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Roscommon v Meath

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Great result for Meath. Ros will be disappointed.

MesAmis (Dublin) - Posts: 12013 - 28/01/2018 17:03:36    2071403

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Replying To ziggy320001:  "Great attitude showed by Meath against the breeze, but once we went 4 ahead we should have won."
Thrown it away ziggy. I don't even blame the penalty. It was the decision not to fist ball over bar with time just up instead of going for goal. Too many turn overs, the ref wasn't great gave lot of easy frees to rossies in first half then did same for Meath in second half. Suppose that's what they call consistency. Disappointed with the result, it could be one to come back and haunt us.

royaldunne (Meath) - Posts: 13807 - 28/01/2018 18:03:16    2071450

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Donie Shine's penalty for Roscommon to draw level with Meath
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SlipperyDodger (Cork) - Posts: 73 - 28/01/2018 18:44:38    2071482

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Replying To MesAmis:  "Great result for Meath. Ros will be disappointed."
I think the thing is Meath are not as bad as people think or want them to be. The above result today kind of proves that. Roscommon are one of the best young teams in the county. Outside the big three, Roscommon would be 7th or 8th best team in the country and are reigning connacht champions, two years in division 1 and went toe to toe with the second best team in the country last year in the drawn quarter final.

Roscommon in the next few years have lots of potential. Class young forwards. Will win more Connacht titles , play in Super 8s. And if this great Mayo team dip , there will be a battle in the west between Galway and Roscommon for domination of the province for a couple of years. And the Rossies have a chance of doing what the last great Roscommon team did ( one of the greatest teams never to win Sam) in the late 70s become the dominant team in the west and push for an All Ireland. I would be surprised if Roscommon dont break into the top 5 in the next few years. A team for watch out for.

If the Rossies dont mind me saying from my experience sucessful young teams ( which Roscommon are) can be a bit yo yo. What I mean is 1 year up 1 year down. But as the team matures they will gain experience and become sucessful. So Roscomon had a good year last year. They could be up and down this year. Next year should be a good for them. And probaly in the early 2020s this young Roscommon team will be making a big impact when their players peak. The future is good for Roscommon. And also they have alot of brothers on the team. This is good to see and can create a great bond in the team. Look at the Henderson and Fennelly brothers in Kilkenny. The O Ses in kerry. And the lowrys and Connors brothers in Offaly.

For Meath today is sign of progress. We wont havent got a result like today in the last few years or would say anytime since Boylan left. What would have happened is Roscommon would have gone ahead and won by 9 or 10 points as there talented young forwarda cut loose. However a couple of things have improved under McEntee.

1 Fitness has definitely improved
2 The old Meath never day die spirit is slowly coming back. Under Boylan for 20 years Meath were the best team in Ireland in the final quater of games. Meaths mental resolve in the final 15 -20 mins was unreal. Meath won so many games and titles in the final 15 to 20 mins with a never say die spirit. This never say die atitude was part of Meath teams before Boylan. But it has been absent since he left. For the last 12 years Meath have faded badly in second halfs and in the final years of O Dowd reign they became consistent problem. Under McEntee this has stopped as Meath are finishing game strongly something I have not seen since Boylan.
L
eaving the two kildare games to one side. Meath have finished every game in the league championship and byrne cup strongly under McEntee. Last year we finished like a train v Derry Cork Fermanagh Clare and Galway in the league. And we finished strongly v Louth Sligo and Donegal in the champuonship. This has cont'd this year with strong last 15 to 20 mins against longford and Roscommon today. We gad our first proper Meath comeback v Cork last year since Boylan in league or championship when we brought back a 9 point lead to draw down in Cork. This area has improved under McEntee. And this mentality of never giving up has been the cornerstone of all strong Meath teams.

However we are far from the finished product. We are miles behind Dublin and the top teams. We are years behind them. But we are going in the right direction and todays result is more proof of that. Its long time since we got a result v provicial champions. We did let a lead slip in injury time . This is simply down to Rossies have class young forwards. But also inexperience on Meaths part. The top teams like Mayo or Dublin would make sure to close out the game. We didnt, thats an experience issue. And in time as these young players get more experience they will learn how to close out a game.

Overall I still think its more then likely this year we will be uo and down. We wont see progress til next year and real progress in early 2020s. We are on a learning curve. But today was promising. We were rank outsiders with the bookies and all the pundits and all the tipsters on all the forums where predicting a Rossies 5 or 6 points win. So today was progress of sorts.

Its a pity we didnt hold out. A win v the top team in the division on their home patch would have been a great start. But we need now to beat Clare in Navan. Its a long time since we were undefeated in our first two league matchs. We are usually slow starters. But if we can win v Clare we are in a good position. Clare will be tricky. They have a shrewd manager and their team which in the next few years are going in the right direction and will be a team to look out for. But home wins are so important. Next weeks game will tell a bit more about what kind of progress we have made this year.

This weekends results have shook up the pack. Cork look like continuing the form of recent years. And many peoples tip for promotion Cork could be a wrong one. They have huge talent. The best panel in the division. A top 5 team which could push for an All Ireland in coming years. But they are underachieving . Why John Cleary was not made manager was a big mistake. Cork might not be contenders if the results v Clare and Tipp contiunue. They will still cause a problems. You could see them losing to Clare one week and then beating Roscommon Meath or Down the following week.

Tipp were the real winners with Down this weekend. Tipp have a very good young team. They werent great last year. But I find young teams can be up and down. And I have feeling they will have a strong season this year with possible promotion and super 8 participants. In the last few league teams have had sucessive promotion. Monaghan kildare and Roscommon all went from Division 3 to div 2 to div 1. Tipp could do this also. Real contenders.

Other real contenders are Down. Very few tipping them. But they are a real strong league team. Very hard to beat in Newry. And have been in div 1 longer then any other team in div 2 in recent years. A great start. Real contenders also. My gut feeling is Roscommon Meath Tipp and Down will be the 4 way fight for promotion. Its again a wide open divsion.

One last thing it was good to see Eamon Wallace in good form. He came on in 2013 as 19 year old and had a great season finishing with 1-4 from play v Tyrone in the championship in Croker. He did his cruciate and has been trying to return to form since. Today and this years club championship are signs he is returning to 2013 form.

