Meath Forum

Meath V Westmeath 2015

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Unreal first half...actually we were 9 points clear at the 50th minute when Martin got his second goal.
Interesting pointers for me.....McGill making one of first appearances …..Menton at 7 , Keoghan at 6
Harnan was a real eye opener at 11, and McMahon went to town at 15
Eamonn Wallace playing, Joe Wallace came on....Obvious that we made big mistakes on the day & point regarding leadership is well made , ….I do think McEntee has brought overall fitness & conditioning levels on a tonne as, we faded badly ...but did we lose other things that we could have built upon when throwing out the bathwater of this regime

Thelongwoodslasher (Meath) - Posts: 139 - 07/01/2021 14:50:12    2326478

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Replying To Thelongwoodslasher:  "Unreal first half...actually we were 9 points clear at the 50th minute when Martin got his second goal.
Interesting pointers for me.....McGill making one of first appearances …..Menton at 7 , Keoghan at 6
Harnan was a real eye opener at 11, and McMahon went to town at 15
Eamonn Wallace playing, Joe Wallace came on....Obvious that we made big mistakes on the day & point regarding leadership is well made , ….I do think McEntee has brought overall fitness & conditioning levels on a tonne as, we faded badly ...but did we lose other things that we could have built upon when throwing out the bathwater of this regime"
It was a bizarre game. I feel that for myself and many others I've seen and I'm friendly with in my own life; that was the day when the penny dropped about Meath. The signs were there going back a long way but that day the **** hit the fan.
it left mental scars, and on a county that had very few beforehand, and in fact was a giver of scars rather than a receiver. It was like a huge depression suddenly set in, and all that used to be solid and concrete in life suddenly wasn't anymore.
We have improved since in every way, except in the sense that the calibre of player we are championing is largely the same quality as it was in 2015, or 2010 for that matter, and that means we're still a limited side. The regime of the time had to take the guillotine for this game, it was a new low for Meath, and the loss to Longford a few years back was proof we havent turned the page fully on this episode just yet, but we're on a better road.

Young_gael (Meath) - Posts: 432 - 07/01/2021 15:33:46    2326483

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Replying To Young_gael:  "It was a bizarre game. I feel that for myself and many others I've seen and I'm friendly with in my own life; that was the day when the penny dropped about Meath. The signs were there going back a long way but that day the **** hit the fan.
it left mental scars, and on a county that had very few beforehand, and in fact was a giver of scars rather than a receiver. It was like a huge depression suddenly set in, and all that used to be solid and concrete in life suddenly wasn't anymore.
We have improved since in every way, except in the sense that the calibre of player we are championing is largely the same quality as it was in 2015, or 2010 for that matter, and that means we're still a limited side. The regime of the time had to take the guillotine for this game, it was a new low for Meath, and the loss to Longford a few years back was proof we havent turned the page fully on this episode just yet, but we're on a better road."
Not our first embarrassment or loss to a precieved weaker team in recent times, Wexford and Limerick spring to mind. Going back over the years we have picked up plenty of mental scars throughout the 60, 70,80 and 90s, but always dusted ourselves down and came back a stronger side. What made this worse for some was a defeat by our close neighbours and they way they achieved it.. I cannot see how we have improved in every way since then, at least then we had a decent keeper and forwards like Graham Reilly, Stephen Bray and Micky Newman. If as you say the regime at the time had to go, then how can current management survive the last two catastrophic Leinster Final losses? It is too simplistic to blame the loss to Westmeath for our current woes ,it was a championship loss and nothing greater, only about 5/6 players remain from that defeat. It happens to teams year in/out but they dont go into a tailspin due to one loss. Since we beat Clare in 2019 to make Super 8s it has been a very rocky road with little or no sign of any progress and certainly no better.

seadog54 (Meath) - Posts: 1491 - 07/01/2021 21:58:15    2326554

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Replying To seadog54:  "Not our first embarrassment or loss to a precieved weaker team in recent times, Wexford and Limerick spring to mind. Going back over the years we have picked up plenty of mental scars throughout the 60, 70,80 and 90s, but always dusted ourselves down and came back a stronger side. What made this worse for some was a defeat by our close neighbours and they way they achieved it.. I cannot see how we have improved in every way since then, at least then we had a decent keeper and forwards like Graham Reilly, Stephen Bray and Micky Newman. If as you say the regime at the time had to go, then how can current management survive the last two catastrophic Leinster Final losses? It is too simplistic to blame the loss to Westmeath for our current woes ,it was a championship loss and nothing greater, only about 5/6 players remain from that defeat. It happens to teams year in/out but they dont go into a tailspin due to one loss. Since we beat Clare in 2019 to make Super 8s it has been a very rocky road with little or no sign of any progress and certainly no better."
Yeah I see all of the points youre making and in hindsight I agree with you. I guess its easy to put time into context with poor results such as the one vs. Westmeath in '15 and thats what I focused in on.

