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Fennell: Beware Royals

EAMON FENNELL insists that the 2010 Meath destruction of Dublin remains the lowest moment of his inter-county career and warns: "We know they're capable of it again."

The Dubs were blown away by an avalanche of goals from the rampant Royals in a match they finished up on the wrong side of a 5-9 to 0-13 scoreline.

It was a defeat which forced Pat Gilroy into a rethink of how his team would set up defensively.

"If you don't work hard, they can get those few goals in the first few minutes of those games and hurt us," Fennell told the Herald.

"It's hard to claw back leads when you go behind in these games.

"That was with us for a while. We brought that with us throughout that whole year and even into 2011.

"We realise that if we don't perform or work hard, well to lose to Meath the way we did that day was embarrassing."

The chief protagonists of that hammering remain key components of the Meath attack.

Meanwhile, a layer of impressive youth has also been added by manager Seamus McEnaney this season.

It is those relative 'veterans' with an eye for goal though, who Fennell is most wary of ahead of Sunday's Croke Park showdown.

"They're goal-getters," he explains. "You wouldn't expect most players to score those goals that they did against us but they're brilliant at it.

"Cian Ward, Joe Sheridan, Stephen Bray - they just hit them in the sweet-spot and straight in."