But the big thing for me was McKeever. We drew that game because him with and his 3 points and he set up the goal after coming from the bench. He has been the best club forward in Meath football by a mile in recnt years but injuries have kept him from the panel. If can continue what he did today and his club form . Himself and lenihan would form a tasty duo in the full forward line. Both are in their mid 20s and both should be hitting peaks now. We rely to.much on lenihan in the full foward line. He was missing today and it showed. If him and Mckeever click and two wallaces McMahon two reillys sullivan toibin can all adds scores this will be massive. We have had light forwards in recent years who couldnt make the ball stick. McKeever and lenihan could be two finishers in the inside line which could be a massive plus.

A final thought Our bench made a difference. Our bench this year looks stronger then it has since I can remember. Dublin have showed and the super 8 will show a strong bench is so important. The subs made the difference. Andy needs to get the right mix in first 15. But he needs impact subs. Impact subs like Rooney coming into midfield in future games or Toibin Mcabe McMahon also making impact as subs. Tiobin suits the impact sub role really well. But Conlon McKeever and Eamon Wallace showed they need to start.

The real good thing about today are our two best forwards Reilly and Sullivan did not play well. If we can get the best out of Sullivan and maybe look at biggy been an impact sub it would be more additions. Andy has a few selection dilemmas for the next game. Overall a good days work for Meath but this div again is wide open. Promotion and relegation is wide open.

Furlong1949 (Meath) - Posts: 503 - 28/01/2018 19:08:42    2071502

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Replying To MesAmis:  "Great result for Meath. Ros will be disappointed."
I think the thing is Meath are not as bad as people think or want them to be. The above result today kind of proves that. Roscommon are one of the best young teams in the county. Outside the big three, Roscommon would be 7th or 8th best team in the country and are reigning connacht champions, two years in division 1 and went toe to toe with the second best team in the country last year in the drawn quarter final.

Roscommon in the next few years have lots of potential. Class young forwards. Will win more Connacht titles , play in Super 8s. And if this great Mayo team dip , there will be a battle in the west between Galway and Roscommon for domination of the province for a couple of years. And the Rossies have a chance of doing what the last great Roscommon team did ( one of the greatest teams never to win Sam) in the late 70s become the dominant team in the west and push for an All Ireland. I would be surprised if Roscommon dont break into the top 5 in the next few years. A team for watch out for.

If the Rossies dont mind me saying from my experience sucessful young teams ( which Roscommon are) can be a bit yo yo. What I mean is 1 year up 1 year down. But as the team matures they will gain experience and become sucessful. So Roscomon had a good year last year. They could be up and down this year. Next year should be a good for them. And probaly in the early 2020s this young Roscommon team will be making a big impact when their players peak. The future is good for Roscommon. And also they have alot of brothers on the team. This is good to see and can create a great bond in the team. Look at the Henderson and Fennelly brothers in Kilkenny. The O Ses in kerry. And the lowrys and Connors brothers in Offaly.

For Meath today is sign of progress. We wont havent got a result like today in the last few years or would say anytime since Boylan left. What would have happened is Roscommon would have gone ahead and won by 9 or 10 points as there talented young forwarda cut loose. However a couple of things have improved under McEntee.

1 Fitness has definitely improved
2 The old Meath never day die spirit is slowly coming back. Under Boylan for 20 years Meath were the best team in Ireland in the final quater of games. Meaths mental resolve in the final 15 -20 mins was unreal. Meath won so many games and titles in the final 15 to 20 mins with a never say die spirit. This never say die atitude was part of Meath teams before Boylan. But it has been absent since he left. For the last 12 years Meath have faded badly in second halfs and in the final years of O Dowd reign they became consistent problem. Under McEntee this has stopped as Meath are finishing game strongly something I have not seen since Boylan.
L
eaving the two kildare games to one side. Meath have finished every game in the league championship and byrne cup strongly under McEntee. Last year we finished like a train v Derry Cork Fermanagh Clare and Galway in the league. And we finished strongly v Louth Sligo and Donegal in the champuonship. This has cont'd this year with strong last 15 to 20 mins against longford and Roscommon today. We gad our first proper Meath comeback v Cork last year since Boylan in league or championship when we brought back a 9 point lead to draw down in Cork. This area has improved under McEntee. And this mentality of never giving up has been the cornerstone of all strong Meath teams.

However we are far from the finished product. We are miles behind Dublin and the top teams. We are years behind them. But we are going in the right direction and todays result is more proof of that. Its long time since we got a result v provicial champions. We did let a lead slip in injury time . This is simply down to Rossies have class young forwards. But also inexperience on Meaths part. The top teams like Mayo or Dublin would make sure to close out the game. We didnt, thats an experience issue. And in time as these young players get more experience they will learn how to close out a game.

Overall I still think its more then likely this year we will be uo and down. We wont see progress til next year and real progress in early 2020s. We are on a learning curve. But today was promising. We were rank outsiders with the bookies and all the pundits and all the tipsters on all the forums where predicting a Rossies 5 or 6 points win. So today was progress of sorts.

Its a pity we didnt hold out. A win v the top team in the division on their home patch would have been a great start. But we need now to beat Clare in Navan. Its a long time since we were undefeated in our first two league matchs. We are usually slow starters. But if we can win v Clare we are in a good position. Clare will be tricky. They have a shrewd manager and their team which in the next few years are going in the right direction and will be a team to look out for. But home wins are so important. Next weeks game will tell a bit more about what kind of progress we have made this year.

This weekends results have shook up the pack. Cork look like continuing the form of recent years. And many peoples tip for promotion Cork could be a wrong one. They have huge talent. The best panel in the division. A top 5 team which could push for an All Ireland in coming years. But they are underachieving . Why John Cleary was not made manager was a big mistake. Cork might not be contenders if the results v Clare and Tipp contiunue. They will still cause a problems. You could see them losing to Clare one week and then beating Roscommon Meath or Down the following week.