I think Andy McEntee has to stay on because we reached the two finals in hand, and because we have acheived results that we more than likely wouldn't have before he took on the job. That in-itself is progress of a kind. I do agree we fell well short of the requirement for division one; and performed more poorly at the grade than Roscommon, Cavan, and Kildare in recent years. But we still got there. That's more than half the battle. In recent years we won in Cork, we beat Kildare twice in a row, beat a very good and very underacheiving Armagh side, Down (always dodgy), Clare, Tipp (both good). The super 8 playoff was one of the biggest games in the history of Clare football and getting the 1/2 point win was very respectable on the day.
We drew level with Monaghan and Roscommon and drew blood vs. Tyrone and Donegal, and Kerry several times. We went to Killarney with an understrength team and put up 2-13 and left goals out there too. We blew a big lead vs. Mayo and fell agonisingly short vs. Galway. I hate to be limiting our chances but all things considered I think he's done a good job. I honestly dont see how we could get more out of whats available at the moment, particularly in 2019 before the introduction of talented young and decorated players. We just hadn't the scope on our panel to push onto the next level. We just fall short, and bridging that gap is extremely difficult as we all know. Its a 50/50 toss-up if Meath are to either improve from here or decline, and thats just the modern game. Its a very robust game.

It saddens me to say it but we'd be best off just ignoring the two final results vs. Dublin. Just forget about Dublin altogether in fact. In my own personal view, give McEntee another year and go from there, especially considering the year that's in it with restrictions and such... and hope and pray a big name and big coaching panel take up the job in the coming few years. Meath has to be one of the most exciting potential jobs for any potential county manager and coaching staff. In saying that im nailing my colours to the mast; we need to look outside the county.

Young_gael (Meath) - Posts: 432 - 08/01/2021 09:04:06    2326580

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Replying To seadog54:  "Not our first embarrassment or loss to a precieved weaker team in recent times, Wexford and Limerick spring to mind. Going back over the years we have picked up plenty of mental scars throughout the 60, 70,80 and 90s, but always dusted ourselves down and came back a stronger side. What made this worse for some was a defeat by our close neighbours and they way they achieved it.. I cannot see how we have improved in every way since then, at least then we had a decent keeper and forwards like Graham Reilly, Stephen Bray and Micky Newman. If as you say the regime at the time had to go, then how can current management survive the last two catastrophic Leinster Final losses? It is too simplistic to blame the loss to Westmeath for our current woes ,it was a championship loss and nothing greater, only about 5/6 players remain from that defeat. It happens to teams year in/out but they dont go into a tailspin due to one loss. Since we beat Clare in 2019 to make Super 8s it has been a very rocky road with little or no sign of any progress and certainly no better."
Well this is indeed wonderful we are delighted to have given ye such psychological problems I see ye are getting the "Colourful" Mullingar duo Messrs Flynn and Leahy to help ye out. That should be interesting.

jobber (Westmeath) - Posts: 877 - 08/01/2021 09:16:18    2326581

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Replying To jobber:  "Well this is indeed wonderful we are delighted to have given ye such psychological problems I see ye are getting the "Colourful" Mullingar duo Messrs Flynn and Leahy to help ye out. That should be interesting."
Credit where it's due that is/was a good Westmeath team and they fulfilled what should have been done 15/20 years earlier in beating Meath; the teams of the early 2000s should have done it a few times and missed a few golden opportunities. It was a big day for your county and we in Meath sometimes disassociate that with the game in '15. That Westmeath set-up also reached 2/3 Leinster finals in the 2010s and was periodically the 2nd team in the province to the Dubs. Heslin in particular is top class. Coupled with the team of the early 2000s and winning the Leinster under Paidi, its been a decent few decades for the Lakesiders or "slashers" as you are known in a friendly way in the royal county! Heres to good contests between us in the future, and heres to rural Leinster football.

