Reilly: Brophy incident has been 'blown out of proportion'
MEATH captain Kevin Reilly says he has "surprised" at Jason Ryan's reaction to the challenge which resulted in Paddy Brophy being forced off Meath's Leinster SFC semi-final win over Kildare.
The pair clashed after 33 minutes of a match that passed off without major incident but this week, after reflecting on the incident, Ryan said that Reilly had "put himself in there to make sure he was going to make an impact on Paddy".
He revealed that Brophy was "not good sleeping-wise," and had been in "a lot of pain" since the defeat.
Asked whether he was surprised by the Kildare manager's statement, the Meath captain admitted: "I am surprised. The referee was blowing for a lot of frees for minimal contact.
"That wasn't a free and he was in a decent position for it. I am surprised. I thought nothing of it at the time."
"Jason Ryan is entitled to his opinion. If you look at the incident which I did, Brophy kind of slid in to catch the ball and he fumbled it and when he fumbled it he actually tried to pick himself up off the ground to go after it and that's when we collided.
"It was nothing more than a collision and I think being honest that it has been blown out of all proportion."
Defending his own disciplinary record, Reilly insisted: "I've been playing inter-county football 10 years. I have been sent off once for two yellow cards for more persistent fouling than anything else.
"In terms of physicality any full-back or any player is going to be physical and if you're not at this stage the way the game is you are going to be sitting on the sideline and somebody else is going to be in there."
Despite Reilly's being the only booking of the match, Ryan said afterwards his players had been "shocked" by the level of Meath physicality, yet when asked whether the Royals had intentionally laid down a marker, their captain stressed: "Not at all.
"I was challenging for a ball. I actually fell over him. There was nothing more than that.
"You go as hard as you can for the ball as long as it is there. But in this case it was actually a collision and we fell over."
Meath manager Mick O'Dowd refused to become embroiled in a war of words with Ryan at Meath's pre Leinster final press briefing, although he did point out that Bryan McMahon had been lost to a concussion, adding: "The great thing about Dublin-Meath games is there's no whinging afterwards one way or another."
Reilly added: "Bryan's (McMahon) challenge, it was quite a nasty challenge.
"A Kildare player came down with his elbow on his head and then fell on top of him. It's part of the game, it happens.
"It's not nice but it happens and we get on with it. No point in whinging and moaning about it either."