Tipp were the real winners with Down this weekend. Tipp have a very good young team. They werent great last year. But I find young teams can be up and down. And I have feeling they will have a strong season this year with possible promotion and super 8 participants. In the last few league teams have had sucessive promotion. Monaghan kildare and Roscommon all went from Division 3 to div 2 to div 1. Tipp could do this also. Real contenders.

Other real contenders are Down. Very few tipping them. But they are a real strong league team. Very hard to beat in Newry. And have been in div 1 longer then any other team in div 2 in recent years. A great start. Real contenders also. My gut feeling is Roscommon Meath Tipp and Down will be the 4 way fight for promotion. Its again a wide open divsion.

One last thing it was good to see Eamon Wallace in good form. He came on in 2013 as 19 year old and had a great season finishing with 1-4 from play v Tyrone in the championship in Croker. He did his cruciate and has been trying to return to form since. Today and this years club championship are signs he is returning to 2013 form.

But the big thing for me was McKeever. We drew that game because him with and his 3 points and he set up the goal after coming from the bench. He has been the best club forward in Meath football by a mile in recnt years but injuries have kept him from the panel. If can continue what he did today and his club form . Himself and lenihan would form a tasty duo in the full forward line. Both are in their mid 20s and both should be hitting peaks now. We rely to.much on lenihan in the full foward line. He was missing today and it showed. If him and Mckeever click and two wallaces McMahon two reillys sullivan toibin can all adds scores this will be massive. We have had light forwards in recent years who couldnt make the ball stick. McKeever and lenihan could be two finishers in the inside line which could be a massive plus.

A final thought Our bench made a difference. Our bench this year looks stronger then it has since I can remember. Dublin have showed and the super 8 will show a strong bench is so important. The subs made the difference. Andy needs to get the right mix in first 15. But he needs impact subs. Impact subs like Rooney coming into midfield in future games or Toibin Mcabe McMahon also making impact as subs. Tiobin suits the impact sub role really well. But Conlon McKeever and Eamon Wallace showed they need to start.

The real good thing about today are our two best forwards Reilly and Sullivan did not play well. If we can get the best out of Sullivan and maybe look at biggy been an impact sub it would be more additions. Andy has a few selection dilemmas for the next game. Overall a good days work for Meath but this div again is wide open. Promotion and relegation is wide open.

Furlong1949 (Meath) - Posts: 503 - 28/01/2018 19:09:27    2071504

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Replying To SlipperyDodger:  "Donie Shine's penalty for Roscommon to draw level with Meath
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Donie Smith. Nice channel Slipperydodger, just subscribed.

GreenandRed (Mayo) - Posts: 4764 - 28/01/2018 19:23:54    2071521

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We should have won, that draw feels like a loss tbh. I mean 4 points up with time up? Cuteness is missing in this Meath team , and unfortunately only things like today will put that right. It was a point lost rather than gained.

royaldunne (Meath) - Posts: 13807 - 28/01/2018 20:14:38    2071569

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Ros could have ran away with it in the opening 3/4s of the game. Meath should have won it with a remarkable come back in the last fifteen. I thought it wasn't bad considering the difficult strong cross wind . Meath looked fitter than us but then Ros fans know what happened us the last time we were mad fit in January. I think both teams can take solace from a point and there will be some strange results in this division as it develops. It was entertaining and committed and a clean game for the most part. Both sides lack the smarts to see out a game...something which the bigger teams have in their locker.
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moros (Roscommon) - Posts: 744 - 28/01/2018 21:49:35    2071653

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Replying To royaldunne:  "We should have won, that draw feels like a loss tbh. I mean 4 points up with time up? Cuteness is missing in this Meath team , and unfortunately only things like today will put that right. It was a point lost rather than gained."
Ah stop both teams could have won.. murtagh went off and we collapsed..three huge goal chances and the meath goal keeper was brilliant..we were lucky to get a draw but we should have put ye away early.. division two is wide open

dave1988 (Roscommon) - Posts: 388 - 29/01/2018 01:25:16    2071730

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Furlong1949 (Meath) - 28/01/2018 19:09:27

I don't think it matters how good people perceive Meath to be. That is a good result for Meath when you look at the context both teams are coming from.

Judging on the last few seasons mediocrity you wouldn't be expecting Meath to go to the home of the Connacht Champions and get anything at all.

Great result for them imo and well done. Maybe they're going to improve this season. The aim is obviously promotion and this year is probably Meath's best chance in awhile as it is a weakish Division 2 in comparison to other years and after an encouraging opening result they're in with half a shout.

MesAmis (Dublin) - Posts: 12013 - 29/01/2018 10:24:02    2071797

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Both teams frustrated with the draw but Meath still a lot happier given underdogs away from home. That should of been one of the Rossies bankers.

RoyalBadger (Meath) - Posts: 506 - 29/01/2018 10:55:33    2071816

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To be honest both of us can make a case for slipping up and not winning that game and if you score 2-12 (18) this time of year you should be winning but i think it was us that should have won the most because Meath only had a ten minute purple patch where they scored half of their total meanwhile when we were the better team and had scored 1-11 it really could or should have been 3-15 scored and game over with 10 mins to go. Will lessons be learnt before the trip Tipp? i certainly hope so but i still have big concerns about the fitness of players and Tipp are probably even fitter than Meath.

Will be interesting to see how Meath fare from here. They will expect to push for promotion and drawing on paper their toughest fixture it should give them the confidence to push on and beat Clare at home comfortably this weekend

ispeakwisdom (Roscommon) - Posts: 1907 - 29/01/2018 17:57:36    2072090

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Replying To MesAmis:  "Furlong1949 (Meath) - 28/01/2018 19:09:27

I don't think it matters how good people perceive Meath to be. That is a good result for Meath when you look at the context both teams are coming from.

Judging on the last few seasons mediocrity you wouldn't be expecting Meath to go to the home of the Connacht Champions and get anything at all.

Great result for them imo and well done. Maybe they're going to improve this season. The aim is obviously promotion and this year is probably Meath's best chance in awhile as it is a weakish Division 2 in comparison to other years and after an encouraging opening result they're in with half a shout."
There is many who want Meath to be bad and not improve. There is no other county in Ireland that has more football rival counties on its border then Meath. Kerry has 2. Meath have 8 counties , 2 proviences and the capital. All football mad counties on their border.Only Tippearey have similar amount of gaa rivals on their border. For many neigbouring counties and other rivals from the past they are delighted with Meath losing. They want Meath to be crap forever. There is perception of Meath. Then there is the reality. People have based their judgement on Meath on the two kildare games last year.