Young_gael (Meath) - Posts: 432 - 08/01/2021 10:39:08    2326591

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The only thing that has changed in the meantime is that the fitness of the team as improved or are fresher going into games. This present team is playing no better football than they were in the early stages of games back then as posters have outlined in their posts. Remember that in the first round in Navan after devastating form for 45 minutes against Wicklow we were hanging on by our fingernails at the end and I still thing we were lucky with the amount of injury time allowed.
Yes it was the day that "you'll never beat the Royals" died, never again can that be chanted.

MillerX (Meath) - Posts: 788 - 08/01/2021 12:11:08    2326613

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Replying To Young_gael:  "Credit where it's due that is/was a good Westmeath team and they fulfilled what should have been done 15/20 years earlier in beating Meath; the teams of the early 2000s should have done it a few times and missed a few golden opportunities. It was a big day for your county and we in Meath sometimes disassociate that with the game in '15. That Westmeath set-up also reached 2/3 Leinster finals in the 2010s and was periodically the 2nd team in the province to the Dubs. Heslin in particular is top class. Coupled with the team of the early 2000s and winning the Leinster under Paidi, its been a decent few decades for the Lakesiders or "slashers" as you are known in a friendly way in the royal county! Heres to good contests between us in the future, and heres to rural Leinster football."
Two generous posts Gentlemen appreciated. The reality for us all in Leinster is that we are all miles behind a Dublin juggernaut that isn't going away. Meath of course have made progress over the past few years as have Westmeath but I think Meaths biggest problem is the fans lack of patience. The World has changed since the nineties and even Kerry can't compete with Dublin

jobber (Westmeath) - Posts: 877 - 08/01/2021 13:42:04    2326638

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Replying To Young_gael:  "Yeah I see all of the points youre making and in hindsight I agree with you. I guess its easy to put time into context with poor results such as the one vs. Westmeath in '15 and thats what I focused in on.

I think Andy McEntee has to stay on because we reached the two finals in hand, and because we have acheived results that we more than likely wouldn't have before he took on the job. That in-itself is progress of a kind. I do agree we fell well short of the requirement for division one; and performed more poorly at the grade than Roscommon, Cavan, and Kildare in recent years. But we still got there. That's more than half the battle. In recent years we won in Cork, we beat Kildare twice in a row, beat a very good and very underacheiving Armagh side, Down (always dodgy), Clare, Tipp (both good). The super 8 playoff was one of the biggest games in the history of Clare football and getting the 1/2 point win was very respectable on the day.
We drew level with Monaghan and Roscommon and drew blood vs. Tyrone and Donegal, and Kerry several times. We went to Killarney with an understrength team and put up 2-13 and left goals out there too. We blew a big lead vs. Mayo and fell agonisingly short vs. Galway. I hate to be limiting our chances but all things considered I think he's done a good job. I honestly dont see how we could get more out of whats available at the moment, particularly in 2019 before the introduction of talented young and decorated players. We just hadn't the scope on our panel to push onto the next level. We just fall short, and bridging that gap is extremely difficult as we all know. Its a 50/50 toss-up if Meath are to either improve from here or decline, and thats just the modern game. Its a very robust game.

It saddens me to say it but we'd be best off just ignoring the two final results vs. Dublin. Just forget about Dublin altogether in fact. In my own personal view, give McEntee another year and go from there, especially considering the year that's in it with restrictions and such... and hope and pray a big name and big coaching panel take up the job in the coming few years. Meath has to be one of the most exciting potential jobs for any potential county manager and coaching staff. In saying that im nailing my colours to the mast; we need to look outside the county."
I dont think there is any doubt that Andy Mac will be here for another year, with Inter County football going ahead before club, potential new management would have no time or opportunity to work with current squad or any chance view new players. I know Tyrone changed managment, however incoming lads are very familiar with squad. While it would be nice to forget about the Dubs, hopefully there is a fair chance we will face them in Leinster on a regular basis and recent hammerings are bound to affect current players, together with long term consequence for numbers playing the game in Meath. Why give up so much of their time if there is not at least a chance of a Leinster title. Schools in Dublin who were rugby only are now putting out gaelic football teams in response to demand fostered by the success of the senior footballers. Have no problem with Andy staying on, however we need a change to coaching methods, be that a new voice on training pitch or at the very least a realisation that what is been done at present is not working.

