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Thursday 16 August 2018

Battle of Boyne ideal: Carr

FORMER Louth boss Paddy Carr believes that Saturday week’s ‘Battle of the Boyne Mark II’ is the ideal fixture for both Louth and Meath after their traumatic exits from the Leinster SFC.

But the Kilmacud Crokes manager believes that the momentum may marginally favour Meath, especially if Louth’s confidence has been badly eroded by yesterday’s shock defeat to Carlow.

Carr lives in Meath but was Louth boss on the night the Royals famously ambushed them with two late, late goals in a 2002 qualifier at Navan.

“When the draw came out last night, in Meath there was an immediate reaction of lifting the heads,” he revealed.

“It wasn’t so much the defeat to Kildare as the manner of it – there was no real talk of the significance of the Geraghty goal, there was a sense that Meath are in trouble right across the board. But the minute that draw was made, it absolutely brings the focus back onto football.

“And for Louth, coming back on the bus (yesterday), there is no doubt this is just exactly what Louth needed because they are immediately refocused. Louth people won’t be talking about what happened in Portlaoise, they will be looking forward.”

RTÉ have been quick out of the blocks to confirm they will broadcast the game ‘live’ on Saturday week but a venue has yet to be announced by the CCCC. Drogheda is a non-runner because of capacity issues, but Parnell Park, Breffni Park and Newry have been touted as possibilities.

However, Joe Sheridan, the Meathman in the eye of last year’s storm, has already come out and suggested the ‘rematch’ should be staged in Croke Park. “It could be the main part of a doubleheader because it’s sure to bring in people,” said the scorer of the most famously ‘illegal’ goal in recent GAA history.

Elsewhere there are no real standouts in the qualifier draw. Laois will have home advantage and the revenge factor after being paired with Tipperary for the second summer running.

Offaly and Westmeath – both victims of a Wexford onslaught – face a major test against Ulster opposition with the Faithful hosting Monaghan and their midland neighbours facing a long trek to face Antrim in Belfast.

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