And MesAmis you hit the nail on the head with the comment "Judging on the last few seasons" people are judging a new and up and coming Meath on the last few years performances. I find it strange that people can totally right of a new up and coming team. You cannot judge Meath solely on the last few years because no county in Ireland has gone under the overhaul of their panel as much as Meath. Keys in the Independent did research to improve this. This a new Meath team in the early stage of developmet. Probaly 3 years away from peaking as a group of footballers and 6 to 7 years before they wil deline and hit the 30 age mark. No one knows how good Meath can be in the next few years. But for many they want to believe that a young team with good manager and great tradition cannot and will not improve. I believe there evidence to suggest that we will improve and be stronger in the next 5 year in comparsion to the last 5 year. The Roscommon game yesterday is a sign of that improvement. Meath would have lost to Roscommon by 10 points in the last few seasons and probaly must seasons since Boylan left.

The last 6 to 7 years have been average because you had the break up of the 2007 -2010 team before it times. The changing of managers ( 6 managers in 12 years) and the fallout from the leinster final of 2010 all meant the early part of this decade the 2007 to 2010 team broke up. 2013 to 2017 was a period of transtion where players left the panel eg Brian Farrell Conor Gillespie Brian Meade Kevin Reilly Joe Sheridan Cian Ward Shane O Rourke Paddy O Rourke Seamus Kenny and many many more. They were part of the 07 to 2010 team. Then we had new players coming through all good footballers eg Donal Keoghan Conor MCcgill Brian Menton Cillian Sullivan Donal Lenihan Harry Rooney. All are still young and all should have their best football days ahead of them.

MesAmis Have you seen Padraig McKeever play ( the best club forward in Meath by a mile in recent years0 , have you seen Seamus lavin and Shane Gallgher play ( new up and coming man marker young corner backs), have you Brian Conlon play ( Colm O Rourke said he will play for Meath for years , in my opionion a future Meath captain), have you Adam Flanagan play ( a new young midfielder), have you see Alan Forde play ( reminds me of Colm Coyle) , have you seen Joey Wallace( the fastest young forward in the county) , have you see Andy Colgan play ( the new Meath goalie), have you seen James McEntee play ( a modern wing forward we having crying out for a player like him for years) and also what about Brian Power Mark Mcabe Thomas Reilly Dan O Neill Daire Rowe . ( Andy has brought 11 players onto the Meath panel this year who never played for Meath before).

Of course ,All these players are not the finished article, years behind Dublin. Because we are years behind Dublin. But they are all very young and have their best football years ahead of them and they can all improve and they will be part of the Meath team for the next few years. How can you right one of the youngest teams in the country who are in the very early stages of their team developemnt and you havent seen most of them even playing, completly and totally off. The performances of the last few year where by different managers , a different team and different set of players. Your judging your opinion on the past not the present or the future. Teams like Galway Kildare Roscommon Tyrone Armagh Tippearey and yes Meath are the youngest teams in the country , who can all improve and all have potential.

Your opionion and many people opionon of Meath will probaly be proved right this year. As McEntee has to build this team mentality stronger. We dont have underage sucess and when a tradtional sucessful county is in the doldrums and have no underage sucess, it takes time to turn the ship around. This year it will be up and down. But next year wil be progress and I believe when the young Meath players become physically stronger and as footballers at 27 28 in 3 or 4 years time then you will be surprised by their performances. We have some good young defenders, young midfielders and good young forwards. And we have manager who has great CV and according to a former footballer of the year Michael Dara MaCualey is a brillant manager. And according to Dublins best dual player recently Conal Keaney. He said Andy McEntee was the best manager he ever played under ( And Keaney has been managed by Paul Caffrey Pat Gilroy and Anthony Daly. I dont know if he played under Jim Galvin. But these are all brillant managers) . We possibly have a top class manager. And a top class manager is worth its weght in gold in any sport.

I predicted on this forum two or three days ago that Roscommon Meath game would be much tigher then people expected. Why ? Well Meath were always going to be tricky oppostion for Roscommon. Meath had finished third 3 times in the last 4 years in division 2. And Meath played Roscommon last year ( one game before the Connacht final win) in two challenge games and Meath won the two games. So Meath have played Roscommon three times in a year and have been lost none of these three games v Rossies. Meath have improved this year.

There is a group of young teams in the country who I think will make an impact in the coming years eg 1 Tyrone 2Roscommon 3 Galway 4 Kildare 5 Meath 6 Tipp 7 Armagh. All who will make an impact. I have rated them above in order of who is best. On last years form Tyrone and Roscommon are the two best young teams in the country. Ahead of teams like Tipp and Meath. But I dont think the gap is massive between all these counties and the results prove that. For example Roscommon defeated Galway , and Tipp defeated Galway, but Galway defeated kildare and kildare defeated Meath, and Meath defeated Galway and drew with Roscommon and Armagh defeated Kildare and Meath have defeated Armagh . All these results in recent years. They all contradictory. Meath shouldnt be beating Galway, if Kildare cannot beat Galway and Meath cannot beat kildare . But thats what has happened, I think the gap is not as big as people think. And in the next few years it will be interesting to see how all these young teams progress. They are all teams for the future.

And it all comes down to this . Get promoted to divsion 1 and stay in divsion 1 , sucess will follow. Monaghan stayed in divsion 1, they had provincial sucess, Tyrone stayed in divsion 1, they had provincial sucess, Roscommon stayed in div 1 they had provincial sucess. If KIIdare Galway Tipp Meath and Armagh all reach division 1 in the next few years and stay there surely progess and provicial sucess is possbile. With such a young team and a team that has finished third 3 times in 4 year when we were overhauling our panel and in transtiton. Surely promotion to div 1 is a strong possiblity . And if Meath go up this year or next year the players will be physically stronger. Our strenght and conditioning will improve. We do have one of the smallest teams in the country. And if we get promoted Meath traditionally always up their v the top traditional counties and even in the last few years while we were in transition we did up our game v Tyrone in 2013 and 2015 , against Glway in 2014 2015 and 2017 and Donegal 2014 and 2017. Roscommon yesterday was another example of Meath upping their game v top teams.