seadog54 (Meath) - Posts: 1491 - 08/01/2021 18:39:30    2326685

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Replying To jobber:  "Well this is indeed wonderful we are delighted to have given ye such psychological problems I see ye are getting the "Colourful" Mullingar duo Messrs Flynn and Leahy to help ye out. That should be interesting."
My point was Westmeath loss gave Meath no such psychological problems, it was simply a championship loss to a better team. Happens to teams every year. Any explanation to the use of Colourful to describe B Flynn?

seadog54 (Meath) - Posts: 1491 - 08/01/2021 18:46:40    2326689

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Replying To seadog54:  "My point was Westmeath loss gave Meath no such psychological problems, it was simply a championship loss to a better team. Happens to teams every year. Any explanation to the use of Colourful to describe B Flynn?"
Couldn't disagree more. It destroyed many of that team. The lowest ebb. I know it was reason a certain player walked away.

royaldunne (Meath) - Posts: 17290 - 10/01/2021 14:12:48    2326879

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No different to loss to longford only we never got besten before by westmeath.prob was just the same team really and 2 poorly coached teams.

Borderroyal (Meath) - Posts: 310 - 10/01/2021 17:45:25    2326903

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Replying To royaldunne:  "Couldn't disagree more. It destroyed many of that team. The lowest ebb. I know it was reason a certain player walked away."
There is no way that players of the calibre of Keogan, Menton J MacEntee are that mentally weak as to let one championship defeat define them.It was just one of thoes days, nothing more nothing less. If a player was- as you say- destroyed by this defeat then it was a good choice to walk away, no shame in that, intercounty football was not for him. As with all sport, players have to be able to take the good with the bad.

seadog54 (Meath) - Posts: 1491 - 10/01/2021 19:18:17    2326913

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It works 1 of two ways lads.
1. It either is used as fuel and a building block for the lads to the standard that's required and commitment needed.
Or
2. They regress and believe just like the media that the Dublin juggernaut is unstoppable and why are they sacrificing their life in the short term for a impossible goal.
I would go with the former these lads are highly committed and highly competitive regardless of that game this team has been steadily improving under McEntee and as a county we need to drum in behind them and stop pointing fingers when they face a set-back

CMAN1570 (Meath) - Posts: 20 - 10/01/2021 22:42:15    2326931

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Replying To seadog54:  "There is no way that players of the calibre of Keogan, Menton J MacEntee are that mentally weak as to let one championship defeat define them.It was just one of thoes days, nothing more nothing less. If a player was- as you say- destroyed by this defeat then it was a good choice to walk away, no shame in that, intercounty football was not for him. As with all sport, players have to be able to take the good with the bad."
Just to be clear he walked away cause of that defeat that he said was totally fault of management.
It has scarred many of that team. They have always stated it. To say otherwise is totally incorrect

royaldunne (Meath) - Posts: 17290 - 11/01/2021 13:53:07    2326983

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Replying To CMAN1570:  "It works 1 of two ways lads.
1. It either is used as fuel and a building block for the lads to the standard that's required and commitment needed.
Or
2. They regress and believe just like the media that the Dublin juggernaut is unstoppable and why are they sacrificing their life in the short term for a impossible goal.
I would go with the former these lads are highly committed and highly competitive regardless of that game this team has been steadily improving under McEntee and as a county we need to drum in behind them and stop pointing fingers when they face a set-back"
I agree with this. That been said mcentee had a very difficult job in building up lads confidence from that game. Some were never going to get over it and were not on the panels going forward others put their heads down and focused on rebuilding Meath. And were rewarded with topping division 2, I suppose this year will tell us if we really have left that disastrous day behind us. The lowest ever from any Meath team.

royaldunne (Meath) - Posts: 17290 - 11/01/2021 13:56:40    2326984

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Replying To royaldunne:  "I agree with this. That been said mcentee had a very difficult job in building up lads confidence from that game. Some were never going to get over it and were not on the panels going forward others put their heads down and focused on rebuilding Meath. And were rewarded with topping division 2, I suppose this year will tell us if we really have left that disastrous day behind us. The lowest ever from any Meath team."
These lads that left is there a list somewhere i seem to remeber we went with pretty much same panel for few years after that.in fairness until colm nally came on board it was poor stuff.did he put confidence in these lads or was it other sources.

