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Page last updated at 14:58 GMT, Sunday, 11 July 2010 15:58 UK

Referee Martin Sludden struck after Leinster decider

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

Tyrone referee Martin Sludden was attacked by supporters after Meath's controversial Leinster Football Final win over Louth at Croke Park on Sunday.

Sludden had 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.

That was pure daylight robbery

Louth manager Peter Fitzpatrick

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.

Angry RTE pundit Pat Spillane said that Louth should be awarded a replay following the controversial decision.

The Kerry legend called on the Meath county board to offer Louth a replay.

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".


When asked whether there was any avenue to offer Louth a replay, the GAA president that no decisions would be taken until the referee's report on the game is filed on Monday.

Cooney added that the association would be investigating the incidents after full-time with a view to punishing the offenders.

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

When asked whether his team should be granted a replay, Fitzpatrick said:"If the CCCC (Central Competitions Control Committee) and Christy Cooney have any decency, they will have to do something.

"I just hope when he (the referee) goes home and has a look at it, he will turn around and say that he shouldn't have given the goal.

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


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