The last time Meath were in division 1 was 12 years in 2006. The following year we drew with Dublin and played brillantly in two games v Dublin. We also defeated Galway and defeated the great Tyrone team of the 00s and reached an All Ireland semi final. That was just after 1 year in division 1. I believe divsion 1 football would be the making of this Meath team . It cannot be ruled out they will get promotion this year but probaly next year. And when we play division 1 football in 2020 our strenght and conditioning will have improved and our players will begin to peak.

Meath are not as bad as people think or want them to be. A win and draw over a Galway aand drawing with Roscommon yesterday and nearly beating Donegal last year , Shows Meath are not a division 3 or 4 team, but an upcoming young top divsion 2 team whose best football is ahead of them. I think the Roscommon yesterday will be the first sign of many that people will be surpried in the coming years.

We are years behind Dublin and are far from the finished article. But we will be stronger in the coming much stronger then we were in the last few years. I am certain of that. I would put every penny I have on that Meath will win an Leinster title in the years 2020 2021 2022 and will have more sucess. I cannot prove that. But thats what I expect and thats what I totally believe will happen. Once McEntee stays in charge and is given time. I dont how much we will improve but once we keep McEntee we will surprise many with our performances in the coming years and will be much stronger. Mark my words , this will happen. There is group of young teams coming on the scene eg Galway Roscommon Tipp Tyrone Kildare . Meath are part of these young teams all in their early stages of development. And all will improve in the coming years. People always downgrade Meath achievements, and also underate and underestimate us, Under Andy McEntee I think it would foolish to underestimate Meath in the coming years. The times in gaelic football are a changing. Galway All Ireland champion in 2022 ,Kildare leinster champions in 2021, Meath leinster champions in 2022, Tipp All Ireland semi finalist in 2021 . Al these events could happen. Time will tell.

Furlong1949 (Meath) - Posts: 503 - 29/01/2018 20:52:48    2072177

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Replying To Furlong1949:  "
Replying To MesAmis:  "Furlong1949 (Meath) - 28/01/2018 19:09:27

I don't think it matters how good people perceive Meath to be. That is a good result for Meath when you look at the context both teams are coming from.

Judging on the last few seasons mediocrity you wouldn't be expecting Meath to go to the home of the Connacht Champions and get anything at all.

Great result for them imo and well done. Maybe they're going to improve this season. The aim is obviously promotion and this year is probably Meath's best chance in awhile as it is a weakish Division 2 in comparison to other years and after an encouraging opening result they're in with half a shout."
There is many who want Meath to be bad and not improve. There is no other county in Ireland that has more football rival counties on its border then Meath. Kerry has 2. Meath have 8 counties , 2 proviences and the capital. All football mad counties on their border.Only Tippearey have similar amount of gaa rivals on their border. For many neigbouring counties and other rivals from the past they are delighted with Meath losing. They want Meath to be crap forever. There is perception of Meath. Then there is the reality. People have based their judgement on Meath on the two kildare games last year.

And MesAmis you hit the nail on the head with the comment "Judging on the last few seasons" people are judging a new and up and coming Meath on the last few years performances. I find it strange that people can totally right of a new up and coming team. You cannot judge Meath solely on the last few years because no county in Ireland has gone under the overhaul of their panel as much as Meath. Keys in the Independent did research to improve this. This a new Meath team in the early stage of developmet. Probaly 3 years away from peaking as a group of footballers and 6 to 7 years before they wil deline and hit the 30 age mark. No one knows how good Meath can be in the next few years. But for many they want to believe that a young team with good manager and great tradition cannot and will not improve. I believe there evidence to suggest that we will improve and be stronger in the next 5 year in comparsion to the last 5 year. The Roscommon game yesterday is a sign of that improvement. Meath would have lost to Roscommon by 10 points in the last few seasons and probaly must seasons since Boylan left.

The last 6 to 7 years have been average because you had the break up of the 2007 -2010 team before it times. The changing of managers ( 6 managers in 12 years) and the fallout from the leinster final of 2010 all meant the early part of this decade the 2007 to 2010 team broke up. 2013 to 2017 was a period of transtion where players left the panel eg Brian Farrell Conor Gillespie Brian Meade Kevin Reilly Joe Sheridan Cian Ward Shane O Rourke Paddy O Rourke Seamus Kenny and many many more. They were part of the 07 to 2010 team. Then we had new players coming through all good footballers eg Donal Keoghan Conor MCcgill Brian Menton Cillian Sullivan Donal Lenihan Harry Rooney. All are still young and all should have their best football days ahead of them.

MesAmis Have you seen Padraig McKeever play ( the best club forward in Meath by a mile in recent years0 , have you seen Seamus lavin and Shane Gallgher play ( new up and coming man marker young corner backs), have you Brian Conlon play ( Colm O Rourke said he will play for Meath for years , in my opionion a future Meath captain), have you Adam Flanagan play ( a new young midfielder), have you see Alan Forde play ( reminds me of Colm Coyle) , have you seen Joey Wallace( the fastest young forward in the county) , have you see Andy Colgan play ( the new Meath goalie), have you seen James McEntee play ( a modern wing forward we having crying out for a player like him for years) and also what about Brian Power Mark Mcabe Thomas Reilly Dan O Neill Daire Rowe . ( Andy has brought 11 players onto the Meath panel this year who never played for Meath before).

Of course ,All these players are not the finished article, years behind Dublin. Because we are years behind Dublin. But they are all very young and have their best football years ahead of them and they can all improve and they will be part of the Meath team for the next few years. How can you right one of the youngest teams in the country who are in the very early stages of their team developemnt and you havent seen most of them even playing, completly and totally off. The performances of the last few year where by different managers , a different team and different set of players. Your judging your opinion on the past not the present or the future. Teams like Galway Kildare Roscommon Tyrone Armagh Tippearey and yes Meath are the youngest teams in the country , who can all improve and all have potential.