Borderroyal (Meath) - Posts: 310 - 11/01/2021 16:55:43    2327009

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Replying To royaldunne:  "I agree with this. That been said mcentee had a very difficult job in building up lads confidence from that game. Some were never going to get over it and were not on the panels going forward others put their heads down and focused on rebuilding Meath. And were rewarded with topping division 2, I suppose this year will tell us if we really have left that disastrous day behind us. The lowest ever from any Meath team."
Stupid analysis. Westmeath not beating meath in 100 years meant nothing as they seldom meet and westmeath had some league wins.
2015 Match had a very depleted meath team due to injury.Ref missed key calls which lead to westmeath goals . The team had a bad day. Players and manager knew that it was just something that happened and went onto a fine display to be cheated in omagh v a top tyrone team

Ashrules (Dublin) - Posts: 352 - 18/01/2021 00:44:20    2327866

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Replying To royaldunne:  "I agree with this. That been said mcentee had a very difficult job in building up lads confidence from that game. Some were never going to get over it and were not on the panels going forward others put their heads down and focused on rebuilding Meath. And were rewarded with topping division 2, I suppose this year will tell us if we really have left that disastrous day behind us. The lowest ever from any Meath team."
P O'Rourke; J McEntee, C McGill, D Tobin; M Burke, D Keogan (C), B Menton (0-01); H Rooney, K Reilly; G Reilly (0-04), P Harnan, A Tormey (0-02f); E Wallace (0-04), S Bray (0-03); B McMahon (2-02).

Subs: A Flanagan for Rooney (45), D Dalton for Burke (45), M Newman (0-02, 1f) for Reilly (BC 46), J Wallace for Tobin (BC 61)

That was the team and scorers on the day in 2015 v Westmeath.

This was the team that lost to Kildare in 2017 in Andy's first year in charge

P O'Rourke; C McGill, D Keogan, D Tobin; P Harnan, M Burke (0-01), S McEntee (0-01); B Menton (0-02), R Jones; J Toher (0-01), C O'Sullivan, E Wallace; G Reilly, B McMahon, D Lenihan (0-05, 0-02f).

Subs: J McEntee for Toher 28, R O Coileain (0-03) for Wallace h/t, B Conlon for Jones 47, T O'Reilly for McMahon 51, S Tobin for Reilly 56, A Douglas for O'Sullivan 69.

From that 15 team the only players no longer on that panel in 2017 were
Rooney who left for Oz
Reilly and Bray who retired
Tormey who was injured
Dalton was likely injured or dropped (can't recall)

Really negates your argument their RD. You'd pretty much the same panel in 2017 as 2015.

brian (Meath) - Posts: 1080 - 18/01/2021 10:42:45    2327888

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In the spirit of keeping a good thread moving, it is a fact that although we've had a lot of comings and goings in the squad in the past 5 years, largely the spine of players remains the same now as then, the big names then were still the big names in 2019 (our biggest year since 07? 09? even 01 arguably?)
The key I would argue isn't necessarily that there had been change in players since 2015 or that we've had such changes as 60/70 players getting game-time since McEntee took charge, I would say the big issue has been modern coaching, working on mindset, and particularly structures. Its no exaggeration to say that Meath club football isn't a particularly high standard, and its no exaggeration to say that at senior inter-county level we havent produced consistently great players in a long time. True, we might have two or three great players dotted across the pitch, but thats the height of it, hence why McEntee is eager to constantly try new names surely to encourage competition, especially with decorated minors. What makes Meath competetive as things stand is that McEntee has a solid calibre of player (as you'll always have in Meath), all-rounders, can pass, can move, can play off their own instincts, can shoot, can tackle, can piece together fast movement, and can win without needing to study for a masters in blanket zonal defending and sweepers etc, it might be ugly 50% of the time - but it works against teams of the average to decent profile. Its a simple science:
Good players+ 1/2 top class players+Competition for places+ Very high conditioning levels+keeping the squad fresh+ high quality coaching and management = getting the most out of whats available. Thats what we've managed to do since 2015.
Thats the difference between now and 2015. Its a fragile difference when everything is taken into account but if Meath are to stay in the mix then it must be maintained and the emphasis must firmly remain on constant revamp of the panel.

I predict a slow stagnation in our fortunes in league, the recent history tells me that promotion to division one is a one-off, and isnt what its cracked up to be as a sign of emerging teams. I'd be more than happy staying there mid-table. However in the next few years I also see a slow breakthrough in championship. The key is a 5/6 game run, Leinster aside, and ultimately winning a knockout championship game against a division one perennial. Thats the next step up for Meath.

Young_gael (Meath) - Posts: 432 - 19/01/2021 12:30:49    2328052

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