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Finian Murtagh: Meath 'took huge amount of positives' from Dublin loss to reach Super 8s
Last Updated: 08/07/19 11:26am
Meath selector Finian Murtagh says the team took positives from their Leinster final defeat, despite being widely criticised.
The Royals bounced back to overcome Clare and reach the Super 8s, and in the process, they became the first team this decade to lose a Leinster final but win their subsequent qualifier.
"Job done," Murtagh said after the victory. "We set out a target at the start of the year to get promotion, to get to a Leinster final and to get to the Super 8s and we have achieved that and it's a huge credit to every one involved.
"I'm thrilled, you can say we made hard work of it but Clare were outstanding in patches of that game and some of the scores they kicked were outstanding and we were at the pin of our collars to win that game."
The Royals suffered a harrowing 1-17 to 0-4 defeat to Dublin two weeks ago, but learned from their performance.
"We took a huge amount of positives from it," Murtagh continued. "I'd seen a few fellas in the media [criticising Meath].
"OK fellas went to town on us and maybe we deserved it, I don't know, some of the comments were harsh but we took a lot of positives. Defensively I thought we were outstanding.
"I think we held Dublin as well as any team has over the last few years for that half an hour, we had 11 shots on goal they had nine so we took huge positives. But of course you are disappointed, to kick four points as a forward line you'd say OK we didn't perform.
"We took huge positives and we just had to move on. Dublin are arguably the best team ever to play the game.
"We had to take the positives out of it, we couldn't feel sorry for ourselves if we did that we were going nowhere so we had to get back on the horse and go again."
They now look ahead to next Sunday's trip to Ballybofey, where they will take on Ulster champions Donegal, a game you can watch live on Sky Sports.
The Royals expect to have Mickey Newman back, after the full-forward injured himself in the process of scoring his side's second goal.
Meanwhile, it's the end of the line for Clare, after another spirited campaign from the Banner.
"You'd be devastated with the result, in the sense that we really felt getting to the Super 8s was so important to us, it just wasn't to be," Colm Collins said at full-time.
"The only kind of mitigating thing about it was that the lads gave everything and put in a great shift. The only thing that you kind of dread with a team is that they don't perform and to be fair they did perform. They did us proud but just came up that bit short.
"Really we wanted to get there (the Super 8s) and to measure ourselves against the top eight teams in the country. But it wasn't to be.
"When we're at our best we can compete with anybody. We saw bits of that today."
After six seasons in charge, Collins will assess his future, but was in no rush to make an announcement in the wake of the loss.
He added: "I don't think that making decisions on the back of a championship defeat is the right thing to do. I'll just see and give it a bit of time."
Sky Sports' live GAA coverage continues next weekend, with Roscommon vs Tyrone and Donegal vs Meath in the Super 8s.