Your opionion and many people opionon of Meath will probaly be proved right this year. As McEntee has to build this team mentality stronger. We dont have underage sucess and when a tradtional sucessful county is in the doldrums and have no underage sucess, it takes time to turn the ship around. This year it will be up and down. But next year wil be progress and I believe when the young Meath players become physically stronger and as footballers at 27 28 in 3 or 4 years time then you will be surprised by their performances. We have some good young defenders, young midfielders and good young forwards. And we have manager who has great CV and according to a former footballer of the year Michael Dara MaCualey is a brillant manager. And according to Dublins best dual player recently Conal Keaney. He said Andy McEntee was the best manager he ever played under ( And Keaney has been managed by Paul Caffrey Pat Gilroy and Anthony Daly. I dont know if he played under Jim Galvin. But these are all brillant managers) . We possibly have a top class manager. And a top class manager is worth its weght in gold in any sport.

I predicted on this forum two or three days ago that Roscommon Meath game would be much tigher then people expected. Why ? Well Meath were always going to be tricky oppostion for Roscommon. Meath had finished third 3 times in the last 4 years in division 2. And Meath played Roscommon last year ( one game before the Connacht final win) in two challenge games and Meath won the two games. So Meath have played Roscommon three times in a year and have been lost none of these three games v Rossies. Meath have improved this year.

There is a group of young teams in the country who I think will make an impact in the coming years eg 1 Tyrone 2Roscommon 3 Galway 4 Kildare 5 Meath 6 Tipp 7 Armagh. All who will make an impact. I have rated them above in order of who is best. On last years form Tyrone and Roscommon are the two best young teams in the country. Ahead of teams like Tipp and Meath. But I dont think the gap is massive between all these counties and the results prove that. For example Roscommon defeated Galway , and Tipp defeated Galway, but Galway defeated kildare and kildare defeated Meath, and Meath defeated Galway and drew with Roscommon and Armagh defeated Kildare and Meath have defeated Armagh . All these results in recent years. They all contradictory. Meath shouldnt be beating Galway, if Kildare cannot beat Galway and Meath cannot beat kildare . But thats what has happened, I think the gap is not as big as people think. And in the next few years it will be interesting to see how all these young teams progress. They are all teams for the future.

And it all comes down to this . Get promoted to divsion 1 and stay in divsion 1 , sucess will follow. Monaghan stayed in divsion 1, they had provincial sucess, Tyrone stayed in divsion 1, they had provincial sucess, Roscommon stayed in div 1 they had provincial sucess. If KIIdare Galway Tipp Meath and Armagh all reach division 1 in the next few years and stay there surely progess and provicial sucess is possbile. With such a young team and a team that has finished third 3 times in 4 year when we were overhauling our panel and in transtiton. Surely promotion to div 1 is a strong possiblity . And if Meath go up this year or next year the players will be physically stronger. Our strenght and conditioning will improve. We do have one of the smallest teams in the country. And if we get promoted Meath traditionally always up their v the top traditional counties and even in the last few years while we were in transition we did up our game v Tyrone in 2013 and 2015 , against Glway in 2014 2015 and 2017 and Donegal 2014 and 2017. Roscommon yesterday was another example of Meath upping their game v top teams.

The last time Meath were in division 1 was 12 years in 2006. The following year we drew with Dublin and played brillantly in two games v Dublin. We also defeated Galway and defeated the great Tyrone team of the 00s and reached an All Ireland semi final. That was just after 1 year in division 1. I believe divsion 1 football would be the making of this Meath team . It cannot be ruled out they will get promotion this year but probaly next year. And when we play division 1 football in 2020 our strenght and conditioning will have improved and our players will begin to peak.

Meath are not as bad as people think or want them to be. A win and draw over a Galway aand drawing with Roscommon yesterday and nearly beating Donegal last year , Shows Meath are not a division 3 or 4 team, but an upcoming young top divsion 2 team whose best football is ahead of them. I think the Roscommon yesterday will be the first sign of many that people will be surpried in the coming years.

We are years behind Dublin and are far from the finished article. But we will be stronger in the coming much stronger then we were in the last few years. I am certain of that. I would put every penny I have on that Meath will win an Leinster title in the years 2020 2021 2022 and will have more sucess. I cannot prove that. But thats what I expect and thats what I totally believe will happen. Once McEntee stays in charge and is given time. I dont how much we will improve but once we keep McEntee we will surprise many with our performances in the coming years and will be much stronger. Mark my words , this will happen. There is group of young teams coming on the scene eg Galway Roscommon Tipp Tyrone Kildare . Meath are part of these young teams all in their early stages of development. And all will improve in the coming years. People always downgrade Meath achievements, and also underate and underestimate us, Under Andy McEntee I think it would foolish to underestimate Meath in the coming years. The times in gaelic football are a changing. Galway All Ireland champion in 2022 ,Kildare leinster champions in 2021, Meath leinster champions in 2022, Tipp All Ireland semi finalist in 2021 . Al these events could happen. Time will tell."
That's one he'll of a crystal ball you have Furlong. But A. I think the "everyone hates Meath and doesn't want us to improve" thing is wrong. For Leinster as a province to be competitive it needs Meath as well as Kildare to challenge Dublin and hopefully some other counties will come out of the pack too. And B. While Meath may well improve over the next few years they won't be the only ones and Dublin is a conveyor belt so they are going nowhere. Making big predictions about what's going to happen in the next few years is a dangerous game. Meath may well improve but at the top level the bar is being risen and even if you improve, you might not be that much further on.

kildare73 (Kildare) - Posts: 770 - 29/01/2018 21:26:05    2072187

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Replying To dave1988:  "Ah stop both teams could have won.. murtagh went off and we collapsed..three huge goal chances and the meath goal keeper was brilliant..we were lucky to get a draw but we should have put ye away early.. division two is wide open"
Firstly it was a very exciting game by two of the youngest teams in the country. Roscommon are ahead of Meath in terms development. And achievements. Provicial champions and two years in division 1. Roscommon are ahead of Meath at the moment. But I always expected yesterday to be close. Meath have played Galway 5 times in recent years and only lost once. And Meath had defeated Roscommon in two challenge matchs last year. Both Galway and Roscommon are up and comig teams with lots of potential and teams to watch out for. So always felt the gap wasnt as big as people wanted to believe it was.

