in the Leinster decider.

Sludden was attacked by a number of Louth fans at the final whistle and Garda has been provided with TV footage of the post-match incidents.

The GAA has ruled out a replay, saying that the referee's report of the full-time score is final.

However, if Meath offer a replay it is believed this will be considered.

Sludden awarded Meath a goal deep into injury-time which gave the Royal County a 1-12 to 1-10 victory.

TV replays showed that the score should have been disallowed as Meath's Joe Sheridan threw the ball over the line.


Sludden was struck at least three times by different Louth fans as he attempted to make his way off the field.

One Garda attempted to escort Sludden off the field but the protection proved woefully inadequate.

Louth players and fans were infuriated by Sludden's decision, which came after the referee consulted with his umpires.

TV replays indicated that the goal should have been disallowed after two infringements.

Meath's Seamus Kenny appeared to be in the square before the ball arrived and Sheridan threw the ball over the line, which was also a clear foul.

Louth were making their first appearance in the Leinster Final in 50 years.

GAA president Christy Cooney condemned the post-match incidents, adding that they had "no place in gaelic games".

The GAA will review post-match security procedures at Croke Park following the "unacceptable" incidents.

A devastated Louth manager Peter Fitzpatrick described his team's defeat as "daylight robbery".

He said: "I couldn't believe it. I can still see it. I'll probably see it the next 50 years."

see also
Ref attacked after Leinster final
11 Jul 10 |  Gaelic Games


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