In the firsthalf Roscommon where the better teamand into the second half this contd. Roscommon have good backs. And they were playing well. At midfield I thought Meath won this battle. Roscommon weakness is probaly midfield. And with Menton/ Flanagan and Rooney on the bench and under the guidance of Gerry McEntee, I think our midfield is improving . We only had 1 midfieder last year in Menton ( Jones showed glimpses of potential but he only play 2 games and Toher is not a midfielder he is a wing forward). This year we have 3 midfielders. In the last 20 minutes Meath took control of midfield. And if you take control of midfield in the last 20 mins of game. You always have a chance of winning. Midfield has been problem area since John Mcdermont retired. We still have issues there. But I think we rimproving in this sector. We still need to improve on breaking ball.

The difference was the Rossies forwards in the first half Meath backs did well. Players like McGill Keoghan Lavin and Conlon are good defenders. And they played well especially McGill. Who has replaced Kevin Reilly without fuss. And has slowly developed into another top class Meath full back. But there is still a few weak links in the Meath defence. We havent got the right mix back there yet . While Rossies have some of the best young forwards in the country. Roscommon have class young forwards. And when the ball went up to the Roscommon forwards the ball sticked and the Roscommon forwards got their scores easier then Meath. Becuase Roscommon have better forwards at the start.
Meath where playing a full forward of three light young half forwards because Lenihan our best inside forward was injured. Sullivan T Reilly and J Wallace couldnt make the ball stick. While the quality young Roscommon back where playing well. That why Roscommon where better in the first half. But still there was only 1 point between the teams at half time.

The last 20 mins you put it down to Murtagh going off and I have seen Roscommon people on the forum saying Roscommon got complacent. However if you look at the evidence, maybe the 1-6 Meath scored was a bit down to Meath upping their game and playing well. Meath had a role in the game changing from a 6 point lead for Roscommon to 4 point lead for Meath. Murtagh was a loss. But to say Roscommon collasped after he went off makes no sense. Firstly Murtagh is a quality young forward with a great future, a probale all star forward.

But Murtagh going off is not going to lead to good Roscommon collasping. Roscommon are not a one man team. They have plenty of good footballers all over the field. Meath had a role to play in the comeback. People always downgrade Meath performances. The fact of the change in the game was based in 4 factors 1 Meath taking control of midfield. Meath looked stronger in midfield 2 Meaths fitness 3 Impact of Meath subs 4 Return of the old Meath spirit.

1 Meath took control at midfield in the last 20 mins. Menton and Flanagan looked a stronger partnership overall then Roscommon with Enda Smith. Who is top class footballer. But probaly is more a top class half forward then a traditional midfielder

2 Meaths fitness has improved under McEntee. We have had a problem with fitness for years. Since Boylan left we have faded badly in games. Under McEntee even in the championship we looked very fit v Louth in June and Donegal in July. Our fitness levels have improved dramatically under McEntee throughout the league and championship.

3 Both teams had strong benchs. The Roscommon bench looked really good on paper but with the exception of Donie Smiths peno the bench made little impact. Im sure that Roscommon will make a big impact in future games. The Meath bench made a huge impact. The Meath bench looked stronger then I have seen in a long time. Even under Boylan we didnt have strong bench. Our bench was Mattie Mcabe in the 80s, Jody Devine in the 90s and Ray Magee in the 00s . And that was it. But McEntee has brought 11 players into Meath who never played before for the county. This has added a depth to the panel I have not seen before.

Conlon came on and he made a big impact. Eamon Wallace who also was a sub who came on, made a big impact with his and his running at Rossies defence with his brother Joey caused problems. But it was Mckeever and Toibin coming of the becnh that changed everything. In thefirst the young light Meath forwards could not make the ball stick. Toibin is strongly built player and is turning into a big impact sub for Meath. He came of the bench to help us draw with Cork last year, and he also came on bench to win the game v Sligo in the championship and he came off the bench in the Roscommon yesterday and against longford two weeks ago and made a big impact in both games.. While McKeever who was making his debut has been the best club forward by a mile in Meath club football in the last few years. He has had injuries. But he is available this year, hes 26 so hes actually one of the older players on the team now. But he made a difference scoring 3 points and setting up the goal. In the first half Meath had no one in the forwards standing up. Our two three best forward two of them where not playin well Sullivan and G Reilly. And D Lenihan was injured. In the last 20 minutes Toibin and Mckeever where making an impact

4 The final reason why Meath came back is a return of the old never say die spirit under MCentee. I will explain this in another separate message below

Furlong1949 (Meath) - Posts: 503 - 29/01/2018 23:40:55    2072246

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The final reason for the change in the last 20 mins is something that is giving me postivety for the future. The return of the old Meath spirit. Meath football always has this reputation of a never say die spirit. Under Boylan, Meath where the best team in the final quarter inthe country for 20 years. In the final quarter of games, Meaths mental resolve got stronger. And Meath won so many big games and titles in the final 20 mins with this resolve eg 1988 All Ireland v Cork, 1991 4 games v Dublin, and the two All Ireland finals v Mayo in 96 and many many more games. All these games are examples when the oppostion got tired and nervous and Meath grew stronger and showed great nerve and mental strenght. Meath would also make these extraordinary comebacks under Boylan. The never say die spirit of Meath football became legendary. But it was always part of Meaths teams going back to the 40s 50s 60s and 70s. The three games v Louth in the late 40s caught the countries imagination like the 4 games in 91. And Meath showed great will and desire to beat one of the best teams in the country in 47. While the 1970 Leinster final v Offaly is considered not only one of the greatest leinster finals ever, but one of the greatest games ever with the greatest Meath comeback of all time.

But since Boylan left that old Meath spirit has disapppeared. For 13 years since he left, there has been no great comebacks. And Meath teams instead of having a great spirit where now wilting in the second half and half second collaspes where common occurence. Which became almost game after game occurence under O Dowd in his final year. There has been so many games where Meath had poor second halfs since Boylan left eg Wexford 2006 Cork 2007 Wexford 2008 Louth 2010 Kildare 2010 Westmeath 2015 Cavan 2015 Dublin 2016.

However under McEntee this has stopped. Now I know we let a goal in the Roscommon game to draw. But that was down to inexperience. Players dont know how to close out game. Like Dublin did v Mayo last year and kerry did v Mayo in 2015.

But overall not since Boylan have I seen Meath comebacks. While under McEntee ,Meath have finished pretty much every game very strongly, which is soemthing I have not seen in 12 years or more. With the exception of the two kildare games. We are now making comebacks and never giving up and if we have a lead we now bury the oppostion team, something we havent done in years.

For example
In the league we finished very strongly v Derry ,
We finished very strongly v Clare,
We finished very strongly v Fermanagh,
And we finished very strongly v Galway ( we were 5 points at one stage with 15 mins to go and we won the game),
And finished very strongly v Cork ( We were 9 points down with 25 minutes to go and we drew the game, first bona fide great Meath comeback since Boylan retired).
And finally finished strongly v Down, but not enough to win, left it to late

In the championship
We finished very strongly v Louth ( scoring 7 points in a row to finish with 27 points) ,
We finished very strongly v Sligo,
And we finished strongly v Donegal ( But McBreaty and Michael Muprhy brillance won the game for Donegal in injury time)

This years Byrne cup and league , the above thread has contd
We finished very strongly v Carlow, Wicklow and Longford , and in first league game v Roscommon we were 6 points down with 20 mins to go and by injury we went onto draw the match.

So in every Meath game since McEntee took over ( with the exception of the two kildare games), Meath have found that old never say die spiirt in every game. I have not seen that once consitently any year since Boylan left. But also this has been associated with all McEntees teams. At underage leve when he got Meath to the All Ireland minor final in 2011 , there was two great comebacks v a very highly fancied Tyrone team in the quater final and a comeback v Mayo in the semi final.

With Ballyboden, when he won the Dublin senior title. In the quater final, semi final and final ,Ballyboden under McEntee finished all these games very strongly and carved out 1 point wins in the dying minutes. These type of winning performance was also seen in the semi final v Clonmel with another comeback in the dying minutes. I remeber a friend of mine from the Ballyboden club, thought the performances under McEntee where similar to Meaths wins under Boylan in the 80s and 90s.

McEntees key strengh, if you ask anyone who has been managed by him, is his man management skills. But also all his teams at minor inter county level, club level and now at senior county level seem to be very fit, but also have a never say die spirit and fight to the bitter end. This has to be good that Meath have a manger who is steeped in the traditons of Meath football, in that what Sean Boylan used to say to the players " dont look at the clock, just keep playing and never give up". If McEntee can engrain this in this young Meath ( many of which he managed to a minor All Ireland final) a true Meath never say die spirit, then Meath have every chance of being stronger in the coming years and even been a sucessful gaelic football team .

We are are far from the finished artIcile. Still years behind Dublin and the Kerrys. And we still havent got grip to the modern way of defending and attacking with the ball, Our traditonal kick and catch is no longer the sucessful way of playing. The possesion game is the new way to sucess. It will take us while to sort that out. We are still physically light and we can be outmuscled in the tackle. We are very experienced and still havent learned how to close out a game v stronger teams eg Donegal Roscommon. But that will come with experience.

But we do have is good young backs who can defend eg Donal Koeghan, Seamus Lavin, Conor McGill, Brian Conlon Brian Power and Shane Gallagher . We have a midfield that is no longer being cleaned out, it is more competitive midfield under Gerry McEntees guidance and tutorship. We have some modern young wing forwards eg James McEntee and Alan Forde . And good young forwards like Cillian Sullivan, Padraig McKeever, Donal Lenihan, Bryan McMahon, Joey Wallace , Eamon Wallace, Mark Mcabe, Ben Brennan, Thomas Reilly, Daire Rowe. Along with strongest management team since Boylan left . We do have the basis of proper functioning decent inter county team which in the next few years as these young players reach their mid 20s, I believe they will be more able for divsion 1 football.

(And also some of the young talent coming through at underage in my view is the best we have produced since the 90s. And hopefully in the next few years , we will see the excellent work done at underage level turning into titles and silverware at the new under 17 and under 20 level. When they come on the intercounty scene at the start of the next decade that could be postive addtion to the mix also).

But it will take time. But this return of the old Meath spirit is a very good sign indeed. A never say die spirit is the cornerstone of every sucessful Meath team. Boylans teams always made comeback and never gave up.
(The only time there was not a comeback under Boylan was in the 2001 final. Galway were the better team, but there was no Meath comeback simply because in 10 mins we had the worst run events in a final ever eg Player sent off, Fay deciding to take himself off Joyce unknown to management, Giles missing a peno and Ollie Murphy going off with a asmashed hand. This all happened in 10 mins. Galway would have still have won, but those events led to no Meath fightback .)

in the future ,We will be up and down for a year or two. But we are going in the direction.
Finally simple as this, The road to sucess is simply explained in two sentences. Obtain promtion to division 1 . Stay in divsion 1 . or put this way
Obtain promtion to division 1 + Stay in divsion 1 = sucess
This will be very difficult, but it is not impossible. I would say we are 24 months away from being good enough for divsion 1.After that anything is possible.

Furlong1949 (Meath) - Posts: 503 - 30/01/2018 01:23:51    2072261

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Replying To dave1988:  "Ah stop both teams could have won.. murtagh went off and we collapsed..three huge goal chances and the meath goal keeper was brilliant..we were lucky to get a draw but we should have put ye away early.. division two is wide open"
Maybe Roscommon did collapse when murtagh went off that's not our fault if you substitutions are not up to it. We where missing Donal Leiehan probably our best forward from last year and our free taker. We missed a few goal chances aswell. Plus the chance to go five points ahead at the death. Personally I expected more from Roscommon , I dont not envy yous having to travel to Tipp after there great win. That could great game. It remains to be seen are Meath improving or are Roscommon where just poor on the day. I guess we will have wait and see.

bobkarlgees (Meath) - Posts: 823 - 31/01/2018 11:17:48    2072722

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